Smartphones offer a window to the world, ensuring you never have to be lonely, bored, without music or without something to watch. Since 2015, streaming has made up the largest component of record industry revenue. Video streaming apps like Netflix and Neon have also shaken up the industry, with some of the top movies and programmes now bypassing cinemas and TV.
All of this is great news for mobile-savvy customers, as it means a greater amount of choice for music and video at the end of your fingertips, and no need to lug around CD wallets like in the old days! But if you are streaming music and videos 24/7, it is easy to chew through data. It pays to get a good mobile plan so you do not face unexpected bills nor fork out more than you have to.
What are the best mobile plans for streaming music and video?
Here is a selection of providers and their data plans that would be suitable for a certain level of music and video streaming, listed in no particular order.
Skinny Mobile Prepaid
Skinny Mobile offers a wide range of prepaid plans. The plans offering oodles of data are:
- $36 for 4.5GB rollover data
- $46 for 12GB rollover data
- $66 for 30GB rollover data
All of these plans last for 28 days and include unlimited calls and texts, plus 2GB of free data on weekends until March 2019. It is also possible to get add-ons, if this is still not enough data or you run out just before your 28 days is up. Add-ons range from $4 for 200MB over seven days, to $15 for 2GB over 28 days.
Skinny also offers streaming friendly one-off deals, such as a bonus 5GB rollover data when you switch to Skinny and a free pair of earphones worth $109 when you buy any Nokia smartphone.
Spark offers a range of prepaid and pay month plans (see below for the pay monthly plans). Its prepaid plans include 50% off Spotify Premium, the world’s most popular music streaming app. It’s high-data prepaid plans are:
- $40 for 4.5GB rollover data
- $49 for 4GB rollover data, 500 rollover minutes and unlimited texts
Both plans last for four weeks. Currently, the $49 plan also comes with 4GB bonus data each month and a free 10GB Socialiser data for six months, which can be used on Spotify streaming, as well as Facebook, Messenger and Twitter. The $40 plan also comes with 1GB Socialiser data.
It is also possible to buy add-ons each month with these prepaid plans, including $5 for 100MB extra data, $9 for 1GB of Socialiser data or $15 for 1GB extra data.
Spark Pay Monthly Plans
Spark’s pay monthly plans seem to be designed for customers who like to stream music and videos. Each plan comes with free Spotify Premium for up to 24 months and free Lightbox. The monthly plans include:
- $59.95 for 4GB rollover data, unlimited talk and text
- $79.95 for unlimited data, talk and text
The $59.95 plan currently comes with 4GB bonus data each month and 10GB Socialiser data for six months. Add-ons can be bought each month including $5 for 100MB extra data, $9 for 1GB of Socialiser data or $15 for 1GB extra data. With the unlimited plan, maximum speeds are reduced after 22GB and there is no tethering or hotspots unless you buy a Hotspot Extra – $1 per month for 1GB or $10 per month for 10GB. Spark also has one-off streaming friendly offers, such as 50% off Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones with selected iPhones on a $59.99 or above Pay Monthly plan.
Vodafone Pay Monthly
Vodafone offers a range of pay monthly and prepaid plans (see below for details on prepay). Its pay monthly plans are geared toward people who enjoy streaming, with one year’s free Netflix on offer, and the option to buy music or video passes. The streaming friendly plans are:
- $39.99 per month for 2.5GB data, 300 mins and unlimited texts
- $59.95 per month for 10GB data, unlimited talk and texts
- $79.95 for unlimited data, talk and texts
The $39.99 and 10GB plan allow tethering, hotspots and the chance to share data with family or a tablet. The unlimited plan allows hotspots for an extra $15 per month.
Vodafone also offers a chance to buy a Music Pass, offering endless streaming through New Zealand’s favourite music apps – Spotify, Apple Music, iHeartRadio, Rova, SoundCloud and Tidal. The Music Pass costs from $2 for one day up to $10 for 28 days. A Video Pass can also be bought for free streaming on popular video apps Netflix, NEON, SKY GO, Vodafone TV and TVNZ On Demand. The Video Pass costs from $5 for one day to $20 for 28 days.
Vodafone has flexible prepay plans, so you can choose what suits you best, but 4GB is the maximum amount of data. The highest-data options include:
- $36 per month for 4GB data, 50 minutes and 50 texts
- $44 per month for 4GB data, 300 minutes and unlimited texts
These plans include a special bonus for younger customers: 500MB free for every $20 top-up if you’re under 25. Vodafone is also offering 1.5GB of data free for 90 days if you bring your number from another network. You can also buy extra data as an add-on, ranging from $3 for 300MB over one day to $45 for 2.5GB over 30 days.
2degrees mobile has a range of prepaid and pay monthly plans on offer (see below for the pay monthly plans). The high-data prepaid plans are:
- $49 per month for 10GB carryover data, 200 minutes and unlimited texts
- $50 per month for 15GB data
- $99 for 12GB data, valid for six months
As well as these plans, 2degrees offers Data Clock streaming, which means you can use unlimited mobile data in bursts, which is especially good for streaming video. The Data Clock costs range from 40c for 15 minutes to $6 for 24 hours, so you can choose what suits you best (depending on how much binge-watching you plan on doing). 2degrees currently offers an hour of free mobile data every day for customers with carryover plans and combos.
2degrees Pay Monthly
As well as its prepaid option above, 2degrees also offers pay monthly plans. The best plans on offer for streaming are:
- $55 per month for 10GB carryover data
- $70 per month for 25GB carryover data
Both of these plans include unlimited calls and texts, and a free hour of data every day. It is possible to buy data add-ons, ranging from $10 for 500MB to $50 for 15GB per month. 2degrees Data Clock streaming is also available with pay monthly plans.
Warehouse Mobile Prepaid
Warehouse Mobile offers a range of flexible prepaid plans, although the amount of data is limited to 5GB. Its top high-data plans are:
- $30 for 5GB data
- $38 for 5GB data, 200 minutes, unlimited texts
The plans last for the slightly longer term of 31 days. Warehouse Mobile occasionally offers specials, such as double data.