Paralysed by choice? Here’s a quick guide to the best streaming platforms

Paramount Plus arrived on our shores earlier this month, bringing the number of available streaming platforms in the Australian market to roughly … urgh, who can keep count anymore?

Not that we can be mad about it – Australia is clearly a nation of keen streamers. According to recent research from Finder, nearly 90 per cent of us use at least one TV streaming service.

But there is such a thing as too much choice, so rather than spend another evening plagued by indecision consider this guide a shortcut to a more streamlined streaming experience.

The must-haves

Drawcards: Home to high-profile original programming including the must-see series The Crown, Bridgerton, House of Cards, Sex/Life and Stranger Things, Netflix remains the most influential platform globally. Thanks to deep pockets it boasts the largest library of films and TV series.
Shortcomings: No free trial for new users.
Price: $11 – $20

Drawcards: Owned and operated by Nine (publisher of this masthead), Stan produces loads of local content. It also has distribution deals with major international studios like Hulu, Showtime and MGM, ensuring series like The Handmaid’s Tale, Better Call Saul and Yellowstone are available to users.
Shortcomings: The range of 4K content on offer pales in comparison to Netflix.
Price: $10 – $19

Drawcards: An offshoot of Foxtel, Binge is the best place to access HBO content in Australia, which makes it worth the price of admission alone to watch buzzy series like Succession and The White Lotus and old faves including The Sopranos and Game of Thrones.
Shortcomings: No 4K streaming option.
Price: $10 – 18

Drawcards: At $6.99 per month or $54 annually, Prime Video is less than half the price of Netflix or Stan and, like the others, is producing binge-worthy original content. See: Nine Perfect Strangers.
Shortcomings: Smaller library than its competitors.
Price: $7

The best of the rest

Drawcards: Cheap and cheerful, Apple already controls the rest of your life; why not hand over the remote? The familiarity of the Apple TV interface makes it easy to navigate.
Shortcomings: It’s light on original prestige content with Morning Wars and Ted Lasso the only real standouts.
Price: $8

Ted Lasso stars Jason Sudeikis as a hapless American football coach who finds himself in charge of an English Premier League team.Credit:

Drawcards: Disney owns Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic and 20th Century Fox, so there is literally something for everyone on the service. It’s the only place to catch top-tier telly like The Mandalorian and WandaVision.
Shortcomings: No free trial and, at $12 a month, one of the more expensive platforms.
Price: $12

Drawcards: Access to programming from the likes of Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV, Paramount Plus offers a decent variety. Will be home to the much-hyped reboots of both Frasier and Dexter.
Shortcomings: Heavy on reality TV and light on drama.
Price: $9

The Freebies

Drawcards: Delivering over 7000 hours of content, SBS on Demand is a solid option. Best for documentaries, world movies and the odd Scandi-noir series.
Shortcomings: Sadly, you have to sit through ad breaks.

Drawcards: As well as housing all your favourite Auntie programs in one place, ABC iview also hosts an impressive array of movies, documentaries, and comedy specials.
Shortcomings: The app can be susceptible to crashing.

The super niche

Drawcards: One for the nostalgia-fiends, Britbox is your one-stop shop for classic English comedies and dramas; Midsomer Murders, Fawlty Towers, The Office, Doc Martin, Line of Duty, the list goes on.
Shortcomings: There is very little original or new content.
Price: $9

Drawcards: If you want to keep up with the Kardashians, or any reality TV show for that matter, HayU has you covered.
Shortcomings: See above.
Price: $7

Drawcards: You won’t find a wider variety of documentaries across a vast array of subjects available on any rival streaming service. There’s loads of Louis Theroux.
Shortcomings: Only for the doco-obsessed.

Fans of doco-king Louis Theroux will enjoy DocPlay.

The sport platforms

Drawcards: With more than 50 sports to pick from, Kayo is a Foxtel-free way of enjoying live sport. Access to blue-chip sports including NRL, NBA, cricket, as well as niche sports like darts.
Shortcomings: Pretty pricey and no 4K option.
Price: $25

Drawcards: The only place in Australia to watch the English Premier League. Loads of ‘mini match’ options for football fans short on time. It also includes OS Fitness which offers at-home workouts.
Shortcomings: Stream can be unreliable, with very little in-house original programming.
Price: $15

Drawcards: A must-buy for rugby union fans, Stan Sport is home to the Super Rugby and Super Rugby Aotearoa competitions, as well as Wallabies and Wallaroos tests. Recently acquired the UEFA Champions league from Optus.
Shortcomings: Expect to see a few error codes.
Price: $10

Find out the next TV, streaming series and movies to add to your must-sees. Get The Watchlist delivered every Thursday.

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