If you’re after a bit of downtime from study or want to chill out at a housemate movie night, a content streaming service is a great outlet for finding the very best movies and TV shows. In Australia, a selection of paid and free subscription sites is available, with options for big screen and mobile viewing. If you’re deciding which streaming service to go with during your time in Australia, luckily, most services offer a free trial period so you can try before you buy.
Not sure where to start? Here are the best and most popular streaming services in Australia.
Arriving in Australia in 2015, Netflix is now one of the most popular content streaming services. Known for its stellar original content (with top shows like Stranger Things, Riverdale, Black Mirror and many more), the site also houses plenty of great films and television shows. You’ll also find an abundance of international content from China, Korea, India, Scandinavia and more – this even includes almost all the Studio Ghibli movies from Japan (both dubbed and subtitled). Plus, as Netflix content often differs in each country, you’re bound to find something new on the Australian site.
You can watch Netflix on Apple TV, your laptop or desktop, or on your tablet or mobile. Netflix offers a range of services starting at $9.99 per month. The premium service costs $19.99 per month, but it offers higher definition content that can be streamed across multiple screens simultaneously.
On Stan, you can stream high definition and 4K films and television programs, including original series. You’ll find big-name films across multiple genres including comedies, romances, dramas and much more, as well as television series exclusives like Scrubs, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Younger, and Better Call Saul. As Stan is an Australian company, you’ll also enjoy access to a range of local content you won’t find anywhere else.
Stan is available on Apple TV, via the internet, and as a tablet or mobile app, meaning you can watch television and movies on the go (pretty ideal for your daily commute to class!). Subscriptions range from $10 to $17 per month.
For just $8.99 a month, Disney+ gives you access to your favourite Disney classics (think The Lion King and all the Disney princess films), every Marvel film, all things Pixar (a movie night featuring every Toy Story movie in a row? Why not!), the whole Star Wars saga, The Simpsons, and more! The streaming service is also home to a range of exclusive shows, including the extremely popular The Mandelorian (Baby Yoda, anyone?) and a range of quintessential 90s films like 10 Things I Hate About You and Never Been Kissed.
Disney+ can be accessed via TV, computer, phone or game consoles (specifically, PS4 and Xbox One) and even comes with a seven-day free trial, so you can test it out before committing.
Thousands of episodes, fast-tracked from Japan to you – AnimeLab is the ideal streaming service for any anime lover. With AnimeLab, you can stream the latest episodes as soon as one hour after their broadcast, or catch up on older classics such as Cowboy Bebop, Attack on Titan and Naruto. There is also a huge range of films on the service, so you can enjoy everything from 1954’s Godzilla to the incredibly influential Akira.
You can test out AnimeLab for free for 30 days, after which it’s $7.99 per month.
If you’re a Keeping Up with the Kardashians fan or can’t get enough of Real Housewives, Hayu is the streaming site for you. Offering more than 600 episodes of 200 different reality TV programs and often screening episodes on the same day they’re released in the US, Hayu is perfect for reality fans who need to keep up-to-date with their favourite shows.
You can access Hayu via Apple TV, on your computer, or through the app on your mobile phone or tablet. A subscription to Hayu costs $6.99 per month.
Free-to-air streaming sites
To accompany their regular television broadcasts, Australia’s main free-to-air television stations also offer on-demand streaming services. In Australia, you can access Tenplay, 9Now, 7plus, SBS On Demand and ABC iview to catch up on any TV shows or films you may have missed. There’s lots of great content across all channels, but SBS On Demand has a particularly good selection of international films from countries all over the world.
You can watch content from these streaming sites on Apple TV, your computer, or via their respective mobile or tablet apps. The websites are free to use, but they may require you to create an account using your email address or social media accounts. Because they’re free, you can enjoy a wide range of films and TV programs on a tighter budget. Keep in mind, though, that free streaming services are likely to include advertisements and content may only be available online for a limited time.
Amazon Prime Video
As part of its Prime service, Amazon has recently started offering Prime Video in Australia. As well as providing shopping benefits on Amazon.com.au, a Prime subscription delivers access to a huge array of television and movie content, including Prime Originals. Check out TV shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and more, plus a host of Hollywood blockbusters.
Prime Video can be accessed via Apple TV, or on your laptop, desktop, tablet or mobile phone. A subscription to the service costs $6.99 per month.
In addition to YouTube’s standard service, YouTube Premium is now available in Australia. The Premium upgrades the standard YouTube experience by getting rid of advertisements, allowing users to download content to watch later, and offering YouTube Premium-exclusive content. There are dozens of TV shows, movies and documentaries on YouTube premium that you won’t find anywhere else, including Cobra Kai, Lifeline, Scare PewDiePie and more.
YouTube Premium is available through Apple TV, but it can easily be watched on any device such as a laptop, desktop, mobile phone or tablet. Plus, when you use YouTube Premium on a mobile device, you can continue running YouTube while using other apps, without interruption. A subscription to YouTube premium costs $14.99 per month.
Kayo is the most popular streaming service for sport content, with over 50 sports available. It works by streaming from popular sport channels including ESPN and Fox Sports. Prices start at $25/month. Optus Sport has the rights for the English Premier League and UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues. These games can be watched on mobile devices or on Chromecast, Fetch TV or Apple TV. It is free for most Optus customers or $14.99/month for non-Optus customers. AFL (Australian Rules Football), A-League (Football/Soccer), NRL (Rugby League) and Super Netball can be streamed on mobile devices through Telstra. These have varying prices for non-customers but are free to Telstra customers.
Kanopy is a free streaming service that can be accessed simply by having a library card from a participating public library, university or college. You can access thousands of major-release, arthouse and independent films, as well as documentaries, with more and more being added each month. Kanopy is available on TV, desktop, laptop, phone and tablet, and signing up is incredibly easy. Simply search for your education provider or library on the Kanopy website and you’re good to go!