Netflix is no newcomer in New Zealand, but the popular streaming service continuously adds new shows and movies to its platform. Netflix has built a reputation for creating entertaining originals, too, which keep fans hooked. There’s hundreds of TV shows, movies, anime and documentaries to enjoy, with child-friendly content, too. You can binge series like Stranger Things, The Crown, Russian Doll, Unorthodox, Queer Eye, Sex Education and Umbrella Academy.
Cost: Plans range from $11.99 to $21.99 per month
Free trial: One month
Neon now encompasses the offerings of Lightbox, too. Sky announced the purchase of Lightbox in December 2019 (the entertainment subscription service formerly owned by Spark). Now Lightbox and Neon have merged to become one super platform. Neon’s catalogues have a wide selection of TV shows, kids programming and movies. It hosts series like Euphoria, Outlander, Catherine the Great, and Louis Theroux docos.
Cost: $13.95 per month
Free trial: 14 days
Disney + and Star
Be prepared for a massive nostalgia hit if you sign up to Disney+. Disney+ is great because it not only includes all of Disney’s famed family friendly movies, but its expanded repertoire includes Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel and National Geographic films. There’s Frozen, The Simpsons, Lizzie McGuire, The Lion King. This platform’s a hit for any age.
Star is Disney’s new entertainment brand launched early 2021 in NZ. Essentially, it doubles the amount of content available on Disney Plus, with 155 TV series, 435 movies and four Star originals at launch.
It combines old television shows and films from Disney’s massive back catalogue with new series. This is a result of Disney owning plenty of companies, like ABC, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel, and their merging with Fox Studios. Disney Plus has bumped up its subscription price from $9.99 to $12.99. If you’re already a subscriber, the price will remain at $9.99 for six months, and then jump to $12.99. The changes will take place on August 22, 2021.
Cost: $12.99 per month
Free trial: None
Amazon Prime Video
If you love American classic movies, this is a platform filled with award-winning original content, documentaries and movie classics from the 1990s and 2000s. Watch Fleabag, Marvelous Mrs Maisel, Carnival Row, Goliath, Homecoming and The Good Fight.
Cost: UZ$5.99 per month (around NZ$9NZ)
Free trial: 30 days
This local streaming service is an on-demand catalogue of shows and movies from TVNZ1, TVNZ2 and Duke, with a decent range of local and international documentaries, dramas, comedies, movies and current affairs. Get into Country Calendar, Wellington Paranormal, Shortland Street and Grey’s Anatomy.
Another home-grown streaming service, ThreeNow hosts full series and live TV for free. Channels Three, Bravo, Edge TV and Breeze TV all stream live. Sink your teeth into Married at First Sight, 7 Days, Bob’s Burgers, The Project, Grand Designs and Survivor.
Freeview On Demand
Freeview On Demand pulls together all the on-demand TV and movies from Māori TV, ThreeNow and TVNZ OnDemand and puts it into one place, so it’s easy to access your favourite shows. It’s available on all Freeview-approved smart TVs, as well as via an Android-powered Freeview Recorder or a Freeview streaming device. You’ll need ultra-fast broadband or a digital TV antenna to watch.
Apple TV+ in New Zealand has a smaller selection of content compared to its competitors. It’s a streaming service featuring Apple Originals. These include award-winning series, dramas, groundbreaking, kids’ entertainment and comedies. You can stream it with the Apple TV app. It currently has: Truth Be Told, Oprah’s Book Club, Boys State and Little America.
Cost: $8.99 per month
Free Trial: 7 days (At the time of writing, Apple is also offering a deal where Apple TV+ is included for one year when you purchase an eligible Apple device)
Tips for picking a streaming service
Check if you can sign up to a free trial, most streaming services offer free trials, so try a platform (or two, or three) out before choosing one (or more) and signing up. Put your subscription on hold if you need to. You’re not locked into a long-term deal, as plans are usually monthly.
If you don’t want the streaming platform after a couple of weeks or months, you can just stop your subscription and sign up to another one. This system means you can pause your subscription and restart it again at another time, which is great if you only want to watch one series on a single service.
I don’t know if I have the right equipment to use a service. Which devices can I use to stream?
It’s a common deterrent for people looking to make the switch to streaming, but there are plenty of devices you can use to stream Netflix, Neon, Disney+, etc. You’ve probably got one or two in your home already. If you’ve got a PC, Mac desktop or laptop computer, every streaming service in New Zealand can be accessed by the web browser you use every day. You can also use smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs, and some game consoles.
Make sure you have a decent broadband connection
If you want to watch streaming TV, an ultra-fast broadband plan is essential. And if you want to know more about the different deals available and the best providers in the market, Canstar can help.
To help you get a clearer picture of broadband providers in NZ, Canstar Blue rates all the big providers in the market annually. We survey thousands of broadband customers and ask them to score their providers across categories including Value for Money, Network Performance and Customer Service.
Canstar Blue’s latest review of NZ internet providers compares NOW, 2degrees, Bigpipe, Contact, MyRepublic, Nova Energy, Orcon, Slingshot, Spark, Stuff Fibre, Trustpower and Vodafone, and awards the best our 5 Star rating:
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Canstar Blue NZ Research finalised in March 2020, published in April 2020.
See Our Ratings Methodology
The table above is an abridged version of our full research, so to find out more about NZ’s best broadband providers, just click on the big button at the bottom of this story.