Banner graphic for SafeWise's Australian health insurance comparison

9Now review

Channel 9’s catch-up service has plenty of interesting content – and plenty of ads too.

9now icon
9NOW
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Price
Free
Max. video quality
Up to 1080p
Ads
Yes
Alex Kidman
Jan 22, 2024
Icon Time To Read3 min read

We may earn money when you click our links.

pro
Pros
pro Easily available from most mobiles, browsers and selected Smart TVs and consoles
pro Wide library of Nine’s Australian content on tap
pro Live TV or content on demand
con
Cons
con Ad-supported with plenty of ads
con Seems less stable on some platforms than it should be

What is 9Now?

If you’re a free-to-air broadcaster in Australia, you simply have to provide some form of streaming catch-up and video on demand service to allow more Australians to enjoy your content. 9Now is Channel 9’s version of that kind of service, taking on the likes of 10Play, 7plus, ABC iView and SBS on Demand.

9now streaming service

Where can I watch 9Now?


9Now can run in any web browser window, but it also has apps available for Android and iOS platforms, a fairly wide selection of Smart TV platforms and select set top box options such as Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Fetch TV.

Like a lot of its free to air counterparts, the one big challenge here for some Australians is if you’ve got an older Smart TV that came with 9Now out of the box. Smart TV makers don’t always make it all that simple to update those apps – and in some cases the app providers and streaming services look at the number of users and figure it’s not feasible or cost effective to do so – and so while an app icon sits on your smart TV, it won’t connect to the service or in some cases refuses to actually play the shows you want to.

The best workaround for this if it happens to you isn’t to go shopping for a new Smart TV, but instead hook it up to a cheap streaming dongle such as a Google Chromecast with Google TV or Amazon Fire TV stick.

Info Box
Why is it called 9Now?

Because the service offers immediate access to Channel 9 programming, both live and on-demand. It’s quite literally 9… Now – as long as your Internet connection can keep up.

How much does 9Now cost?

9Now’s service is free to use for all Australians, beyond any data usage charges that may apply if you’re watching on a service without unlimited data quotas, such as many mobile plans. It’s ad supported, with unskippable ads inserted in programs you’re watching, or delivered as part of the stream of any live 9Now channel.

Service
Details
Monthly price
More info
Binge Standard plan
4K streaming
2 streams
Deal: 7-day free trial
$18/mth
Apple TV+Apple TV+ plan
4K streaming
6 streams (Family Sharing)
Deal: 7-day free trial
$12.99/mth
Disney PlusDisney+ Standard plan
HD streaming
2 streams
Deal: $139.99 for 12mths
$13.99/mth
Disney PlusDisney+ Premium plan
4K streaming
4 streams
Deal: $179.99 for 12mths
$17.99/mth
NetflixNetflix Standard + Ads
HD streaming
2 streams
$6.99/mth
StanStan Basic plan
SD streaming
1 stream
$12/mth
Kayo SportsKayo One Plan
HD streaming
1 stream
Deal: 7-day free trial
$25/mth
Foxtel Now | 2022 logo | Reviews.org AustraliaFoxtel Now Essentials
HD streaming
2 streams
Access to over 30 channels
Deal: 10-day free trial
$25/mth
ShudderShudder plan
HD streaming
1 stream
Deal: 7-day free trial
$6.99/mth
Hayu | Provider logoHayu Plan
HD streaming
1 stream
Deal: 7-day free trial
$6.99/mth
Paramount+Paramount+ plan
HD streaming
2 streams
Deal: 7-day free trial
$9.99/mth
Rev Streaming
We waste our time, so you don’t waste yours
There’s too much good TV and not enough time. We take the guesswork out with our weekly picks for what to watch.

You can’t watch it all, so we watch it for you.

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

What is the 9Now interface like?

The way that 9Now presents itself does differ a little depending on the device you’re watching on, but in the main it uses a quite standard carousel style interface that highlights specific programs to watch on a home screen. 9Now is a little simpler than some competitors, splitting between just a Home carousel, live channel selection and then a category picker for on-demand content, as well as a search function to find the specific program you want to watch.

There’s a stronger focus here than with some of its competitors to push its live channels than most, and within categories it’s more focused around program genres than it is, say, splitting movie or TV show content.

9now

9Now does allow for quality settings up to 1080p, but not on every single supported platform. If you’re watching on a mobile or tablet device you should see a quality selector that lets you shift between an auto setting (best quality available, up to 1080p) or data saver setting (lower picture quality, up to 360p). However on set top boxes and browser windows you may see different options depending on your connection and device type; in some cases we maxed out at 720p, or weren’t offered the choice at all.

We also noticed that on the exact same internet connection, it seemed a little more responsive on mobile or browser connections than it did via (for example) a Google Chromecast with Google TV. 9Now also offers a “start over” function if you’re watching a live channel over the Internet, letting you jump back to the start of a progam if you missed the beginning of it.

Not shockingly, 9Now is ad supported, with ads inserted through programs. You do get some kind of idea when they’re coming with markers in the timeline that indicate when to expect them, but once they’re playing, there’s no indication of how many ads you’ll get or how much longer you’ll wait until the program starts up again. Like most of its competitors, some ad insertions can be a little jarring, too.

What movies and shows are on 9Now?

Play Video

The 9Now library has a mix of content, and like its competitors its content offerings will vary over time. Predictably, its big hit shows – the likes of LEGO Masters, Married At First Sight and so on – alongside select sporting events such as Tennis, Cricket and NRL and a library of classic shows to pick from. While Channel 9 has been broadcasting in Australia since 1956, the offerings in terms of iconic and classic 9 programming from decades past is a little on the thin side – but then that’s true for most broadcasters, especially for older programs that may not have aged well in terms of content and picture quality.

9Now FAQs

Can I watch 9Now from outside Australia?

9Now looks for Australian IP addresses or geolocation from mobile devices to restrict access (officially speaking) to Australian customers. If you’re travelling and you’re desperate for your MAFS fix, you could try using a VPN, but it’s not guaranteed that this will work.

Does 9Now offer offline downloads?
Not at all. 9Now’s focus is strongly on promoting its live broadcast channels, so much so that by default on most platforms its menu includes an underlying feed of the current Channel 9 show.
Do I have to have a 9Now account to watch?

Yes, though you could technically load up the 9Now webpage and watch the current Channel 9 show through the interface. Otherwise you’ll need a 9 account – activated via email – to watch any 9Now content.

Does 9Now offer accessibility features like closed captioning and audio descriptions?
Yes, though availability depends on the specific program that you’re choosing to watch.
How much data does 9Now use?
9Now uses adaptive streaming to try to give you the best possible picture quality based on your current broadband connection. While it offers content at up to 1080p claimed resolution, it does not (at the time of writing) supply data usage figures for that quality setting. Here’s what it claims about its data usage at lower resolutions:
Video Quality (on Demand)
Image Resolution
Estimated Data Usage Per Hour
High720p1.2GB
Medium540p0.8GB
Low270p0.2GB
Video Quality (Live TV)
Image Resolution
Estimated Data Usage Per Hour
High720p1.8GB
Medium540p0.9GB
Low270p0.2GB
Alex Kidman
Written by
Alex Kidman
Alex Kidman is some kind of word-generating AI from the future that somehow worked out how to sneak back in time to 1998 to start its journalism career. Across that time, including editorial stints at ZDNet, CNET, Gizmodo, PC Mag and Finder, as well as contributions to every major tech masthead, nobody has quite managed to figure out this deeply held secret. Let’s keep it between us, OK?

Related Articles

Kogan Internet NBN Review
Kogan Internet: Plans and prices
Kogan wants to connect you to the internet.
Man looking at smartphone
Coles Mobile: Plans and prices
How does Australia's second supermarket telco rate?
Smartphones in a crowd with flashlights on
Numobile: Plans and prices
Need a new mobile plan? Try Numobile.