Find your best streaming service
With the cost of living crisis ongoing, many people are considering cutting back on streaming service subscriptions. If you’re looking to cut down your streaming spend or decide which service may be best for you, here’s some key info and content on the biggest paid streaming services to help you make a decision.
Despite the upcoming password sharing crackdown, Netflix can still be the cheapest service, as its “Basic with Ads” plan costs only £4.99 a month. You’ll have adverts and won’t be able to download films or TV to watch offline, but this might suit you if you only plan to stream on one device at a time. Judging by what’s been introduced abroad, a Standard (£10.99 a month) or Premium (£15.99 a month) plan will be needed to continue account sharing – Netflix plans to introduce add-ons to purchase for other users outside your main address, which are only available in these plans. Full details of each plan can be found here.
Netflix is widely regarded for its variety and original content. Its hit documentary series Formula 1: Drive to Survive returned for its fifth season today, while the second half of the fourth series of popular drama You releases on 9th March. It’s also expected that other hit series like Bridgerton, Sex Education and The Witcher will release new seasons this year.
Amazon Prime Video is a perk included with Amazon Prime membership, which also offers benefits like unlimited one day delivery. Prime membership costs £95 a year if paid in one payment, or £8.99 a month if paid monthly. Students can get 50% off, paying £47.49 for a year or £4.49 a month. You can download content to watch offline and can watch content in higher qualities if available. The service allows three streams at the same time.
Prime Video’s strength is probably its original TV. It’s home to highly rated dramas like The Boys and Good Omens, with documentary series like All or Nothing and Clarkson’s Farm also proving popular on the platform.
Disney+ is a strong choice for families, with its vast catalogue of Disney and Pixar originals. The more adult-focused Star section and National Geographic section help the service to create a well rounded offering, which of course also includes the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars franchises. You can get a year of Disney+ for a one-off £79.90 payment or pay £7.99 a month. One Disney+ account can stream on four devices at a time.
There is constantly new content coming to Disney+. The Mandalorian and Grogu (A.K.A. “Baby Yoda”) return for a third season of adventures on 1st March. Marvel fans can look forward to a second season of Loki and the new series Secret Invasion this year, with recent cinema releases like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever also making their way to the platform shortly after their theatrical run.
NOW is owned by Sky and so can save a lot of money you might otherwise spend on Sky broadband or channels you wouldn’t need. NOW offers Entertainment, Cinema and Sports passes, allowing you flexibility to only buy what you want. Entertainment and Cinema both start at £9.99 a month, while Sport begins at £33.99 a month. However, you can often get discounts on NOW if you go to cancel your pass. When cancelling, there will be pages to convince you to stay – usually, a discount for a number of months will appear towards the end of these. Offers vary, but can bring costs down significantly. Recently, NOW introduced adverts to its Entertainment and Cinema services. If you want to remove these, as well as getting full 1080p HD streaming quality and the ability to stream on three devices at once, you will also need to buy a Boost add-on that will cost £6 a month from 28th February onwards.
Essentially being Sky on demand, you can expect many of the latest blockbusters on NOW Cinema. Top Gun Maverick and Bullet Train were recently added, having been in cinemas last Summer. On NOW Entertainment, there are many popular HBO shows like Game of Thrones and its spin-off House of the Dragon, as well as the popular adaptation of the video game The Last of Us. A NOW Sports pass will grant you access to all 11 Sky Sports channels, so you can see Premier League Football, Formula 1 and more live.
Apple TV+ has a single membership plan, which costs £6.99 a month. It is ad-free and allows up to six streams at once. There are often offers that give you a few months of Apple TV+ for free, so look out for those – for example, you can currently get 3 months free when buying an Apple device. The platform can be accessed on various Apple devices, as well as smart TVs, computers and games consoles. which is ad-free.
All content on Apple TV+ is originals made for the platform. The service is perhaps best known for its feel-good football comedy Ted Lasso, which kicks off its third season on 15th March. It also hosts other well regarded content like the 2022 Oscars Best Picture winner Coda.
Paramount Plus hosts a wide selection of TV and films released by the studio. You can pay £69.90 in one for a whole year, or £6.99 a month. The service allows you to watch on up to three screens at once.
Content on Paramount Plus appears to include some TV and films that are currently also available on other streaming services, but you could expect these to eventually become almost exclusively available on the platform if it imitates Disney+. Current big names on the service include Top Gun Maverick, the Scream franchise and the exclusive Halo series. If you’re a parent, Paramount Plus may be a suitable choice given it also includes popular children’s TV shows like SpongeBob SquarePants, Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig.
Do you use streaming services at the moment? If so, will you continue to do so if account sharing is no longer an option? Have your say in our community discussion!
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- SMARTY Team
- February 24th, 2023