Streaming services have been the true heroes of lockdown - but if you’re looking for some new shows to watch, you might be thinking of subscribing to something new. But which service is going to get you the most for your money? We’ve been checking out the streaming heavyweights to find out which of the services is worth forking out for.
Netflix absolutely dominates when it comes to streaming services, and it’s easy to see why; it’s easy to use, you can watch on multiple devices simultaneously and most importantly, it has a huge range of films and series. In terms of programmes, you’ve got a lot of old favourites as well as a ton of original series - and Netflix has won 72 Academy Awards to date, so you know that you’re in for some solid storylines.
There are a number of pricing options to choose from, starting at £5.99 a month to watch on a single device, £8.99 to watch on two devices simultaneously and £11.99 for up to four devices at once. If you’re wanting to watch in HD, however, you’re going to need to pay a little extra; HD and Ultra HD are only available when you pay £8.99 and £11.99 respectively. It’s also free of advertisements, so you’re not going to be interrupted in the middle of a binge watching session.
One of the great things about Netflix is its recommendations. If you rate the films and shows you like, Netflix’ algorithm is going to throw more great content at you.
Just starting out with Netflix? Try out Tiger King, a documentary that (starts) with the world of big cats in captivity
Amazon Prime Video is the second most popular streaming service in the UK, following behind Netflix. Just like Netflix, it's easy to use; and, if you sign up to Amazon Prime rather than Amazon Prime Video, it comes with a few perks to make your shopping experience on Amazon just that little bit better (like next day delivery!). Amazon Prime Video is also producing original shows and films, so there’s always something new around the corner.
You can also watch popular shows from other networks like HBO on Amazon Prime Video without any extra cost. One of the downsides to Prime Video is that there is a restriction on how many devices can watch the same title at once; for the moment it’s set at 2. You can, however, watch three different titles simultaneously from a single account. In terms of pricing, it’s a bit less than Netflix; £5.99 a month for just the Video service and £7.99 a month for the Video service plus Prime and music streaming. If you’re a student, you can get Prime and Prime Video for £39 a year.
A great feature of Amazon Prime Video is its huge video library that you can access from the app; if they don’t have a film or show, you can likely rent it through Amazon for as little as £1.99, or buy it and it’ll be accessible from your account forever.
Just getting started with Amazon Prime Video? Try Good Omens, a series based off the Terry Pratchett book about an angel and a demon that join forces, starring David Tennant
Disney+ launched at the end of March in the UK, which was absolutely perfect timing. As you’d expect, having the full range of Disney films and shows available to stream was perfect for those with kids, but Disney+ has a good range of programs and films aimed at adults too. The Star Wars spin off series The Mandalorian has been incredibly popular in our office!
Disney is around the same price point at £5.99 a month, or you can save a little extra and pay £59.99 for the whole year. It doesn’t show any advertisements which is particularly good if you have kids watching (certainly less toys for your little ones to hassle you into purchasing), and you can stream on four screens at once, giving it the edge of Amazon Prime Video. Like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, you can download films and series and watch offline too.
One of the best features of Disney+ is that it brings together Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic - all your favourite titles from these heavyweights in a single place.
Just getting started with Disney+? Try Hamilton, a recording of the multi-award winning hip hop musical about the American founding father Alexander Hamilton
Now TV is one of the most flexible options for those looking for a new streaming service, in that you choose the kind of content you want to watch, rather than paying for access to everything. On Now TV you can connect six devices to a single account, but you can only watch on two devices simultaneously, which could lead to some disagreements!
Now TV is owned by Sky, which means you get access to a ton of exclusive Sky shows that you won’t be able to find on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Disney+. The pricing works a little differently to the other platforms; you select the pass that you want to subscribe to, and can mix and match each month. Sky Cinema Pass is great if you’re a film buff, the Entertainment Pass is ideal if you’re more into series, and the Sky Sports Pass if you only want to watch Sky’s 11 sports channels. Prices start at £3.99 a month for the Kids Pass.
A strong selling point for Now TV is that Sky bundles it with their broadband offering - so if you’re looking to change up your internet provider, Now TV is definitely worth considering.
Just getting started with Now TV? Try Game of Thrones, a series adapted from George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire
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