Online Streaming Industry in Australia: Are we overwhelmed with choices?

The pandemic was the starting point of all things online. It was certainly the time when people realized the best features of the online community and availed it to the next level. The most popular industry that boomed like crazy was the online streaming industry. 

In Australia, we saw a growth of users for Spotify, Netflix, Stan, Disney Plus, etc. Gone are the days that you had to look up Brisbane tv guide or Sydney TV guide for some quality shows. It was the start of 2020 that gave the streaming industry a surge of users, and one can only wonder when it will end? We are looking at a peak where the growth is slowly weakening so it is inevitable to be closer than ever before. 

But another thing that concerns me is the number of choices in the industry. Because it became a booming industry, everybody wanted to get in on it. The traditional picks like Netflix and Hulu shone brighter but now we’re looking at many choices, each more intriguing than the next. At this point, we must wonder how someone can decide what to pick. Let’s look at some of the options and try to figure out whether there is a differentiating factor here. 

Firstly, we have the most common and industry leader Netflix that has amassed over 70+ million paying users. It is, and might always be, a no-brainer pick in the industry. Some of the best features and movies are on Netflix. Recently, we witnessed the release of The Red Notice (2021) which featured Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds. This trio in the Netflix production won hearts. Although it doesn’t have live TV features, it is simply outstanding in the world of Video-On-Demand (VOS) Services. 

Then, we saw a huge fan base grow for Disney Plus. It was an underdog that has now made its place permanent in the industry and became successful for its new features and releases. Their productions of Star Wars, Marvel, and many others have gotten viewers hooked on their content. It also has the best of Pixar productions like Inside Out, Soul, Toy Story series, and more. When you hear Disney, you might be thinking of its competitor Dreamworks Animation. So, get ready for ‘another one’ moment. 

By the co-founder of Dreamworks Animation comes Quibi, another streaming service launched in Australia. It has far greater smartphone compatibility than others. Its unique selling point is found in the words Quibi which means Quick Bites. In its season releases, there are features between 5 to 10 minutes only. It fits the lifestyle of those who don’t like getting fully hooked on consuming content. So, they get mini-episodes. Many are still in production. 

Who could forget the smartphone giant Apple Inc. who made its appearance in the world of streaming through Apple TV? (another ‘another one moment). Apple TV just had to get into the industry with glamorous features over variety. Their shows have the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, and more.

One of the biggest competitors for Netflix Australia is Stan. Stan houses most of the Australian original content and shows like Seinfeld, How I met your mother, Grey’s Anatomy, Buffy, and more.

The total amount of streaming services that are available in Australia include:

  • 7plus
  • 9Now
  • ABC iView
  • Acorn TV
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • BritBox
  • DocPlay
  • Fetch
  • Flash
  • Foxtel
  • Funimation
  • Hayu
  • iwonder
  • Kanopy
  • Kayo Sports
  • Paramount+
  • SBS on Demand
  • Shudder
  • Telstra TV Box Office
  • Tenplay
  • Tubi
  • YouTube Premium

Feeling overwhelmed? It’s a lot to have. But there is something important to note here. With this influx of streaming services, are we seeing stagnating growth now? It is estimated that the surge of streaming services is fading and nearing the end. But even so, we’ve got all these streaming services and not one seems enough. 

Many have adopted the practice of having multiple streaming services. Some have completely cut ties with cable TV and jumped to Netflix. It is all part of the trend but here’s a speed guide for you to filter out your pick from the bunch. 

Firstly, know the difference between Video-On-Demand services (VOS) and Live TV. Netflix is only VOS so if that is important to you, go for it. Then know your favorite kind of features. Is it movies or TV shows? The next step is to assess features and price ranges. After that, you should be able to narrow down your pick to two. 

As far as the overwhelming choice is concerned, it is a cesspool of content and if you prioritize your preference, you should be able to find the one that best fits your needs. The streaming industry in Australia will keep booming for some time.