Online Streaming Services | UK Sites
Updated: Oct 2, 2021
I decided to write this blog post so that I could cover some information on each of the main big online streaming services that are available in the UK, keeping it to the ones I have been or that I am currently still subscribed to myself. I will include details of each of the services as well as pricing and plans for each of them and will be covering Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, Mubi, Arrow Player, Shudder and NOW. So read on for some details about these services.
Prime Video is Amazon's streaming service for movies and TV shows. There are quite a few options with Prime Video but I will focus more on the main one which is the one that I have been subscribed to for many years, and include a little about the other options that you get with Amazon. So the main Amazon Prime subscription gets you access to a whole host of free content including quite a lot of original Amazon produced and exclusive movies and TV shows. Some of these include Outlander, Bosch, Lucifer, Jack Ryan, and The Boys. You do really get quite a lot for your subscription price and for me, being a Twitch viewer and streamer, I get a lot of benefits like free game content as well one free Twitch subscription a month included with my subscription, as Amazon actually own the Twitch streaming platform and your accounts can be linked. The subscription I have is the Amazon Prime one but there is a slightly cheaper option if you don't want all the extras but just want to get the Prime Video option with the TV and movie streaming on it's own. More details and prices below. You also get along with your Amazon Prime the following benefits... - Unlimited premium delivery on items you buy from Amazon. - Exclusive early access to lightening deals in Amazon sales. - Kindle books to download and keep (one new release each month). - Access to 2 million songs ad free on Amazon Music. ...as well as some Alexa related benefits, but unfortunately I do not have any Alexa devices.
There is also a Store on the Prime Video portal on Amazon that gets you access to literally loads more content, like all the latest on-demand released movies and shows, but this Store based content comes with individual extra costs, where you can choose to buy or rent for a small price. There are many offers on throughout the Store and if there is something new that you want to catch, without the wait for it to become free-to-view, then this is an option.
In addition to all of this there are also Channels within the Prime Video portal where you can subscribe individually and monthly to any or all of them. Some of these channels are only available to watch via Prime Video. StarzPlay, BritBox, BFI Player, Shudder, Arrow Video and Sundace are available through the Channels portal and many offer a short trial before you actually commit to a subscription. Eurosport and La Liga TV are also available for the sports fans and there is also a Classical music channel called Stingray which features concerts. Also I should add here that Amazon secured the rights to broadcast some top-tier English football matches. They screen live games, but more details on that can be found on the website, as it is not really something that I have much of an interest in. Not a football fan. Streaming is possible on desktop, mobile app, through a Roku or a Smart TV, via Amazon's own Fire TV, on BT and Virgin Media, on Apple TV as well as on either a Playstation or Xbox. Prices and plans for Prime Video are as follows... Prime Video (free content only) £5.99 per month Amazon Prime (Prime Video plus all the extra benefits) £7.99 per month Amazon Prime (Prime Video plus all the extra benefits) £79.99 per year Amazon Prime (Prime Video plus all the extra benefits) £39.99 per year (Student Offer)
Netflix is possibly one of the most popular online streaming services in the entire world and during the Covid pandemic, it was the go-to service for most of us while we were locked down and confined to our homes. There are a few different tiers to the subscription package with Netflix depending on how many users you want viewing and what picture quality you prefer. Netflix have some really amazing exclusives both past and present, covering both TV and movies, from all over the world. You probably get more bang for your buck with a Netflix subscription that any of the others that I am covering in this blog post. I think the first lot of shows I watched when I started watching Netflix a few years back were the Marvel shows: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Punisher, along with The Defenders. These shows are exclusive to Netflix and are worth a subscription alone if you are a Marvel fan. Other exclusive original Netflix shows worth a watch include Stranger Things, The Crown, Mindhunter, The Witcher, Ozark, Narcos, as well as The Queen's Gambit. You will also find some really good Netflix exclusive movies on there and they really do continue to supply quality viewing with their original material both in TV and movie form. Streaming is possible on desktop, mobile app, through a Roku or a Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, on BT and Virgin Media, on Apple TV as well as on either a Playstation or Xbox. Prices and plans for Netflix are as follows... Basic Plan (1 screen at a time / standard definition) £5.99 per month Standard Plan (2 screens at once / high definition) £9.99 per month Premium Plan (4 screens at once / HD and Ultra HD) £13.99 per month
Disney+ is the relative newcomer to the big streaming services over in the UK, having only launched early in 2020. Content on Disney+ along with all your Disney favourites past and present also includes the new franchises that Disney picked up when they acquired Marvel, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox. On Disney+ you will find a host of entertainment including all of the Star Wars movies and animated shows, the Marvel Avengers series along with all of the standalone movies, as well as popular shows like The Muppets and The Simpsons right there sitting with the Disney back-catalogue of classic movies. On top of all that content they recently launched Star, which is an addition to the Disney+ streaming and features movies and shows that maybe are more of an adult nature. Shows like Atlanta, Burn Notice, Cougar Town, and Desperate Housewives, along with 24, Family Guy, Prison Break, Sons of Anarchy and The X-Files feature there. There are also a whole host of movies in the Star catalogue as well, as again these would be ones that Disney hold the rights to but are maybe not that suitable to be on the main Disney 'family' brand site. It's a great addition and definitely adds a lot more content to your subscription and all included in the price for your viewing there. Streaming is possible on desktop, mobile app, through a Roku or a Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, on Apple TV as well as on either a Playstation or Xbox. Prices and plans for Disney+ are as follows... Standard Plan £7.99 per month Standard Plan £79.90 per year
Mubi is the newest streaming service that I have discovered and they also offer a great 30 day trial so you can spend some time looking through their extensive curated list of films. There are certainly more films on offer here from a wider coverage of genres and I found some great foreign selections in their catalogue. Initially I found the Pedro Almodóvar collection which included the likes of Volver and The Skin I Live In. Other titles on Mubi include The Revenent, Suspiria, Under The Skin, Toni Erdman and Under The Silver Lake.
Mubi Go is the higher tier subscription and for your extra outlay you get the same benefits as the standard subscription with the added bonus of 1 free hand picked cinema ticket each week. Mubi pick the film, you pick the cinema, you pop along with your code and watch the movie. So if that appeals to you it is definitely worth the upgrade to your Mubi subscription.
Streaming is possible on desktop, mobile app, through a Roku or a Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, on Apple TV as well as on a Playstation or nVidia Shield. Prices and plans Mubi are as follows... Standard Plan £9.99 per month Standard Plan £71.88 per year
Mubi Go (includes 1 free cinema ticket each week) £14.99 per month
Mubi Go (includes 1 free cinema ticket each week) £131.88 per year
Arrow Player is another recent discovery. It really is a little gem and features some amazing classic cult movies as well as a host of independent horrors, which is right up my street. It's so new I am still on the initial 30 day free trial and looking forward to making my way through their carefully curated catalogue of movies beyond my trial. I have also read they are expanding the service soon, so keep an eye on their socials for that. I had initially discovered Arrow Player after the release of the movie Threshold, which is an exclusive on the player at present. Along with that you can find titles such as Battle Royale, Oldboy, Cinema Paradiso, Donnie Darko, Hellraiser, Tenebrae, Wild Tales, and also Force Majeure. Arrow Player is definitely a welcome addition to the streaming service and with such a great lineup of cult movies, both old and new in their catalogue, it is certainly one that you should consider taking out a subscription to and one to watch for new titles being added to as well. Streaming is possible on desktop, mobile app, through a Roku or a Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, on Apple TV. Prices and plans for Arrow Player are as follows... Standard Plan £4.99 per month Standard Plan £49.99 per year
Shudder is the streaming service for you if horror, thriller and suspense is what you are after. The entire catalogue on Shudder is dedicated to those genres, and it does not let you down. I have been a subscriber on and off to Shudder for a few years now and they are constantly adding new content to the site to keep you entertained. There are classics such as Ring, The Boogeyman, Hellraiser, Heathers, Let The Right One In, The Hills Have Eyes, and Demons, alongside some newer releases like The Reckoning, The Power, Relic, Violation, and The Banishing. Also on Shudder you will find the recent Creepshow TV series along with The Last Drive-In with Joe Bobb Briggs and some really good horror documentaries, all included in your subscription. Shudder is definitely one of my favourite streaming services and with a fair amount of horror titles in their catalogue, that will not really be changing anytime soon.
Streaming is possible on desktop, mobile app, through a Roku or a Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, on Apple TV and on XBox. Prices and plans for Shudder are as follows... Standard Plan £4.99 per month Standard Plan £49.99 per year
NOW (previously NowTV) is Sky's online streaming service. There are a few different options with NOW and you can access Sky Sports as well as Sky TV channels like Sky Atlantic through the service, but I will be focusing solely on the Sky Cinema side of it. All the options listed are available through the same account so if you fancied trying out either the Sports or the Entertainment package that option is there for you. But back to Sky Cinema. If you do not have a Sky dish or package then NOW is an affordable way to watch the Sky channels and with so many great movies on Sky Cinema, usually available on there before anywhere else, NOW is definitely another streaming service you should consider. There are 11 Sky Cinema channels in total and they cover all the popular genres featuring a mixture of old and new movies. New titles are added daily, with some of the most recently added titles being The Lighthouse, Tenet, The Invisible Man, and Zack Snyder's Justice League, and you can watch them live as they are broadcast on Sky or on demand with the player. You will get all the latest movies shortly after they release at the cinema. As well as those you will also find Sky Original movies on there including the recent Promising Young Woman, and Unhinged. Streaming is possible on desktop, mobile app, through a Roku or a Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, on Apple TV and on Playstation and XBox. Prices and plans for NOW are as follows... Sky Cinema Standard Plan £11.99 per month
Now TV Boost (3 devices at once / Dolby 5.1 / Full HD) £3.00 per month
There are more streaming services available, many more in fact. The ones that I have covered here in this blog post are the ones I am either currently subscribed to or that I have been in the past. They are definitely the ones I use frequently. I hope that some of the information I have included here will maybe help you decide if you want to try out some of them. Always remember to check for trials as well as most will offer a short trial period as part of their plan.