We are officially living in Bizarro World. This week, both Netflix and Stan jacked up their pricing, with some customers forced to pay 20 per cent more per month. Meanwhile, the newly-christened Foxtel Now starts at just $10, which makes it the cheapest HD option of the bunch. What the hell is going on?
Foxtel has always been prohibitively expensive - to the point that many analysts predicted its complete and total destruction in the wake of Netflix's launch. Instead, the company has been slowly reinventing itself as an affordable streaming platform via a succession of incremental price drops.
This week, Netflix and Stan both increased their pricing across all tiers. As a result, Foxtel now offers the cheapest streaming plan for people who want HD. No, really. Here's how the new monthly pricing breaks down:
|Number of simultaneous streams||2||2||3|
It's worth noting that Stan and Netflix give you access to their entire catalogue, whereas Foxtel breaks its library into different packs. (To get Game Of Thrones, you need to purchase the $15 Pop pack, for example.) Also of note: Stan provides three simultaneous streams per account compared to Netflix and Foxtel's two, which is handy for larger households.
With that said, Foxtel Now's entry-level packs still contain tons of content and they're all dedicated to specific genres, which may be a bonus to some people. The $10 Doco Pack, for example, provides hundreds of documentaries from the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo People, Discovery Science, Animal Planet, BBC Knowledge, the History Channel and more.
Similarly, the Lifestyle pack is entirely dedicated to food, home, entertainment and reality TV shows from Australia and abroad. In short: you get less variety but lots more curated content.
Obviously, if you prefer to have lots of genres to choose from, Stan and Netflix remain a better deal even at this new price point. But for anyone who wants to save a few bucks and has very particular tastes, Foxtel Now is surprisingly great value. Who'd have thunk it?