Foxtel's Binge has just launched and it's shaping up to be a slick new competitor for Netflix and Stan. Here's everything you need to know about streaming's newest addition.
When is Foxtel releasing Binge?
Binge was finally made available to Aussies from Monday, 25 May, after weeks of speculation.
It's marketed as a direct competitor to Netflix and Stan and will see the service take much of Foxtel Now's content — HBO, FX and Warner Media — and inject it into a much more modern user interface.
Foxtel has confirmed a new streaming service, expected to be called Binge, will be released on 25 May but its inclusion in the crowded streaming market has many curious how it will be different. Here's what we know and whether experts think it will really work.
Binge's pricing in Australia
Binge is being offered for a similar price point to Netflix and Stan with its entry-level package starting from $10 a month. For that package, you'll get one simultaneous stream with standard definition.
The next tier up will give you two simultaneous streams and HD content for $14 a month while the highest tier is $18 a month for four simultaneous streams. Like Netflix, Stan and Disney Plus, you'll be able to create up to six individual profiles so friends and family don't ruin where you're up to on a show.
A 14-day free trial period is available for new users so you can try it out before you make any commitments. Interestingly, Foxtel admitted in a briefing to reporters on 21 May that none of its offerings would support 4K content and there were no plans to launch that any time soon.
Here's where Binge sits in terms of its pricing compared to other streaming services in the country:
Australian streaming service pricing
|Netflix||Stan||Foxtel Now||Amazon Prime||Binge||Disney+||Apple TV+||Hayu||10 All Access||YouTube Premium||$9.99 - $19.99||$10 - $17||$25 - $104||$6.99||$10 - $18||$8.99||$7.99||$6.99||$9.99||$14.99|
What content will be available on Binge?
Content is a major deciding factor for many to determine which streaming service is worth their time and money. On content alone, Binge is a major winner. Foxtel's exclusivity deals with HBO and more recently, HBO Max, mean you'll be getting some of the world's biggest shows — Game of Thrones, Chernobyl, The Sopranos — that aren't available for streaming elsewhere in Australia, legally.
To give you a teaser, here's a list of shows you'll be able to stream:
- 30 Rock
- Bad Education
- Band of Brothers
- Big Little Lies
- Boardwalk Empire
- Castle Rock
- Doom Patrol
- Forged In Fire
- Game of Thrones
- Grand Designs
- Keeping Up With The Kardashians
- Modern Family
- Mrs America
- Parks & Recreation
- Planet Earth
- Project Runway
- Sex & The City
- Six Feet Under
- The Americans
- The Great British Bake Off
- The Leftovers
- The Newsroom
- The Office (US)
- The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
- The Sopranos
- The Walking Dead
- The War Of The Worlds
- The Wire
- True Blood
- True Detective
- What We Do In The Shadows
On top of all the series the service will offer, Foxtel has said there will be more than 800 movie titles available at launch.
Is Binge worth it?
So far, Binge seems like a worthwhile option. It takes the great content available on Foxtel's clunky and confusing Foxtel Now service and puts it into a Netflix-esque streaming platform. Plus, it's being offered for a far more affordable price than anything you would've gotten with Foxtel Now.
Of course, it's not great that Australians are now being offered yet another streaming service, which feels like a repeat of the cable days. There's also a few features we're used to with other platforms we're just not going to get from the outset. For example, none of the tiers offer 4K, which might be a deal-breaker for some. Also, while it will come with the ability to Chromecast or AirPlay, there won't be a PlayStation 4 or Xbox app available at launch.
At the starting price of $10, you might be able to write these off as slight frustrations as you can finally watch great content without paying Foxtel's usual price premium. I'll let you be the judge of that.
There are currently four main streaming services in Australia: Netflix, Stan, Foxtel Now and Amazon Prime Video. There's also Apple TV+ and - in a few short days - Disney Plus. But that's not all. In addition to all of the above, there are smaller, more niche services like Hayu, 10 All Access and YouTube Premium - all of which contain original programming you can't watch anywhere else.