10 All Access Review: The tribe has spoken
Our verdict: Is 10 All Access worth it?
If Foxtel Now is streaming’s Biggest Loser, 10 All Access never made it to the weigh-in. The service launched back in 2018 with complete seasons of The Bachelor, NCIS, and The Good Fight (all TV series with dedicated fans) but many of its popular shows are already available on alternative (and better) streaming services including 10 Play, which is completely free.
It also never grew from there into anything that demanded the $9.99 per month subscription fee. Add the fact that it couldn’t even lock down the most popular originals from CBS All Access (CBS acquired Network 10 in 2017), and the result is one unmitigated failure.
What you might like…
- Cop procedurals, reality TV and comedy classics
What could be better…
- Small library that hasn’t grown in two years
- No movies
- The price isn’t right
- Missing key CBS All Access originals
- 10 Play has a lot of the same content for free
When it first launched in 2018, 10 All Access entered an already saturated streaming market. Even still, the idea of a localised CBS All Access that combined Network 10’s best efforts with its international benefactor’s seemed promising. The American network did, after all, have an ace up its sleeve: all-important exclusive original productions from one of history’s biggest science-fiction franchises, Star Trek. Now, over two years later, that slither of promise is all but dust, as the platform readies itself for an early retirement.
What’s next for 10 All Access?
Parent company ViacomCBS has announced that the 10 All Access platform will be rebranded under the Paramount Plus banner sometime in early 2021, copping the same treatment as the US version, CBS All Access.
Australia will be among the first countries to receive Paramount Plus, a revamped streaming platform that has some originals in production, such as The Offer, a limited 10-episode series that retells the story of The Godfather’s production.
According to the ViacomCBS press release, Paramount Plus will retain all CBS All Access content. So most of the content available on 10 All Access should transition over to Paramount Plus when it launches in Australia, but there’s no guarantee yet that CBS All Access originals that aren’t available on 10 All Access, such as Picard and Star Trek: Lower Decks, will make the jump.
We also don’t know whether or not popular Paramount content such as Yellowstone and Showtime series like Twin Peaks will stick around on Stan or whether Paramount plans to lock down those shows for its own service in Australia.
So while 10 All Access itself is in its twilight months, its content will find a new home on Paramount Plus here in Australia and will hopefully be shacking up with some more exciting original content.
10 All Access pricing
One overpriced plan.
- $9.99 per month
- 30-day free trial
10 All Access only offers one plan at $9.99 per month, and while we usually appreciate that sort of simplicity, it’s still more expensive than a lot of the competition, including Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV Plus.
10 All Access free trial
One small saving grace is that 10 All Access still offers a 30-day free trial where other services don’t.
Unfortunately, 30 days is more than enough time to figure out what’s Below Deck and jump ship without paying a cent.
Alternatives to 10 All Access
If you’re not sold on 10 All Access, I don’t blame you. Here’s how it stacks up against other Australian streaming services that are worthy of your subscription dollars:
10 All Access supported devices
Three simultaneous streams and not many supported devices.
10 All Access subscriptions all offer three simultaneous streams at any given time, which is quite generous at that price. The issue is, not a lot of devices support 10 All Access. The important ones are there, sure. You can stream via a web browser, there are iOS and Android apps for smartphone and tablet streaming, and it can be accessed via the most popular streaming media devices (e.g. Chromecast, Apple TV and selected Android TV devices). Even Fetch TV has generously offered support for 10 All Access users. But there isn’t support for gaming consoles, such as PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S (or any last-gen consoles for that matter), and no available apps for popular smart TV brands (Sony, Samsung, LG etc.).
Here’s the list of devices 10 All Access supports:
- Desktop/laptop (via web browser)
- Smartphones/tablets (iOS and Android)
- Google Chromecast
- Apple TV
- Selected Android TV devices
- Fetch TV
10 All Access video quality
Taking another hit, 10 All Access streams are capped 720p high definition (HD). There’s no 4K or HDR in sight. 720p HD streaming is fairly common for a streaming service but, inexplicably, certain titles are dropped to standard definition (SD).
This would be understandable if it applied to older shows that aren’t upscaled or encoded as HD, but that’s not the case. In fact, some shows that aired in HD stream in SD on 10 All Access, while certain older shows are encoded in HD.
10 All Access shows
Not really givin’ it all she’s got, Captain.
- Cop dramas like NCIS and Blue Bloods
- Courtroom dramas like The Good Wife and The Good Fight
- Comedy classics like Cheers and Frasier
- Reality TV like Survivor and The Bachelor
- Small TV library with no movies
Possibly the most exciting original Australians could have hoped for when 10 All Access was first teased was Star Trek: Discovery (and later Picard and Lower Decks). Discovery eventually released before 10 All Access launched, and found its home on Netflix locally. That felt like an unfortunate case of timing that 10 All Access would have to stomach.
Now, over two years after its launch, 10 All Access has had the time to catch up and establish itself but you still won’t find the most popular CBS All Access originals on the service. Picard, Star Trek: Lower Decks and The Stand are all available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in Australia.
From the content void, 10 All Access did manage to grab hold of one highly-anticipated original, Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone, but it premiered about two months too late.
To be frank, The Twilight Zone reboot was a bit of a let-down itself, but Australians had more than enough time to figure that out before it eventually released on 10 All Access.
Enough of what isn’t on 10 All Access, though. Let’s talk about what is available. Don’t get too excited, it’s not much.
As far as recent releases go, 10 All Access has a few TV originals that most people haven’t heard of. Strange Angel is a biographical drama based on the life of rocket scientist Jack Parsons (which was cancelled after two seasons).
Why Women Kill is perhaps the most recent, and most promising exclusive. It’s a dark comedy anthology series starring Lucy Liu (Ally McBeal), Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love), and Kirby Howell-Baptiste (The Good Place) that follows each lead in a separate timeline, each story concluding with a dead husband. It actually looks pretty tight.
But I can’t recommend signing up to 10 All Access for a single TV show.
That said, there may well be something on 10 All Access that tickles your fancy. It’s got old episodes of Neighbours, The Bachelor, and Survivor. All the stuff you’d typically find on Network 10, including long-running police procedurals like Numb3rs, NCIS and Blue Bloods.
I can even respect someone who wants to catch up with old episodes of Charmed, and you’ll certainly hear no complaints from me if you want to binge all-time sitcom classics such as Cheers, Frasier and Becker. But honestly, I’ve just rattled off about the extent of what there is to offer on 10 All Access.
Here’s the thing, though. If NCIS, Blue Bloods, Neighbours and The Bachelor are what you’re looking for, you’ll find most of it 100% free on catch-up service 10 Play. Maybe not every episode, sure, but definitely the latest.
10 Play even has 64 episodes of Big Bang Theory, one of the network’s biggest TV shows, where 10 All Access has none. And don’t even think about asking where Young Sheldon is (9now, Binge and Foxtel Now).
10 All Access also isn’t the kind of service you rely on to find something new and exciting.
In fact, in terms of sheer library size, 10 All Access only has roughly 140 TV shows in its entire library. Library size isn’t everything, it’s about the quality of content available, but those numbers are incredibly low in contrast to the competition, and have barely grown since the service launched.
For comparison, Netflix and Prime Video have around 1,990 and 1,630 TV shows, respectively (plus some of the most popular originals on TV). Even the local competition blows 10 All Access out of the water. Stan has around 550 TV shows, Binge has roughly 790 less than a year after launch, and Foxtel Now has over 1,400 series ready to binge. More importantly, these services house the kind of shows people want to watch, and they’re always adding more. 10 All Access? Not so much.
Lastly, 10 All Access only hosts TV shows. There’s not a single movie to be found on the service, which puts it at a huge disadvantage considering the vast movie libraries offered by Prime Video, Stan, Netflix and Binge.
10 All Access features and accessibility
Subtitles and closed captioning are available but accessibility options are slim pickings.
- Subtitles and closed captions available
- No offline viewing
- No language selection
- No subtitle customisation
We’ve already covered the fact that 10 All Access doesn’t offer 4K or HDR, premium features offered by bigger streaming services, but that’s just the beginning. There’s also no option to download titles for offline viewing, and while it does offer English subtitles and Closed Captions, there are no non-English subtitles or audio options and no descriptive audio. Granted, these are features that a lot of niche services don’t offer either but it’s worth noting that the platform itself is a little undercooked when it comes to features and accessibility.
Is 10 All Access worth it?
Whichever way you cut it, there’s just no way 10 All Access is worth it. After a sizable marketing campaign at launch, we patiently waited for the streaming platform to do something. Anything. But no, 10 All Access didn’t even blink.
Imagine this: An old friend returns from some much-needed R&R in America. You’re surprised to see they have matured, both physically and emotionally. It’s the friend you remember, just a little better kept and world-weary. Upon their return, they announce a big, ostentatious party.
The guest list is huge; Patrick Stewart, Jordan Peele and old friends like Téa Leoni and Ted Danson, just to name a few. You’re put off by the $9.99 cover charge, but you’re assured the first three hours are free.
The night arrives, and you rock up to the party only to be greeted by Osher Günsberg. He shakes your hand and aggressively pulls you in for a hug. Over his shoulder, you notice your friend. They’re biting their nails, scanning the room. They look nervous.
“Jordan Peele will be a bit late,” they explain.
No worries, you think.
You pour a drink as you peer over the top of the crowd, hoping to spot Patrick Stewart’s shiny head. At the back of the party, you notice your friend heading for the back door.
“Doing a drink run,” they shout. Later, you recall the packed suitcase under their arm.
A few hours go by and Leroy Jethro Gibbs (NCIS) is repeating the same decade-old story he told an hour ago. You check the time. The slowest two hours of your life have passed, and you can’t stop looking towards the back door. The Good Wife Julianna Margulies joins your circle, and Gibbs starts the story from the top. You actually love Julianna Margulies, but still, you forego all social grace and check Instagram and would you believe it, you see Patrick Stewart staring back at you. Behind him, there’s a lavish party with some of the most interesting people you know; Ms Maisel, Bosch, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, they’re all there, and they all look so… happy.
It’s the Amazon Prime Video party. The party you were meant to be at.
Suddenly, a fight breaks out between Tom Selleck and Briggs. As they choke each other out on the floor, The King of Queens emerges from the kitchen, howling while a fire rages behind him. Amidst the chaos, you make a break for the backdoor.
Briefly, you pause by a donations box and pull a crisp $10 note from your wallet. Sighing a deep breath of disappointment, you return the $10 to your wallet before calling an Uber.
That is what it’s like to use 10 All Access. I don’t recommend it.
It would be nice to wish 10 All Access well in its second life under the Paramount Plus banner, but at this stage, that move looks like it could impact Stan, a streaming service we actually really enjoy using.