Prices For Renting Digital Movies Compared: Allegedly, Australia’s The Cheapest

How much Australians pay for digital media is a perennial sore point. One new study suggests that when it comes to renting new release movies online, we’re actually amongst the cheapest.

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A comparison by the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association (AHEDA) suggests that when you compare the prices for renting new releases, Australia doesn’t come off too badly. These are the figures provided by the AHEDA for both standard-definition and high-definition releases, with all prices converted to Australian dollars:

Australia $4.25 $5.19
New Zealand $4.78 $6.23
France $4.31 $5.50
Germany $4.74 $5.79
Italy $4.65 $6.10
Spain $4.69 $6.16
UK $4.61 $6.41
US $3.93 $5.30

The numbers have been adjusted to exclude GST or other sales taxes. The AHEDA didn’t say specifically which services were compared in each country, but said it include video-on-demand services for both devices and televisions. The comparison doesn’t include subscription streaming services like Netflix or Quickflix (which let you consume unlimited content for a fixed monthly fee, but often exclude new releases.)

That makes for a more sensible basis for comparison than the ludicrous numbers bandied about by CHOICE recently, which compared streaming and download-to-own services to no sensible purpose. However, the data still needs to be taken with a grain of salt: the AHEDA is firmly on the side of the film industry, and is also behind the near-useless Digital Content Guide site. We suspect the argument isn’t quite over yet.

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