There’s a figure that gets tossed around the internet and it changes every time a new streaming service pops up. The figure relates to the estimated price of one person signing up to all of the available streaming services per year and, depending on streaming quality and number of devices, it’s said to be upwards of £1,500. That’s a lot of money, so it’s worth comparing what’s out there when it comes to how you get your entertainment fix.
We’ve compared the on-demand and streaming platforms to help you make your mind up, taking into consideration their standout shows and films, streaming quality and value for money.
For a subscription service that’s less than £10 per month, you can do worse. Although the video offering is the big pull here, it’s easy to forget that a full subscription includes free next-day delivery, unlimited music (Prime Music), a wide array of books and magazines (Prime Reading), unlimited photo storage (Prime Photo) and 5GB of storage (Drive). For many, it’s a no-brainer.
Amazon studios has gone from strength to strength, with a wide array of original blockbuster films and shows. The library also offers a satisfying mixture of new and cult classics.
Unlike other streaming services, another pull is live sport. Last season saw a handful of Premier League games shown, with potential for more as fans are kept away from stadiums, while ATP tennis and Thursday night NFL games are available too. Prime supports all formats including 4K and HDR10 and is available on a variety of devices. Although the selection of original content isn’t as extensive as Netflix, highlights include The Boys, Little Fires Everywhere, The Man In The High Castle, Bosch and the All Or Nothing documentary series.
For a live-streaming option that isn’t going to break the bank, NowTV is a great option. Essentially Sky on a monthly contract, for less than £10 per month the Entertainment Pass has 300 TV Box Sets and 17 live channels, making the most of Sky’s glorious HBO content. Upgrade options for movies, sport and kids programmes are also available.
Streaming output is a respectable 720p HD and availability on multiple devices means you can not only watch on the go, but have multi-room access watching different channels at the same time.
Sky’s NowTV smart stick also offers UK catchup apps as well as Netflix and Disney+, allowing for the ultimate customisable entertainment package on a budget with no lingering contracts.
The one that started it all. What used to be a postal DVD service is now an entertainment streaming behemoth with its own movie studio and even a place in the communal language – Netflix and chill anyone?
For on-demand content it’s difficult to beat. Offering a library so big that much of it won’t even make it past your personally selected algorithms, the streaming quality is fantastic and the available device options means you can play it on almost everything, with offline mode for tablets and phones. The premium plan is just over £10 per month, with cheaper options half the price for a single stream in standard definition.
Whilst it might’ve looked like the platform had exhausted itself a few years back, the available original content is now at an Academy Award-winning level. Notable releases include Da 5 Bloods, Marriage Story and The Irishman, but a week doesn’t go by without a show going viral, from The Tiger King to The Last Dance to Selling Sunset. Chances are if it’s worth talking about, it’s on Netflix.
The adult in you might scoff, but we’re not just talking about Mickey Mouse here. Years of shrewd business mean Disney+ is not only home to cult cartoons, but also Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars. If you want to see highly-rated Star Wars spinoff show The Mandalorian as well as having access to all of the associated films, with arguably the best all-round visual and sound support (four 4k streams at once, HDR10, Atmos, Digital 5.1 and Dolby Vision) consider a Disney+ subscription.
Did we mention they’ve also got The Simpsons?
Of course Apple was going to start its own streaming service. Having conquered music, it was only a matter of time before it added video to its lifestyle entertainment empire.
Although it’s early days and the original content offering is small, there’s still some enticing shows and films on offer. Tom Hanks war epic Greyhound, music biopic Beastie Boys Story and The Morning Show (Steve Carell, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon) are all exclusives worth watching.
Apple TV+ also offers a wide array of content to buy and rent and it’s surely only a matter of time before the original offering is boosted. Content is available on all Apple devices and new devices come with a year’s subscription.
Although there are a number of internet-based streaming options out there, when it comes to all-round entertainment packages, it’s difficult to beat Sky Q. Of course it’s more expensive than its rivals but the customisation options available, quality of the overall product, as well as content, make it a difficult package to beat. The live TV options are vast, including an array of film and sports channels in both HD and 4K. Sky also boasts arguably the widest array of 4K on-demand content, too.
Sky Atlantic alone offers blockbuster HBO shows like Succession, Game Of Thrones and Westworld, and in a post-COVID world Sky Sports has never felt more essential. Add to this the integrated Netflix and Disney+ options as well as a seamless interface and innovative download and play, it’s potentially the ultimate option for those who aren’t on a budget.