Secret Streaming

Netflix launching in Australia has created a flurry of activity in the local video streaming market. From barely anything, we suddenly have a choice of many: [Netflix][netflix], [Stan][stan]1, [Presto][presto], [Foxtel Play][foxtel], and probably more.

The consequence of which is option paralysis - which service to use? The obvious way to decide is to make a list of what you want to watch, then go find the best match. Simple, right? Strangely not. For reasons best known to themselves, most of the services don’t publish an episode guide.

Netflix has a bare bones home page and no information about what is on. Stan is similar, though teases a few big name shows and movies. Foxtel apparently has thousands of hours of on demand content, but good luck finding out what those hours actually contain. Presto at least provides a guide to what’s on, but unfortunately it is a mostly a woeful list of 3rd rate or ancient shows.

There are third party sites–[at least for Netflix][allflix]–which endeavour to provide what the first parties won’t, but it’s a very strange phenomena. Music subscription services all allow you to check out what’s available before signing up, and you’d never normally subscribe to something sight unseen2.

Why the streaming secrecy when it comes to video? [

netflix]: [stan]: [presto]: [foxtel]: [allflix]:

  1. Stan gets a special award for terrible advertising. Overweight model, unicorns, puppy suits? Sign me up! ↩︎

  2. They all offer a free trial, which is one way to find out. But who wants to create usernames, passwords, and provide payment details, just to see what is on. ↩︎