Is Netflix Still The One For You?

Is Netflix Still The One For You?


After dominating the field for years, Netflix is looking over its shoulder at the competition. Supported by big budgets, the likes of Amazon, Apple and soon Disney are ready to lavish UK audiences with original content. We’ve rounded up the contenders to help you identify the streaming service that’s right for you.


Prime Video appears as a standalone app on smart TVs or there’s hardware – including Amazon’s own Fire TV Stick – to upgrade regular TVs. Like Netflix, you can also watch offline on portable devices. Alongside its entertainment offer, Amazon is dabbling in live sports: it snagged exclusive rights to a couple of rounds of this season’s Premier League as well as this summer’s US Open tennis. Coverage is included in the basic Prime Video package, which also gets you access to original drama content such as Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and Carnival Row (here to fill the Game of Thrones-shaped hole in your life). However, that basic package will not get you everything in Amazon’s vast library – some shows come at extra cost.

Top Original Content: Bosch; Goliath; The Man in the High Castle

£7.99 a month



You probably ought to be plugged into the Apple universe for this one: Apple TV+ is available via the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac and Apple TV. In fact, buy one of those bits of Apple’s own hardware new and you’ll likely get a year’s free subscription. Though some non-Apple smart TVs – including Samsung’s – also support it. The service’s output is less complicated: original, not syndicated content. Serious Hollywood directors including JJ Abrams, Steven Spielberg and M Night Shyamalan have all signed on, with Spielberg overseeing Amazing Stories, a Black Mirror-esque sci-fi anthology series.

Top Original Content: For All Mankind; The Morning Show; See

£4.99 a month


This is your plucky local streaming service fighting the good fight among all of these American giants. Launched at the end of last year, it’s a repository of classic British dramas, comedies, films and documentaries from the archives of both ITV and the BBC. Spooks, Inspector Morse and Blackadder are all there, for example. On Boxing Day, the Beeb dropped a late Christmas gift to subscribers: 558 classic Doctor Who episodes. If you’re after a particular show, double-check you can’t get it on iPlayer (for free) before signing up. Original content has been scarce to this point, but more is promised – and some Channel 4 content should also start appearing soon. Access is currently via Samsung TV, Apple TV, the web or iOS/Android devices, though there are plans to expand this list too.

Top Content: Extras; Fawlty Towers; Wolf Hall
£5.99 a month


Finally, a note about the service from Disney that’s slated to launch on 24th March. As a point of difference from some of the other big names on this list, Disney+ is not going to rush you: all of its content will stay on the platform permanently. Alongside the animations that made the company’s name, there will be most of the Star Wars universe – including Jon Favreau’s $100m spin-off series The Mandalorian – a lot of Marvel stuff and everything Pixar has ever done. Original content includes the intriguing The World According to Jeff Goldblum, in which the laidback thesp gets to grips with video games, sneaker culture and other hot new cultural phenomena.

Top Original Content: Beastie Boys Story; Servant; Truth Be Told
£5.99 a month


Eight years after launching its streaming service in the UK, Netflix has persuaded almost 12m households to subscribe, but knows it must stay at the top of its game to fend off the new competition. Having invested massively in original content, the long-time market leader might be about to win its first Oscar: The Irishman and Marriage Story are both up for Best Picture this year. As well as appearing on smart TVs, Netflix can be streamed on almost any device from mobile to games console and – this is big – you can even download stuff to watch offline. In short, this is still the place to come for outstanding quick hits like The Good Place and high-class slow-burners like Mindhunter, but beware: other streaming services claiming back content they used to loan to Netflix is shrinking its library just a little.

Top Original Content: Stranger Things; BoJack Horseman; The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

£8.99 a month


As a home to both Sky and HBO, Now TV’s roster of in-house shows is heavyweight: Succession, True Detective and Westworld all made their UK debuts here, alongside Sky’s finest (Chernobyl) and some big hitters from the archives (The Sopranos, Deadwood). With online, app and TV availability, you’ll definitely have a way to access Now TV. In fact, flexibility is its USP, but it comes at a price. The Entertainment pass gives you access to 15 live Sky channels (including Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts and Comedy Central) and 300 series boxsets, but you want movies? You’ll need the Sky Cinema Pass (£11.99 a month). Sky Sports access is an extra £33.99 a month. Keep in mind too that, while Now TV has first dibs, it doesn’t get to hang onto that HBO content forever.

Top Original Content: Britannia; The New Pope; Patrick Melrose
£8.99 a month for an Entertainment pass


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