With Britain still in ‘lockdown’ due to the coronavirus pandemic, more of us are turning to streaming services to help pass the time and keep us – or our little monkeys – entertained.
But which services offer the best value for money? We give you the lowdown on what’s on offer…
Price: Seven-day free trial, then £5.99 a month, or £59.99 a year
Good for: Kids, Disney fans
Disney+ is an obvious choice for children, but many adults will find plenty to watch too. The service only recently launched in the UK (March 24) and is jam-packed with family favourites such as Frozen and Pirates of the Caribbean, classics such as Bambi, and films and other content from Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. Plus, if no one can agree what to watch, you can stream on four different screens at the same time – phew.
New O2 customers can enjoy Disney+ free of charge for six months, while existing O2 customers can grab the same deal if they upgrade their plan. Those who prefer not to upgrade can still add Disney+ to their plan and have £2 a month taken off their bill.
Price: Plans start from £5.99 a month
Good for: Original productions
Netflix is well known for original shows such as The Crown, Stranger Things and The Stranger, as well as original films such as Marriage Story. It also has a host of documentaries and feature films to keep boredom at bay.
How much you pay for Netflix will depend on the plan you choose. The cheapest ‘basic’ option is £5.99 a month but this only allows you to watch on one screen at a time and in standard definition. The standard plan is £8.99 a month and allows you to watch on two screens at the same time, while the premium plan allows you to watch on four screens but costs £11.99 a month. Both the standard and premium plans offer high definition viewing.
Price: Seven-day free trial, then plans start from £3.99 a month
Good for: Variety, access to some Sky shows
Now TV offers a range of plans or ‘Passes’ that give you access to different types of entertainment, and prices vary accordingly. It’s worth keeping an eye out for offers though as you may be able to knock the price down.
Both the Kids Pass and the hayu Pass are the cheapest at £3.99 a month. The Kids Pass includes six live channels such as Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, while hayu streams reality shows from the US.
Other choices include the Entertainment Pass which is packed full of box sets such as Game of Thrones and Intelligence and priced at £8.99 a month. Or the Sky Cinema Pass which includes thousands of movies on demand for £11.99 a month.
Amazon Prime Video
Price: 30-day free trial, then £5.99 a month (video only), or £7.99 including Prime delivery
Good for: Original productions and music streaming
Like Netflix, Amazon has produced original shows such as Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and The Boys. The service also includes a wide range of films and children’s entertainment, plus music and photo storage. Amazon Prime Video costs £5.99 a month, but if you pay an extra £2 a month you can take advantage of free next day delivery on millions of items. Alternatively, you can pay £79 a year.
Price: Sky TV – £25 a month for 18 months, including Netflix. Sky Store – prices vary depending on the film
Good for: Variety
Sky TV has teamed up with Netflix to offer both services for £25 a month for 18 months, although there is a £20 set-up fee. This means you can watch Netflix original productions as well as channels such as MTV, Discovery, Sky Witness, Sky Atlantic and National Geographic.
Alternatively, you can buy or rent film releases from Sky Store and there is no subscription fee.
Price: 30-day free trial, then £5.99 a month
Good for: BBC and ITV dramas
Launched in November last year, BritBox is the brainchild of the BBC and ITV. There are over 200 box sets to watch including Doctor Who, Extras, Shetland, A Touch of Frost and Broadchurch.
New and existing EE customers can also take advantage of a free BritBox subscription for six months.
Price: £1 for three months (offer ends on 1st April), then £9.99 a month
Good for: Film buffs
MUBI adds a new film every day, while also removing one, so there is always something to watch. There is a huge variety to choose from, including cult classics, world cinema and indie films – perfect for film lovers everywhere.
Overall, if you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful option, you can’t go far wrong with Disney+. With hundreds of films to choose from and the option to stream on four different screens at once, Disney+ has a lot going for it.
However, if you’re looking for more variety, Netflix may be more up your street. Separate profiles can be set up for family members, making it easy to find your favourites, and prices are still reasonable.