Australians Pay More For The Walking Dead, But How Bad Is It Really?

At Kotaku Australia we like to whinge about the inflated prices we pay for 'things' as much as the next site. In video game land the differences can be astronomical but, according to consumer advocate group Choice, the situation with television shows is worse. According to a statement released this morning, we're paying 376% more for The Walking Dead compared to people in the US.

According to the statement from Choice, we could be paying a helluva lot more to watch the upcoming season of The Walking Dead compared to our overseas counterparts.

"Australians wanting to watch the upcoming season of Walking Dead will be paying up to 376 per cent more than people watching the same show in the United Kingdom," says CHOICE Chief Executive Alan Kirkland.

But Angus Kidman over at Lifehacker has a pretty convincing takedown of Choice's numbers, arguing that Choice is comparing the cost of buying The Walking Dead, on services like iTunes and Google Play, to the cost of Netflix and NowTV in the US and the UK — which are streaming services. According to Angus, that comparison is a little bit disingenuous and I'd be inclined to agree. Streaming content and buying content are two completely different things — this is why it costs more to 'buy' video content on, say, the PlayStation Store than it does to rent it.

Title Cheapest Netflix (AUD) Foxtel Home Foxtel Play Quickflix iTunes (AU) Google Play NowTV (UK)
Orange is the New Black (S2) $8.56 $8.56 $45.45 $45.00 $39.98 $30.90 $27.26 N/A
Difference N/A 0% 431% 426% 367% 261% 219% N/A
Walking Dead (S5) $8.41 N/A $33.64 $22.73 N/A $39.99 N/A $8.41
Difference N/A N/A 300% 170% N/A 376% N/A 0%

However, the problem in Australia is this: we don't have a streaming service like Netflix or NowTV — not officially at least — so what can Choice compare the prices to?

The situation, whichever way you look at it, is grim. We're stuck in the dark ages when it comes to the application of streaming technology and we're therefore being forced to pay these astronomical prices for content. We're forced to use these incredibly outdated business models and that sucks tremendously.


Comments

    I wouldn't pay to watch this show at all :P Love the comics/graphic novels but loathe the show (and yet I still sail the seven seas for it)

      It's shown on sbs anyway. I'd guess it's on their playback service too. can't really beat free! But unless you're up to date, you might be in trouble. I think they only keep shows up there for a few weeks at a time after broadcast.

        TWD is on SBS?????? :O Of all the channels to show it! Seriously kudos to them.

        I didn't think much of seasons 1 - 3, I've followed the comics since issue 1, but I have to admit season 4 brought it all back into alignment.

          Yeah they show it on SBS2. Not sure if it's on atm or not, but it's been on a few times this year. There's a lot of good content on SBS these days. Love it!

            Indeed! I've seen a few shows on there I've been surprised by. Possibly due to the fact 7 9 and 10 are redundant now due to the plethora of free to air channels. Well done sbs!

          season 4 was a blast. loved every minute of it.

            Same. The new showrunner was a perfect choice. The trailers for Season 5 look spot on too.

            BIG SPOILER HERE. THE SPOILER TAG ISN'T JUST FOR LOOKS.

            Daryl Dixon loses his hand it seems. Norman Reedus tweeted some pics showing it. Unless its a big hoax.

            DONT CLICK THAT UNLESS YOU WANT A BIG SPOILER. WARNING. SPOILER. DONT CLICK IT UNLESS YOU WANT A BIG SPOILER.

            The fact Rick finally became a badass, the Hunter storyline playing out *just* like the comics more or less, Terminus being a brand new element but being fantastic in its own right. The whole season needed direction, which the previous 3 never had and it paid off in spades.

              SPOILER AGAIN BUT ABOUT THE COMIC

              Wish they kept it as rick loosing his hand like in the comics

                I do too, but they never really *earnt* that. Apparently the people at Terminus do this to Daryl as a 'lesson', or something. Feels more impacting to Daryl given he's basically what Rick was meant to be.

                  yeah agree agree agree.

                  Last edited 10/09/14 10:36 am

        That's cool that they show it but it's not on "On Demand" is it's probably only "On Demand" when there's a season currently being screened.
        It's a good step forward but not really a substitute for Netflix. Yet.

        Last edited 09/09/14 3:14 pm

          yeah for sure. it's not always on demand, but it's a damn sight better than nothing at all :)

      I'm with you on this.
      That said, it would be great if there was a similar investigation in to how much the graphic novels cost with Australia tax. Kinokuniya sell these for about $40 each and whilst I love that place it's really not a great price. I'm not finding a great difference in price with other bookstores either and when I check on Amazon they're around $25 (so I'm guessing that's how much it costs in the US) but the delivery brings it back to around the same price.

      Where do you get your graphic novels of TWD and how much do they cost? I think I might just be settling for Compendiums from now on, but they take so damn long to come out.

        I'd been buying my hardcover copies from Minotaur in Melbourne at around $40 each (back when I first bought book 1 it was $62!). Haven't bought any for a while. 'Australia Tax' is the worst thing ever :(

        I get the hard covers - was going to go for the trade paperbacks, but the hardcovers just look nicer. The compendiums are too big and a pain in the ass to read, I think. The hard coers RRP for ~35 USD, so $40 isn't bad I've been getting them for that at Revolution CD in the ACT (Impact comics have em for $50). If they don't have what I'm up to I go the Amazon route (due to impatience) which only really saves $3 a book after I factor in shipping (would be more if I had the will power to buy them all in one go and not just chain read them).

    Be careful when comparing Foxtel to things like iTunes, Presto doesn't have HD and on Foxtel its an additional cost.

    This and the message: "uploader has not made this video available in your country", on every single AMC trailer is why I pirate TV shows.

      Or you could use a VPN to avoid that. Actually if you're pirating, you probably should be using a VPN anyway...

        LMAO if the authorities want to catch you they will. With our without a VPN

    Whilst I agree comparing streaming and purchasing content is disingenuous, this is chart saying how much it costs to view The Walking Dead at all. Currently our only options are Foxtel, purchase (with a time delay) or stream.

      Or you could just wait a little while and watch it on SBS for free

    On the contrary, I don't pay for it at all.

      You're not really helping all this piracy talk. It's because of comments like this that we we movie studios trying to screw up our internet

        On the contrary, I don't watch the show, hence I don't pay for it ;)

          Fair enough... But you can see how your comment can be taken out of context.... We all gotta be careful these days =p

            Haha, I was hoping someone would pull me up on it! *trap sprung!*

    But people don't just get Foxtel to watch the walking dead and orange is the new black, there's a lot of shows and Australian content that isn't available on Netflix, so I think it's not much of fair weigh up especially if you add on savings for people that don't have moderately priced internet as this is their primary method of watching media..

      If you can watch youtube videos in HD, you can stream on netflix.

      Not that I necessarily disagree with the rest of your post, just wanted to quash this idea that you need some crazy ADSL2+ for decent streaming.

        I was referring to usage quota, not speed.

    And they wonder why piracy is so rampant in australia.

      Does it count as piracy in Australia if you watch it online (Illegally of course) and the server that hosts the video isn't in Australia?

      Honestly though there's billions of ways to watch something for free online other than torrenting like a dumb ass.

    My wife is terrified of zombies... hence no Walking Dead allowed in the house.

    Just a footnote: The Last of Us is considered a legal grey area in my house.

      so you don't watch it cos she says so? wow and who controls your life? just watch it in your own time.

      I know! Right? I HATE zombie survival games. But the Last of Us... There's just... SOMETHING!

    holy moly, look how clean (and alive) everyone is in that photo! its like TWD: The Sitcom

      heh, only 3 people in that photo are currently alive on the show.

    How is that Netflix price calculated? Because Netflix costs a certain amount per month for access to a vast quantity of stuff. It's not directly comparable to (say) iTunes where all you get is the ONE thing you pay for.

    As for "streaming is not like owning", someone needs to get on board with streaming. After a few weeks of awesome HD streaming you will not care. At all.

    I don't think it's an unfair comparison, because at least in those markets consumers have the option to choose between streaming services or an outright purchase. And sometimes even outright purchase isn't an option here; the notable example of course being the most recent season of Game of Thrones, which was pulled from the iTunes store and Google Play to be a subscription TV exclusive.

    There's only 3 people left alive in that pic...

    Soon to be 2...

    There is nothing at all disingenuous when they are comparing our only access options to the access options available in the US and other countries. If we don't have access to it, what the hell would be the point in including it in a comparison for Australian consumers?!

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