Foxtel’s new streaming service has been announced after weeks of rumours and speculation. The upcoming addition, called Binge, will join a crowded market of streaming offerings competing for Australian dollars. Here’s everything you need to know: including the price and how you can watch it.
Foxtel’s streaming service news comes just weeks after it announced it had secured exclusive rights to air HBO Max content in Australia. While the deal was limited to a few years, it means that the upcoming U.S. entertainment giant will deliver its original and legacy content through Foxtel’s services in the country, delaying any chance of a separate Australian HBO Max release.
HBO Max is set to launch on May 27 in the U.S. and will feature a variety of original programs, including a Gossip Girl reboot, Station Eleven, Tokyo Vice, Adventure Time: Distant Lands and Americanah.
The announcements are anticipated to provide a much-needed bump to Foxtel’s dwindling subscriber base. According to Roy Morgan’s March 2020 report, Foxtel was the only entertainment platform to lose subscribers compared to February of the previous year. It shrunk around 100,000 subscribers down to 4.85 million subscribers over its three entertainment options whereas Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ all experienced a growth in the base.
What is Binge?
Binge is Foxtel’s new streaming service and will offer Australians tired of Foxtel’s aging options a chance to view its great content with a Netflix-esque platform.
It will come with many of the shows exclusive to current Foxtel offerings, minus the sport, but plenty of old favourites such as The Office, Parks & Recreation and Seinfeld will be available too.
When does Binge launch in Australia?
Foxtel has confirmed its new streaming service will be released on May 25 and those interested in giving it a spin can get a two-week free trial.
What TV shows does Binge have?
The new service will reportedly offer more than 10,000 hours of local and international drama and movies from major studios such as Warner Bros., HBO, HBO Max, Sony, NBCU, FX and the BBC. It will come with over 800 movies at launch too.
Some of those titles include:
- 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
How much does Binge cost?
Foxtel has announced the pricing structure of Binge and as expected, it’s in Netflix and Stan’s affordable ballpark.
For one simultaneous stream of standard definition content, you’ll be expected to pay $10 a month. Though only one person will be able to watch content at any one time, you can create up to six individual profiles so your siblings or friends don’t ruin where you’re at on a show.
For $14 a month, you’ll be able to upgrade to two simultaneous streams as well as getting HD content. This means you could share with a mate and pay just $7 each, provided they’re paying you back.
The top tier is $18 a month and gets you HD plus four simultaneous streams. Unlike other streaming services, you won’t get 4K content with any of the packages, which might be a downside for those in pursuit of ultimate definition.
The new service will join Foxtel’s family of streaming platforms, including its cable subscription, Foxtel Now and Go as well as Kayo for its sports fans. How Binge will work in conjunction with those or whether it will replace one in the future is still not yet known.
How to watch Binge
Binge will be available on your usual platforms such as web browsers as well as having its own Android and iOS app. It’s also compatible with Chromecast and AirPlay, which might be handy if you don’t have a smart TV. If you have a smart TV, those supported include Android, Apple and Telstra TV for now but Samsung is expected to be released in the coming months with Hisense and LG support on the roadmap too.
Interestingly, there are some notable omissions that might be a dealbreaker for some. For one, an app won’t be available at launch for PlayStation 4 users, though Foxtel is in talks with Sony. For Xbox One owners, a Binge spokesperson said there were no plans to release an Xbox app for the current console, adding “we will engage with Microsoft when the new product comes out.”
What features does Binge have that Netflix and Stan don’t?
Content-wise, the choice comes down to preference. Foxtel wouldn’t confirm whether it had any content exclusive to Binge over its other services or if it was planning any original content but its international exclusivity deals will make it tempting.
For anyone who loves a HBO show, of which many are commercially and critically acclaimed, you’ll only be able to stream it via Foxtel’s offerings in Australia and Binge is definitely the most affordable. Those shows as well as FX and WarnerMedia content will be something that sets it apart from Netflix, Stan and Disney.
In terms of features, Binge introduces an interesting new concept not yet seen in other streaming services but whether it will be used is another question. It’s called ‘Surprise Me’ and it will throw up a show or movie on the service at random and if it doesn’t fancy you, you can hit that button again to see what comes up.
For some, it will be a totally useless feature but for others paralysed by choice, it could show you something you never would’ve chosen yourself.
Binge is definitely a platform more in line with what other modern streaming services provide and will give Foxtel the modern, youth-focused offering it desperately needs. Whether it will be the one Australians choose will be realised in time.