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Best Netflix alternatives

With so many streaming services available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to subscribe to. 


The competition between platforms has been dubbed the 'streaming wars', and the battle for viewership shows no signs of slowing down.


That's where we come in. As experts in rating and reviewing the latest films and TV shows, we've put together a comprehensive guide to help you choose the best streaming service for you. 


Best Streaming Service UK: Top Picks for 2024

We've compared all the platforms available in the UK, taking into account factors such as price, features, and content, so you can make an informed decision. Plus, if you're stuck for something to watch, we've even included guides to the best movies on Disney Plus and the best shows on Apple TV+.



Best Netflix alternatives

Which streaming services are available in the UK?

Here are the major streaming services available in the UK:

  • Amazon Prime Video

  • Apple TV+

  • Disney Plus

  • Netflix

  • NOW

  • BritBox

  • DAZN

  • Hayu

Note that some streaming services like Hulu are not available in the UK due to regional restrictions.


What is the best streaming service in the UK?

When it comes to choosing the best streaming service in the UK, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. It ultimately depends on your personal preferences, budget, and viewing habits. However, we can simplify the choice by recommending some of the best streaming services based on different criteria.


Best for Large Households and Budget-Conscious Viewers: Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is one of the best streaming services for those on a budget. It offers a wide range of hit original films and TV shows, and also allows you to buy or rent content that's not included in the service. If you opt for the full Prime package rather than just the standalone streaming service, you get free next day delivery, plus access to Amazon Music, Prime Reading, Amazon Photos, exclusive deals and gaming benefits. This makes it ideal for large households and budget-conscious viewers.


Best for Families and Fans of Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars: Disney Plus

Disney Plus is the perfect streaming service for families and fans of Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars. It includes the very best of these franchises, as well as Pixar films, National Geographic documentaries, and much more. The addition of Star also means there's plenty more mature content, too, like Good Trouble. Disney Plus will be the only place to see many of the spin-off shows from each of those universes, making it a must-have for franchise fans.


Best for Binge-Watchers, Film Fans, and Lovers of Original Content: Netflix

Netflix is a great streaming service for binge-watchers, film fans, and lovers of original content. It outputs an incredible amount of original film and TV each month, on top of an impressive back catalogue. While the quality can be a mixed bag, every so often a huge word-of-mouth hit, such as Stranger Things or The Crown, will land on the service. A few of their films have also been nominated for an Academy Award, such as Roma.


Best for Reality TV Fans: Hayu

Hayu is the best streaming service for reality TV fans. It has mountains of reality TV shows on offer, including Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Real Housewives franchise, and more. The option of Hayu and Sport is an added bonus, and you can sign up for either TV shows or films without having to pay for the other.


Best for Original Big-Budget Dramas and Children's Shows: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is a great streaming service for those looking for original big-budget dramas and children's shows. It had some teething problems with a star-studded but sparse library at first, but their catalogue has steadily grown. Apple TV+ is also a great budget option.


Best for Recent Prestige Shows and Blockbuster Films on Demand: NOW

NOW is one of the more expensive options, but you get a premium service. It's the first platform you'll find most films after their cinema release, and it's the only place to find HBO shows and Sky Originals without a TV contract. The option of Hayu and Sport is an added bonus, and you can sign up for either TV shows or films without having to pay for the other.


Best for Binging British Boxsets: BritBox

BritBox is the best streaming service for those who love British TV shows. It has a wide range of classic and contemporary British boxsets, including Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, and more.


Best for Boxing Fans: DAZN

DAZN is the best streaming service for boxing fans. It offers a wide range of live boxing events, as well as on-demand replays and highlights.

In conclusion, the best streaming service in the UK depends on your personal preferences, budget, and viewing habits. Whether you're looking for original content, franchise favourites, or classic boxsets, there's a streaming service out there for you.


Check for the Best Netflix Alternatives

When looking for alternatives to Netflix, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, check for free trials to see if the service is right for you. Second, consider the cost of the subscription and the value for money. Third, make sure the service is compatible with your devices, including smart TVs, streaming sticks, and set-top boxes. Fourth, check the selection of shows, movies, and TV series available. Finally, consider the quality of the content, including HD, Full HD, and Ultra HD, and whether the service offers offline downloads.


Features

Netflix

Amazon Prime Video

Disney+

Apple TV+

Starzplay

Membership

Paid subscription

Paid subscription

Paid subscription

Paid subscription

Paid subscription

Free Trial

1 month

30 days

7 days

7 days

7 days

Cost

£5.99 - £13.99/month

£7.99/month

£7.99/month

£4.99/month

£5.99/month

Devices

Smart TVs, streaming sticks, set-top boxes

Smart TVs, streaming sticks, set-top boxes

Smart TVs, streaming sticks, set-top boxes

Smart TVs, streaming sticks, set-top boxes

Smart TVs, streaming sticks, set-top boxes

Selection

Broad selection of shows and movies

Broad selection of shows and movies

Broad selection of shows and movies

Original programming and documentaries

Broad selection of shows and movies

Quality

HD, Full HD, Ultra HD

HD, Full HD, Ultra HD

HD, Full HD, Ultra HD

HD, Full HD, Ultra HD

HD, Full HD, Ultra HD

Downloads

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Original Content

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Competitors

Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+

Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, Starzplay

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Starzplay

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Starzplay

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+

Overall, each streaming service has its own strengths and weaknesses. Netflix offers a broad selection of shows and movies, while Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ offer a mix of original programming and documentaries. Apple TV+ and Starzplay offer a smaller selection of shows and movies, but they are both more budget-friendly options. Consider your needs and preferences when choosing the best Netflix alternative for you.


Amazon Prime Video

If you're looking for a streaming service that offers a range of original and non-original content, Amazon Prime Video could be the one for you. Amazon introduced the service in the UK back in 2014, replacing its previous video-on-demand service LoveFilm. Since then, it has added a host of original and non-original content to its library. In this section, we'll take a closer look at what Amazon Prime Video is good for, what original and non-original content it includes, and whether it's a good choice for families.


Best Netflix alternatives
Best Netflix alternatives Amazon Prime Video


What is Amazon Prime Video good for?

Amazon Prime Video is a great choice for those who want a good range of original and third-party content across film and TV.


It's a close competitor to Netflix, with both platforms offering a similar service. One of the biggest bonuses of Amazon Prime Video is that the subscription comes with added Amazon benefits, such as unlimited one-day delivery on products ordered from the Amazon store. So if you’re a frequent Amazon shopper, this is a fantastic perk.


Prime Video also offers live sport, making it the place to watch most tournaments on the ATP tennis circuit, and it shows Premier League football over the Christmas period. Another advantage Amazon has over Netflix is that it offers users the chance to rent or buy films and TV shows that are not included with a subscription.


This also includes add-on subscriptions — users can subscribe to Amazon Prime Channels such as StarzPlay and Hayu for an additional monthly fee, and access those platforms' shows through the Prime Video interface.


One thing that can sometimes frustrate Amazon users is that not all video content on the service comes under the subscription price, with some additional shows only available at an extra cost. However, Amazon has since added a 'Free to Me' section, making it clearer which shows and films are available for no added cost.


What original content does Amazon Prime Video include?

Amazon Prime Video offers a good range of original content, including award-winning shows such as Homecoming and The Marvellous Mrs Maisel. The channel is home to motoring show The Grand Tour – which features Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, as well as their individual spin-offs, such as Clarkson's Farm. Other Amazon originals include Good Omens (co-produced with the BBC) and Nine Perfect Strangers.


Like Netflix, Amazon has also shifted some of its focus towards film, and there are plenty of great movies to choose from. Some of the best movies on Amazon Prime Video include Fight Club, Manchester by the Sea, and The Tomorrow War. Amazon also bought the rights to several high-profile films during the pandemic, including Without Remorse and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.


What non-original content does Amazon Prime Video include?

Amazon’s catalogue of classic TV shows is impressive, with highly regarded shows such as The Walking Dead and Vikings, and classics like The X-Files. Its films library is equally commendable – with both recent hits and classics available with a subscription, including every James Bond film right through to No Time To Die. The streaming service has also brought shows such as Mr Robot and American Gods to a UK audience.


Amazon has also partnered with film studio Lionsgate. This deal means the streaming service has exclusive first window streaming rights in the UK for films such as The Courier, The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard, Wrath of Man, and The Father. As Lionsgate was previously partnered with rival Netflix, this contract represents a huge coup for Amazon.


Is Amazon Prime Video good for families?

Amazon Prime Video is a reasonable choice for families, with a selection of kids' movies available, such as Encanto, Luca and Sing 2. Amazon also produces a range of original children’s programming, including Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny and Lost in Oz, and is the home of Hotel Transylvania: Transformania.


Top shows to watch on Amazon Prime:

If you're looking for something new to watch, here are some of the top shows available on Amazon Prime Video:

  • American Gods

  • The Man in the High Castle

  • The Marvellous Mrs Maisel

  • Good Omens

  • The Romanoffs

  • Mr Robot

  • Outlander

  • The Grand Tour

  • Nine Perfect Strangers

  • Clarkson's Farm

  • Modern Love

  • Star Trek: Picard

  • Reacher

  • The Last of Us

Top films to watch on Amazon Prime:

If you're in the mood for a movie, here are some of the top films available on Amazon Prime Video:

  • Fight Club

  • Manchester by the Sea

  • The Tomorrow War

  • Red, White and Royal Blue

  • Palm Springs

  • The Sound of Metal

  • Spencer

  • No Time To Die

  • Shotgun Wedding

  • The Green Knight

Price and subscription details:

An Amazon Prime membership costs £8.99 a month, or you can save if you

Apple TV+


What is Apple TV+ good for?

Apple TV+ is a streaming service that focuses on quality over quantity, providing a range of star-studded, big-budget, and original content with exceptional production values. The platform is great for those who are looking for new, high-quality dramas and children's shows.


Best Netflix alternatives Apple TV+
Netflix alternatives is Apple TV+


What original content does Apple TV+ include?

Apple TV+ includes a range of original content, including hard-hitting dramas, experimental comedies, and documentaries, almost always with a household name attached either in front of or behind the camera. Amongst the raft of originals that launched with the platform are See, The Morning Show, and Ted Lasso, which has become the service's flagship series. Other TV highlights include Mythic Quest, Schmigadoon!, and Slow Horses, while film offerings include Greyhound and On The Rocks.


What non-original content does Apple TV+ include?

Apple TV+ includes the Apple TV app, which gives you access to UK streaming services including BBC iPlayer, All4, and ITVX, plus a dedicated kids’ section. The service also includes Apple TV Channels – which acts as a gateway to content from networks such as HBO, Showtime, and Starz. However, there is little non-original content. Apple has since started licensing older content, buying the rights to children's series Fraggle Rock and the Peanuts franchise.


Is Apple TV+ good for families?

Apple TV+ has a small but growing library of charming children's fare, including a Sesame Street spin-off called Helpsters, cartoon Snoopy in Space, and a remake of the 90s kids show Ghostwriter. These shows are great for families with young children.


Top shows to watch on Apple TV+:

If you are looking for the best shows on Apple TV+, we recommend See, The Morning Show, Dickinson, The Mosquito Coast, The Elephant Queen, Helpsters, Ghostwriter, Oprah’s Book Club, For All Mankind, Ted Lasso, Slow Horses, Severance, and Roar.


Price and subscription details:

A subscription to Apple TV+ currently costs £8.99 a month, putting it on the cheaper end of the streaming spectrum. If you don’t currently have a compatible device, you can buy the Apple TV HD box for £149 or take the cheaper option and purchase a streaming stick such as Roku or Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, which plug into your TV.


Is a free trial available for Apple TV+?

Yes, any new user can sign up for a seven-day free trial.


Apple TV+ is a tempting streaming service that offers the work of A-List talent at a competitive price. The platform is finally starting to realise its potential by filling up its library and producing quality content that is permeating pop culture. If you're interested in Apple TV+, sign up for a seven-day free trial.


Here's how to watch Apple TV+ on a smart TV, and the best Apple Music offers for this month. Also, check out how the music streaming service fared against Spotify in our Apple Music vs Spotify guide.


Disney Plus

What is Disney Plus good for?

Disney Plus is a streaming service that offers a vast collection of animated classics, Marvel and Star Wars franchises, and other popular TV shows and movies. The service is ideal for families, as well as fans of Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars.


Best Netflix alternatives is Disney Plus
Best Netflix alternatives is Disney Plus


What new content does Disney Plus include?

Disney Plus offers an impressive range of new and exclusive content, including spin-off shows and mega franchises like Star Wars and Marvel. Some of the best series on Disney Plus include The Mandalorian, Moon Knight, and Loki, which have been dominating pop culture during their release.

In addition, Disney's other franchises have made an appearance, too.


The best movies on Disney Plus include the new live-action The Little Mermaid and Pixar offerings Luca and Turning Red, which debuted exclusively on the service. Classic franchises such as The Mighty Ducks and Turner & Hooch have also received reboots.


During the pandemic, the streaming service introduced Disney Plus Premier Access, allowing users to purchase new cinema releases such as Black Widow for £19.99. In February 2021, Disney Plus added a new section called Star, which featured more mature content from other Disney-owned properties, including the Oscar-winning Nomadland and new episodes of The Walking Dead.



What existing original content does Disney Plus include?

Disney Plus has an extensive collection of original content, including all things Disney. The service is home to a vast archive of animated classics, alongside everything Marvel and Star Wars. For more information, check out the A-Z of shows and films on Disney Plus guide for content available on the service.

Is Disney Plus good for families?

Disney Plus is an excellent choice for families, as there's not a brand more synonymous with family entertainment than Disney. The streaming service has introduced Star, a section that houses more adult-oriented content. Parental controls have also been implemented, keeping all inappropriate content neatly locked away behind that one segment if needed.


Top Disney Plus original shows to watch:

Disney Plus offers a great selection of original shows, including The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, WandaVision, Marvel’s What If…?, Toy Story: Forky Asks a Question, Muppets Now, The Mandalorian, Love, Victor, Loki, Moon Knight, Pam & Tommy, Ahsoka, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians. For more information, check out Meet the cast of Marvel's Moon Knight on Disney Plus.


Top films to watch on Disney Plus:

Disney Plus has an extensive collection of films, including Avengers: Endgame, Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story 3, Mary Poppins, The Muppets, The Parent Trap, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, The Jungle Book, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Hamilton, Luca, Nomadland, Death on the Nile, The King's Man, and Eternals. For more information, browse the best movies on Disney Plus.


Price and subscription details:

Disney Plus offers three different plans. The Standard with Ads plan costs £4.99 a month, the Standard plan costs £7.99 a month or £79.90 for a year, and the Premium plan costs £10.99 a month or £109.90 for a year. The service offers four simultaneous streams at no extra cost with the Premium plan, two with the Standard plan, and Standard with Ads.


Is a free trial available for Disney Plus?

No, Disney Plus does not offer a free trial. A free trial was available at launch but was removed in summer 2020.


Radio Times says:

Offering big-budget blockbuster TV and films based on some of the most beloved franchises in the world, Disney Plus is excellent for families and big kids alike. Its Star section is quickly becoming a game-changer, offering quality adult drama on par with its rivals. Sign up to Disney Plus from £4.99 per month. If you're shopping for a present for a loved one, a Disney Plus gift card could be just the ticket. Plus, here's how to get cheap Disneyland Paris tickets.


Netflix

What's Netflix good for?

Netflix is a popular streaming service that offers a huge variety of original and non-original content. It is ideal for binge-watchers, film fans, and lovers of original content. Netflix has a vast library of TV shows and films, including some of the best series such as Bridgerton, Bojack Horseman, and Stranger Things. It has been putting an increasing focus on its film output in recent times, with directors such as Martin Scorsese and David Fincher working for the streamer. Netflix has also made quite a stir at the Oscars as some of the best movies on Netflix such as The Power of the Dog and Don't Look Up scored multiple nominations.




What original content does Netflix include?

Netflix produces a huge amount of original content, ranging from drama series to reality shows to documentaries. In 2021 alone, the platform released a new original film every week. The service has also picked up series such as Black Mirror and Cobra Kai, which were previously produced by third parties.


What non-original content does Netflix include?

Netflix has a substantial library of non-original films and TV shows, including Breaking Bad, How To Get Away With Murder, and Homeland. However, as more streaming services emerge, Netflix is losing some of this content, with Disney content relocating to Disney Plus and several BBC programs moving to ITVX.


Is Netflix good for families?

Yes! Netflix is an excellent option for families as users can easily switch their account to the children’s setting, which includes a long list of kid-friendly programs and films.

Top shows to watch on Netflix:

Here are some of the top shows to watch on Netflix:

  • Bojack Horseman

  • Orange is the New Black

  • GLOW

  • The Crown

  • Stranger Things

  • Mindhunter

  • Bridgerton

  • Breaking Bad

  • Better Call Saul

  • Queer Eye

  • Wednesday

  • Dark

  • Friends

  • The Office US

  • Anatomy of a Scandal

  • Squid Game

  • Sex Education

Top films to watch on Netflix:

Here are some of the top films to watch on Netflix:

  • Roma

  • Private Life

  • To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

  • Jaws

  • Shrek

  • Extraction

  • Hot Fuzz

  • His House

  • Easy Rider

  • The Power of the Dog

  • Joker

  • Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget

Price and subscription details:

Netflix offers a number of different subscriptions, with the most basic starting at £4.99 a month. This gets you access to all of the platform’s content but is limited to one screen at a time per account and includes adverts. HD is not available with this plan.

The Standard plan is £10.99 a month and allows you to watch on two screens at once, with HD available. If you're looking for a cheaper option, you can opt for the £7.99 a month membership, giving you access to one screen viewing in standard definition. A premium account allows an account to watch on up to four screens simultaneously and also offers ultra HD and is available for £15.99 a month.


Is a free trial available for Netflix?

No. Netflix previously offered a generous 30-day free trial, but this was removed in December 2019.

RadioTimes says:

Netflix remains the giant of the streaming industry and is one of the best streaming services available. It has a huge amount of original content, including shows such as Squid Game and Stranger Things, that have become worldwide phenomena. Netflix has an impressive original film library, including Oscar nominees, and strong non-original content. However, it has a reputation for cancelling shows, and the price is creeping up. Despite these cons, Netflix is still an excellent option for binge-watchers, film fans, and lovers of original content.


NOW

What is NOW good for?

NOW is a great streaming service for viewers who are interested in recent prestige shows from Sky and HBO, as well as blockbuster films on demand. You can choose from various options, including an Entertainment Pass, a Cinema Pass, a Sports Pass, and a Hayu Pass, or any combination of these.


What original content does NOW include?

All Sky originals go straight onto NOW TV, with hits such as Chernobyl and Yellowjackets among the best shows on NOW.


What non-original content does NOW include?

NOW TV is the first port of call for content produced by the US, including Watchmen, Euphoria, and Westworld. The platform also has an impressive back catalogue of classic shows such as The Sopranos, Sex and the City, and Dexter.


Is NOW good for families?

NOW TV is suitable for families, with children's shows now included as part of the Entertainment Pass for no extra charge. The Cinema Pass also includes a broad range of movies that are suitable for the whole family, with parental PIN controls available on both passes.


Top shows to watch on NOW:

If you're looking for some great shows to watch, check out Succession, Chernobyl, Britannia, Patrick Melrose, Big Little Lies, Watchmen, Twin Peaks, The Sopranos, Sex and the City, The Undoing, The White Lotus, Euphoria, Peacemaker, and Yellowjackets.


Top films to watch on NOW:

NOW TV has a fantastic selection of films, including Sunset Boulevard, Mission Impossible, Groundhog Day, Extinct, Knives Out, Midway, Bill & Ted Face the Music, and Dune.


Price and subscription details:

The Entertainment Pass and Cinema Pass both cost £9.99 each. If you'd like NOW's entire range of both film and TV shows, that'll set you back £19.98 a month. However, NOW regularly offers deals and bundles, so keep an eye out for those. Hayu is an optional additional Pass, allowing access to several US reality shows for £4.99 a month.

You can also add NOW Boost for full HD playback on up to 3 devices at once for an extra £5 a month, while a Sports Pass is available for £33.99 a month, or a one-off day pass is £11.98.


Is a free trial available for NOW TV?

Yes, NOW allows new users a seven-day free trial for each of their passes, except for Sport, so that includes Entertainment, Cinema, Hayu, and NOW Boost.


RadioTimes says:

According to RadioTimes.com, NOW has firmly established itself as the UK home of prestige TV and recent blockbuster movies, and you'll be treated to the latest and greatest from both sides of the Atlantic.

What's the history of streaming services in the UK?

Streaming services have revolutionized the way we consume media in the UK. The first major streaming service to hit the UK was Netflix in 2012, offering a range of films, TV shows, and documentaries for a competitive price. Netflix started as a DVD rental company in the US in 1997 and has since become the most popular streaming service in the UK.



NOW, formerly known as NOW TV, entered the streaming market in 2012, offering access to Sky's extensive library of films, TV shows, and sports coverage without the need for a pay-TV subscription. This made it a popular choice for cord-cutters who still wanted access to premium content.

In 2014, Amazon Prime Video launched in the UK as part of the Amazon Prime subscription, following the retail giant's purchase of LoveFilm. Amazon's streaming service is one of the few to offer a free 30-day trial, making it an attractive option for those looking to try out the service before committing.


Apple entered the streaming market with Apple TV+ in November 2019, offering original shows featuring A-list actors such as Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Jason Momoa. Apple TV+ offers a free seven-day trial, although its content library is smaller than some of its competitors.


One of the newest streaming services to enter the UK market is Disney Plus, which launched in March 2020. Disney Plus offers a range of classic Disney content, as well as new shows and movies, including the first live-action Star Wars show, The Mandalorian. Disney Plus is available on a range of price plans starting from £4.99 a month.


Other niche streaming services are also available in the UK, such as DAZN for boxing matches and Hayu for reality TV shows. DAZN costs £7.99 a month, while Hayu costs £4.99 with a one-month free trial.


It's worth noting that some major streaming services, such as Hulu, HBO Max, and Peacock, are not available in the UK and are instead based in the US.


Overall, the UK streaming market has grown rapidly over the past decade, with a range of services available to suit different tastes and budgets. Whether you're a film buff, sports fan, or reality TV addict, there's a streaming service out there for you.

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