Which streaming service is right for you?

With so many to pick from, it is important you choose one that provides real value for money.

You open the restaurant menu and it resembles a dusty Yellow Pages from the early ‘80s. 

“I’ll take the apricot chicken. No, wait. What was that item on page 14? Yep, the vegetarian lasagne. No, wait. I like the look of the fish tacos. Oh, I don’t know. Could you come back in 5?”

Whether it’s at a restaurant, café or even our local Bunnings, we have probably all faced this dilemma at some point in our lives. It relates to a psychological term known as ‘overchoice’ (also referred to as ‘choice overload’), which can negatively impact our decision-making process. On the surface, it appears trivial, but when you’re making a financial decision (either big or small), overchoice can become a real issue. Choosing the right entertainment streaming service is no different. Stan, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Binge, Disney Plus, Foxtel Now, Apple TV Plus – the list goes on… 

Here are some things to consider when selecting the right streaming service for you.

Have the right tech

Streaming TV shows and movies requires an internet connection fast and reliable enough to let you watch content almost immediately.

You will also require access to a Smart TV or device compatible with streaming providers.

For the uninitiated, this streaming guide will run you through everything you need to consider before creating an online account.

Choose your content

What sort of TV shows do you enjoy watching? It’s easy to get caught up in the number of shows and movies available on each, but which streaming service truly meets your entertainment needs?

Compare providers to see what shows are being shown where.

While Stan has quality exclusive content like Yellowstone and Gangs of London, Binge offers HBO favourites such as The Sopranos and Game of Thrones. Netflix boasts acclaimed series, The Crown and Narcos. Amazon Prime serves up popular originals like Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. Disney Plus offers access to its exclusive catalogue of modern blockbusters and timeless classics, making it a great option for the whole family.

Apple TV+ has even made waves with its growing library of ‘All Apple Originals’ featuring some of TV and film’s biggest stars.

Each of the above caters to a variety of tastes and features many different genres. But there are niche options available.

Enjoy watching the footy but don’t want to dish out the dosh for a full Foxtel subscription? Consider Kayo TV.

Fans of British Television might like to check out BritBox.

From comedy classics like Black Adder and Only Fools and Horses, to modern favourites like Doc Martin and Luther, Britbox has an extensive library of UK shows for your viewing pleasure. There is a free 7-day trial. Regular pricing starts at $8.99 per month, or $89.99 per year.

Some shows are even available across multiple providers, so it pays to do your research. Just make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for, to avoid that earlier issue we raised about overchoice!

Consider your budget

How much are you able to spend per month? Will your increased internet usage lead to excessive internet costs? Should you choose more than one provider and cut costs elsewhere?

Streaming is just like any other expense – you need to consider your budget before making a decision. The good news about most streaming services is that you can cancel at any time. The majority also offer free trial periods, so you can give it a go to see whether it suits your tastes.

Compare prices between providers and weigh up the pros and cons of each.

Some people choose more than one streaming service to cater for all their entertainment needs. Others choose one of the ‘big name’ providers and supplement their viewing habits with free-to-air television or free streaming services. These include ABC iView, SBS on Demand, 9Now, 10 play and 7Plus. Check these out – you might find you don’t need to pay for an additional streaming service at all.

There’s also another option you might like to consider…

Save money by sharing accounts

Do you have a family member with a streaming subscription available across multiple devices? If so, you might be able to use their login details to access the subscription on your personal device. With their permission, of course.

You could split the cost of the subscription or even hedge your bets by choosing multiple subscriptions and sharing access among your trusted circle of family and friends.

If you have a streaming service like Stan and a family member has Amazon Prime for instance, you could exchange login details. You will effectively have access to two services for the price of one.

Of course, you should never share personal or financial information, login details and passwords with anyone you do not trust.

Change your password immediately and ensure your details are up to date if you believe someone has accessed your account without your permission.

Share your thoughts

Are there any streaming services we’ve forgotten? What service do you think provides the best value for money?

Let us know here.

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