Netflix May Be Winning the Online Streaming Popularity Battle, but Will It Meet Your Needs

In the wake of Netflix arriving, companies like Presto, Stan and Quickflix very quickly began cleaning up their acts to show customers they do actually care. Their historically lackadaisical attitude towards customers may have been ignored by some. However, I suspect that with Netflix's comprehensive content library and competitive pricing, many will begin realising just how relatively little value for money they've been getting from their current providers.

Whilst the rest of the world has been enjoying a healthy choice of online streaming services battling it out for customer's business, we are only now beginning to see these changes. As the competition has been heating up, so too has the public's opinion of who is the best. Do you have a favourite service yet, or maybe there are two that satisfy your particular needs? Thankfully Roy Morgan Research has been keeping a watchful eye over the video streaming market place here in Australia and recently released a report showing its findings for the past three months.

If you're yet to dive into the world of paid online video streaming, then keep reading as I'll help you understand which service provider is likely to be the most suitable one for you.

Everyone always loves a clear-cut winner, but in such a diversified world its difficult to have one glove that fits all. Battles on this scale are based more on opinion and general consensus rather than ultimate, totalitarianism styled winners. Whilst you may place all your value in having a video content library so extensive that you never need to leave the house again, your best friend may instead value only 'House of Cards' and 'Orange is the New Black' if its available on a mobile device. From this you can see how people's streaming service choices may differ.

In the eyes of Roy Morgan Research, the American streaming warlord Netflix is wielding the biggest axe in terms of estimated subscribers. Netflix hits home with a whopping 1.3 million Australian users compared to its next closest rival Foxtel’s Presto who have a mere 97,000. Running in a very close third position is the Nine and Fairfax Entertainment owned Stan with 91,000. In last place, there's Quickflix with its 43,000 subscribers.

Roy Morgan Research states that the estimates were derived from 2,088 Australians all of whom were aged over 14 (I personally think this is a bit young to have a credit card to sign up to these accounts, but this is what they've stated). Yet, as I mentioned before, whilst the number of subscribers may show which company offers the most popular and seemingly best overall package, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this option will suit your own needs per se. After all, Stan announced only last month that it had 200,000 subscribers (paying and non paying), which is double what Roy Morgan Research results showed, so who’s to say one is telling the truth over the other (or maybe Stan has a ton of 13 year old subscribers… joking!).

Therefore I want to explore how these online streaming titans compare in content variety, user friendliness and lastly cost, whilst also letting you know how much data you can expect to consume streaming their content. This information I hope will then empower you to make your own mind up about which service best suits your needs.


Netflix Banner

Netflix hit our shores at the end of March with over 1,100 titles in its arsenal. We expected that it would not contain the same quantity of titles as the US, but we were promised that this would grow over time. One of the most alluring aspects about Netflix is its exclusive content such as Bloodline, Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. If these aren't in your list of "must watch" series, then you now have over other 5,000 options to choose from. The Netflix basic package will set you back $8.99 per month for standard definition on one screen. The company's partnership with iiNet also means streaming wont count towards your data limits. Optus broadband has also followed suit with the un-metering of its data too.

Exclusive Content: House of Cards, Bloodline, Orange is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Grace and Frankie.

Top Content: Maleficent and Frozen.

Data Consumption: On average Netflix will consume 1GB of data per hour for SD content, 3GB for HD and roughly 7GB for UHD. You can also choose to reduce the quality and consume only 300MB per hour if you really need to.

Content Variety: 6/10

User Friendliness: 9/10

Cost: 8/10


Presto Banner

The Preston streaming service is geared towards users preferring to stream movie content over TV series'. The service does provide two alternatives, however, with a TV package and a movie package both costing $9.99 each. Owned by Foxtel, the streaming platform Presto appears to be designed for users intending to watch content on smaller screens due to its SD option only. Their library contains over 3,000 titles to choose from and its price is a vast improvement from its launch price of $24.99 a while back. The main negative then, as I see it, about Presto’s service is that they only offer standard definition content so anyone wishing to stream to a large TV may experience a pixelated image.

Exclusive Content: Modern Family

Top Content: Homeland, Sons of Anarchy, The Americans, Wentworth, Tangle, Devils Playground, Love My Way, Cloudstreet

Data Consumption: Differs for each device but the maximum usage per hour is 1.3GB for its SD content.

Content Variety: 8/10

User Friendliness: 9/10

Cost: 8/10


Stan Banner

Stan was one of the earlier competitors within the market and as a result it has managed to secure some big names exclusively as shown above. They also differ as far as their monthly subscription of $10 is concerned, in that you can watch content on up to 3 different screens at the same time. This is particularly useful in situations like a group of flatmates living together and choosing to split the cost. Another addition Stan provide is the option to choose content quality, with Netflix you have to pay more money to receive this choice, while Stan gives you SD and HD for the same price. Overall, they are a very good all rounder but content in the future might begin to slack, especially if subscribers numbers fail to pick up. Netflix is reported to be paying NBC $2 million per episode for the show Blacklist, so Fairfax and Nine Entertainment's $100 million investment won't go very far if revenues don’t pick up.

Exclusive Content: Better Call Saul, Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, Dig, Wolf of Wall Street, The LEGO movie and James Bond films.

Top Content: Breaking Bad, The Killing, The Bridge and Fargo.

Data Consumption: Their low quality option consumes roughly 570MB per hour, SD is 1.13GB and HD can consume up to 2.89GB per hour.

Content Variety: 8/10

User Friendliness: 9/10

Cost: 9/10


Quickflix Banner

Quickflix offers another good all round package with plenty of content to entertain guests. If for some reason you also wish to have a DVD to watch, Quickflix provide a DVD postal service. Fairly priced at $9.99 per month, you will be given access to almost its entire library of content, minus exclusive content which can be viewed for a one off fee. This is where you need to be 100% clear because the exclusive content that Quickflix has to offer (mentioned above) is not included within the $9.99 subscription cost. If you wish to watch an episode of Game of Thrones for example, you will have to pay around $3 and for the entire season as much as $40 extra. So, if you want any of that content specifically, Netflix might be a cheaper alternative in the long run.

Top Content: Game of Thrones, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and The Walking Dead.

Data Consumption: Watching TV via Quickflix will consume roughly 350MB of data per hour, whilst a 90-minute movie will use on average 1GB. Bump the quality up to HD and you can expect to eat up to 1.5GB per hour

Content Variety: 8/10

User Friendly: 9/10

Cost: 7/10

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