Netflix and Bill: Comparing the Costs of Streaming Services in New Zealand

A Netflix subscription doesn’t set you back much. But what about when you start mixing and matching multiple streaming services? How much does it all add up to, and is it worth the money?

Remember the good old days before unlimited broadband and streaming TV services? If you wanted to watch films, sports, trashy US reality TV or a good comedy, there was only one option. A satellite dish, and a big, black Sky box underneath your TV.

Sure there were a few different packages to choose from, and not all of them were cheap, but it was all in the same place and you received one bill per month. Talk about simple.

Now, we’re faced with countless options to satisfy our viewing hunger. And while an individual streaming subscription can seem a good deal, the reality is for many of us, one just isn’t enough.

One provider has the best movie selection, while another is great for hard-hitting drama series. And then there’s that other one that has your favourite sitcom and a few guilty pleasure reality-TV hits, for when you need something a little more lighthearted.

How much are your streaming subscriptions costing you?

While an overload of choice doesn’t sound like much of an issue, and gone are the days of there being nothing good on TV, if you’re keen to mix and match your Netflix with your Neon, to dabble in Disney+ and Apple TV+, all with a bit of Prime Video served on the side, costs can quickly climb. Especially if you’re a sports fan looking to throw Spark Sport and/or Sky Sport Now into the picture, too!

While most streaming services cost just a few dollars a week, the total combined monthly cost is a bit of an eye-opener. Let alone what you’d be paying per year. Ultimately, this means if you’re keen to have it all at your fingertips, oodles of content anytime and anywhere, you’ll need to fork out for the privilege.

In the following guide, we break down the cost of every streaming service in New Zealand, along with what you can expect from each. To help you decide which combination of mix and matching suits your streaming needs best.


In this article:

The total cost of streaming services
Choosing a streaming service: features to consider
Netflix overview
Neon overview
Disney+ overview
Apple TV+ overview
Prime Video overview
Spark Sport and Sky Sport Now


best streaming services

Sign me up for everything!

So you want it all? In the table below we’ve run through the current costs of some of the more widely used streaming services available in New Zealand. We’ve then tallied up what it will cost per month and per year to subscribe to all of these services at once. And as the results show, it can really add up, with even the most basic packages coming in at over $1400 a year!

Netflix Neon Apple TV+ Disney+ Prime Video Spark Sport Sky Sport Now
Monthly cost* $12.99 – $24.99 $15.99 $8.99 – $23.95 $12.99 $8 $19.99 – $24.99 $39.99
Total monthly cost(*) $118.94 – $150.90
Total yearly cost(*) $1427.28 – $1810.80

Of course, the nature of streaming services is that you can subscribe from month to month and cancel at short notice. You might be keen on Netflix one month and Neon the next, leaving a service and then picking up where you left off at a later point. This could make the cost much more manageable, and avoid having services you only use for a show or two. 

Related article: Netflix to Neon: the Top Streaming Shows in NZ

Streaming services: features to consider

Below we’ve run through what’s currently on offer from some of the larger streaming providers. Of course, you’ll ultimately need to decide if the price tag represents good value for the content on offer.

Keep in mind that you’ll need ample data to cater for your streaming activities, whether at home or on the go.

Before we dive into each service, here are a few key streaming service features to consider:

  • Device compatibility – what device/s will you be seeking to stream on? Make sure prior to signing up that your device/s will be compatible
  • Maximum simultaneous streams – how many devices can you stream on at one time? Multiple streams can be a good option for large households
  • Download to watch offline – allows you to download TV shows and movies for later offline viewing (typically available for mobile devices)
  • Video quality – HD video is a streaming standard, while many streaming providers also offer UHD video quality for select content
  • Free trial – a free trial can help you get a handle on the content on offer and how the platform works. Also remember that if a plan automatically renews at the end of the trial period, you’ll need to cancel your account if you don’t wish to proceed.

Stream with the best broadband

If you want to watch streaming TV, an ultra-fast broadband plan is essential. And if you want to know more about 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 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:

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.

Compare broadband providers for free with Canstar Blue!


 

Streaming services in New Zealand

Netflix

Netflix is the big name in streaming around the world. While not the first-ever streaming service, it is in many ways the pioneer and first true success story of the current market. Sure, a lot more competition has emerged in recent years, and its share has dwindled as a result. But Netflix remains a go-to option for subscribers keen to access an abundance of content.

Netflix’s ever-evolving library spans both original TV series and movies across all genres, with an extensive back catalogue of content on offer.

What’s streaming now

The Netflix series line-up includes:

  • Stranger Things
  •  Squid Game
  •  Ozark
  •  Bridgerton
  •  The Witcher
  • The Umbrella Academy 

The Netflix movie line-up includes:

  • Hustle
  •  Interceptor
  •  Red Notice
  • The Adam Project

Key features

  • Device compatibility – smart-TV, mobile, desktop and game console devices
  • Maximum simultaneous streams – four (premium plan)
  • Download to watch offline – yes
  • Video quality – HD, UHD (premium plan)
  • Free trial – no

Pricing*

Netflix offers three plan options:

  • Basic plan – $12.99 per month (one screen, SD)
  • Standard plan – $18.49 (two screens, HD)
  • Premium plan $24.99 (four screens, UHD)

Neon

Sky’s Neon streaming service catalogue is stacked with an extensive range of TV series and movies from around the world. There’s certainly no shortage of high-profile TV series courtesy of Sky’s partnership with HBO. This makes Neon an excellent choice for those wanting access to the many hard-hitting and critically acclaimed series from HBO, particularly as HBO Max isn’t currently available in New Zealand.

The Neon library spans an array of genres across both TV and movie programming, including New Zealand content.

What’s streaming now

The Neon series line-up includes:

  • Yellowstone
  •  The Staircase
  •  The Time Traveler’s Wife
  •  The Flight Attendant
  •  We Own This City
  •  Better Call Saul
  • Julia

The Neon TV series line-up includes:

  • Joe Bell
  • No Sudden Move
  • Ammonite
  • The Suicide Squad

Key features

  • Device compatibility – smart TV, mobile, desktop and game console devices
  • Maximum simultaneous streams – two
  • Download to watch offline – selected content
  • Video quality – HD
  • Free trial – no

Pricing*

Neon costs $15.99 per month or, for a cheaper alternative, $159.99 for an annual subscription

Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is a comparatively recent entrant to the subscription streaming market, having launched towards the end of 2019. However, it has steadily added to its catalogue over the past few years, which is distinguished by its selection of original TV series and movies.

While Apple TV+ doesn’t have the extensive libraries of some of its competitors, its focus is very much on original content, much of which has been critically well received. And with the riches and resources of Apple driving it, you can expect the catalogue to steadily grow with quality content.

However, currently, if you’re looking for plenty of choices, including comfort-watch rom-coms and sitcoms, Apple TV+ may not be the best streaming service for you.

What’s streaming now

The Apple TV+ series line-up includes:

  • Ted Lasso,
  • For All Mankind
  • Shining Girls
  • Pachinko
  • Physical
  • Severance
  • The Essex Serpent
  • Slow Horses 

The Apple TV+ movie line-up includes:

  • CODA
  • The Sky Is Everywhere
  • Swan Song
  • Finch

Key features

  • Device compatibility – smart TV, mobile, desktop and game console devices
  • Maximum simultaneous streams – six
  • Download to watch offline – to an Apple device
  • Video quality – HD, UHD
  • Free trial – a free seven-day trial with a monthly subscription; a free one-month trial when bundled with Apple One (bundling five separate Apple services); free for three months with the purchase of an eligible Apple device

Pricing*

Apple TV+ can be purchased for $8.99 per month. Or, you can pay $23.95 per month for Apple One, which includes a subscription to the following services, at a discounted rate (compared to purchasing individually):

  • Apple TV+
  • Apple Music
  • iCloud+
  • Apple Arcade
  • Apple Fitness+

disney plus logo

Disney+

Disney+ arrived in New Zealand at around the same time as Apple TV+, hitting the market with a significant back catalogue of content. 

A comprehensive selection of children’s TV and movie content makes Disney+ stand out as a family favourite in the broader streaming market. However, due to Dinsey’s ownership of companies such as Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox, and National Geographic, its content extends far beyond Disney movies and kid-catered content.

Not only does Disney+ have an extensive back catalogue of content from the above companies (and more) but it has an evolving library of new and original content. Disney is also pushing a policy of exclusive content. Meaning content from Disney subsidiaries that have appeared on other streaming platforms in the past is being removed and moved to Disney+.

What’s streaming now

The Disney+ series line-up includes:

  • The Simpsons
  • Greys Anatomy
  • Wanda Vision
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • The Mandalorian
  • Family Guy
  • The Beatles: Get Back
  • What We Do In the Shadows

The Disney+ movie line-up includes:

  • Encanto
  • Frozen
  • The Lion King
  • Nightmare Alley
  • Nomadland
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars Franchise
  • The Avengers Franchise
  • Fight Club

Key features

  • Device compatibility – smart TV, mobile, desktop and game console devices
  • Maximum simultaneous streams – four
  • Download to watch offline – any movie or TV series
  • Video quality – HD, UHD
  • Free trial – no

Pricing*

Disney+ costs $12.99 per month, or for a cheaper alternative, $129.99 for an annual subscription.

Prime Video

Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service was a comparatively early entrant to New Zealand and has over the years carved out a strong niche in the local market. It distinguishes itself with an evolving library of original content.

Prime Video regularly releases new TV series and movies, while also offering an extensive back catalogue of content. It is also releasing the upcoming Lord of the Rings spin-off series, The Lord of the Rings: the Rings of Power.

What’s streaming now

The Prime Video series line-up includes:

  • 1883
  • The Boys
  • Night Sky
  • The Wilds
  • Conversations with Friends
  • Upload
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Top Gear

The Prime Video movie line-up includes:

  • Emergency
  • The Contractor
  • I Want You Back
  • Juniper

Key features

  • Device compatibility – smart TV, mobile, desktop and game console devices
  • Maximum simultaneous streams – three
  • Download to watch offline – yes
  • Video quality – HD, UHD
  • Free trial – seven days

Pricing*

Prime Video is the cheapest of the main streaming service providers in New Zealand, costing just $8 per month.

Spark Sport

Spark Sport’s roster of sports includes:

  • New Zealand cricket, England cricket
  • The UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Europa Conference League
  • Formula 1, MotoGP
  • Selected NFL games

It also has channels including Spark Sport 1, NBA TV, MUTV, LFCTV, EDGE TV and TAB Trackside, playing sports around the clock.

Key features

  • Device compatibility – smart TV, mobile, desktop and game console devices
  • Maximum simultaneous streams – one
  • Download to watch offline – no
  • Video quality – HD
  • Free trial – seven days

Pricing*

Spark Sport has several pricing options:

  • $19.99 per month for Spark customers (on selected mobile or broadband plans)
  • $24.99 per month
  • $135 for a six-month subscription
  • $255 for an annual subscription

Sky Sport now Logo

Sky Sport Now

Sky Sport Now provides subscribers access to 12 Sky Sport and ESPN channels, live and on-demand, with its sporting calendar spanning a broad range of local and international sports. Subscribers can access sports live or with 24-hour playback.

Sports covered include:

  • The Premier League
  • Every All Blacks game
  • The Bledisloe Cup, the Rugby Championship, Farah Palmer Cup, Bunnings NPC 
  • ANZ Premiership netball
  • All NRL and Warriors games
  • Supercars, IndyCar
  • SailGP
  • PGA golf
  • NBA, NFL, NHL
  • The Tour de France
  • WNCL, the Ashes and IPL

Key features

  • Device compatibility – smart TV, mobile, desktop and game console devices
  • Maximum simultaneous streams – one
  • Download to watch offline – no
  • Video quality – HD
  • Free trial – seven days

Pricing*

Sky Sport Now costs $19.99 per week, $39.99 per month or $399 per year

*Further information on pricing can be found at individual provider websites. This should be used as a starter guide and not considered an actual quote.

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About the author of this page

 Martin KovacsThis report was written by Canstar author Martin Kovacs. Martin is a freelance writer with experience covering the business, consumer technology and utilities sectors. Martin has written about a wide range of topics across both print and digital publications, including the manner in which industry continues to adapt and evolve amid the rollout of new technologies


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