Streaming services have become a big part of watching our favourite TV shows, films, and sports. The four mega streaming services that are the most popular are Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and NOW TV. If you need some help deciding what one is the best for you, then read this article and discover which is the best streaming service for you.
Netflix first debuted on August 29th, 1997. Netflix began as DVD rentals and sales and via post. It was only in 2007 when Netflix decided to move to the streaming service business despite still allowing people to rent Blu-ray movies and DVDs, however DVD sales did start to decline from 2006 to 2011.
The company expanded to more countries streaming films and tv shows such as Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean. When people started to become more open to viewing via online sources, they switched over fully and this allowed a much larger library of shows and movies for viewers to enjoy instantly.
In February 2013, Netflix aired their first TV exclusive show called House of Cards which is a political drama starring Kevin Spacey. Spacey plays Frank Underwood, a corrupt democrat President who manoeuvres his way up the political ladder of Washington DC and becomes the President. House of Cards was highly critically acclaimed and has been nominated for 33 primetime Emmys and won 2 Golden Globes.
Since then, Netflix has delivered some top-quality diverse TV shows, from the much-loved royal saga The Crown to Bojack Horseman, which is an animated cartoon focusing on a washed-up celebrity horse who tries to find some meaning in life. Atypical, a coming-of-age comedy about a young boy with high functioning autism as he tries to find a girlfriend. They also stream some awesome Marvel shows such as The Punisher, Daredevil, and other shows for all the superhero fans out there.
Netflix also has a lot of exclusive films as well for you to watch. Netflix’s first exclusive film came out on October 16th, 2015, called Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba, a war drama film about a young boy who is forced into becoming a child soldier and shows the horror of war in Africa.
They have made other films such as Bird Box, which is a thriller about monsters that kill people by making them look at them, this stars Sandra Bullock, as the hero and was very popular when released. El Camino: A Breaking Bad film which is a sequel to the hit TV series which follows Jesse Pinkman played by Aaron Paul on the run after the events that unfolded at the end of Season 5.
Netflix has three optional plans that you can choose, the basic plan which is the cheapest and costs £5.99 only allows you and your family or flatmates to watch Netflix on one device at a time, which means two people in the same household with the basic plan cannot watch a show or a film on two different devices. The basic plan has lower video quality and resolution as compared to the standard plan which costs £9.99, this plan allows viewers to watch on two devices and stream in HD and the premium plan costs £13.99, which allows an unlimited number of devices. All three price plans offer you a huge number of films and tv shows to watch.
Amazon Prime started back on 2nd February 2005 as a delivery service. They debuted their film and tv service in September 2006, but it was called Amazon Unbox, but then changed to Amazon Video on Demand in September 2008. Originally the service was for downloading and buying instant movies and TV shows which added 5,000 different movies and TV shows to watch. But then in February 2014 Amazon bought Lovefilm, which was a popular DVD postal rental service at the time. It subsequently closed Lovefilm and then turned Amazon Video into a streaming service.
Prime costs £79.00 per year, or if you pay monthly £7.99. Prime members enjoy the Prime Video, photos, music as well as next-day deliveries on selected products. If you pay annually this works out to £6.58 a month which is excellent value. Once you are a Prime member you can then choose to subscribe to lots of different streaming services such as STARZPLAY UK, Acorn, MGM and others. You can also rent and buy thousands of movies old and new.
In 2015, Amazon became a serious competitor for exclusive TV shows when they released both Comedy Drama Transparent, and the British automobile series, The Grand Tour, starring the original presenters from Top Gear, Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson, and David Mays. Transparent won a Golden Globe award for best television series for a musical or comedy. They are catching up in the race to make their own shows and have lots of popular hits such as the Jack Ryan series and the star-studded Emmy award winner Modern Love.
Amazon Prime has grown into one of the biggest streaming services which offer a lot of films and tv shows to watch and have made a variety of different exclusive shows to seduce you to invest in monthly and yearly memberships, alongside other Amazon channels as well. Shows like crime drama Sneaky Pete and Bosch. Action spy thrillers like Jack Ryan, and Alex Rider. Amazon Prime’s biggest show is The Boys, a superhero show about superheroes that are selfish and corrupt. They are worshipped by the public and are viewed more as celebrities than actual heroes that do good.
Amazon Prime’s biggest show is The Boys, a superhero show about superheroes that are corrupt and are viewed as celebrities more than actual heroes that do good. Amazon Prime does have some exclusive films, but they do not have as many as Netflix does, nor have they reached the popularity that Netflix has. However recently Amazon Prime has started to stream Premier League football matches for the UK, which makes it worth getting for any mega sports fans out there.
Disney+ is the newest streaming service to join the mix when it comes to streaming your favourite films and tv shows which first debuted back on November 12, 2019. Disney+ differs from other services purely because a big majority of their films and shows on offer are either made by Disney themselves, or Disney has purchased the rights to them. The first exclusive film that got released on Disney+ is a live-action remake of the animated film, Lady and the Tramp, which is a romantic comedy about two dogs from different backgrounds that fall in love. This is a lovely remake of the animated Disney original.
These exclusive shows based on Star Wars, Marvel, Disney series are planned to intertwine with the films’ main universe and continuity. This is a masterstroke to keep viewers transfixed by their favourite characters journey’s once the film has ended. Star Wars, The Mandalorian is considered to be the best show on Disney+, and one of the unique selling points to subscribe to the Disney+ streaming service. The Mandalorian is set after Return of The Jedi and is about a bounty hunter trying to navigate and survive in the galaxy in a post-empire world.
This show offers a mix of nostalgia to the previous Star Wars movies before CGI became heavily relied upon in the big live-action blockbusters. Mandalorian offers a unique take on a Star Wars story that has not been explored in the films before and gives the bounty hunter crime/war theme of Star Wars some love and emotion, whereas in the past the focus has been the Jedis. Disney+ also renewed the hit animated Star Wars show, The Clone Wars which was cancelled in 2013, and Disney+ managed to release a final season to the hit cartoon which is set during Revenge of The Sith and follows parts of Order 66 we didn’t get to explore and see what happens in Revenge of The Sith.
Disney+ has a good variety of documentaries from National Geographic for fans of people who love to learn about nature and history. This is a good addition to vary the content that is shown on the streaming service so it can attract non-Disney fans to the service. Disney+ will also release Christmas films during the festive season that are not owned by Disney like the Home Alone films.
However, a downside to Disney+ is it doesn’t have as much content compared to its competitors like Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Now TV. There are a few reasons for this Disney+ has its main focus on products owned by Disney themselves, and a lot of their exclusive shows had gotten delayed because of the Covid19 pandemic.
Disney purchased the right to Fox a few years ago so that means they have the right to show films such as the X-Men movies, Alien, and Predator series, Die Hard, and many other films produced by Fox. However, due to Disney Plus mainly targeting a younger audience, they tend to leave out most of the FOX licensed films because they are aimed at a more mature audience. It explains why Marvel superheroes like Blade film trilogy and Deadpool films are not present.
Licencing issues as well play a part in why films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe like Spiderman Homecoming, and Far from Home, as well as the Incredible Hulk, are missing due to the fact, they are owned by other film companies such as Sony, and Universal. It also explains why the classic Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield Spiderman films are missing from the Disney+ line-up.
Hopefully as more exclusive TV shows and films get released over the years, and Disney starts to experiment with more adult film franchises, it could attract a lot more people to their streaming service. Disney+ currently costs £7.99 per month or £79.00 for the year. It has recently added Disney Star which houses lots of popular American TV series, such as The Resident and Grey's Anatomy , and this will provide something for the parents once the kids have finished their screen time.
NOW TV was launched on July 17th, 2012, which is Sky’s response to the streaming service war between these 4 mega-platforms. NOW TV is a unique streaming service compared to the other three I’ve spoken about in this article. The reason being for this is because Now TV has multiple passes and memberships you can pay for exclusive content, unlike the other three who just offer the whole service for one price. You can select from films, sports, or TV packages.
The five passes that are up for purchase on NOW TV are Entertainment, Sky Cinema, Kids, Sky Sports, and HAYU. Prices range from £9.99 for the Entertainment pack up to £24.99 for Sports Pack. You can also add the boost feature which is charged for HD access. The Entertainment pack offers over 300 TV series to watch.
It also offers you shows from a variety of different channels in the UK such as FOX, VICE, Comedy Central, and SKY channels like SKY One, SKY Atlantic, and many other channels which should keep you hooked to watch many classic and different TV shows or films for years.
The SKY Cinema pass has the entire collection of movies from SKY Cinema which contains over 1000 movies, from multiple film genres like superhero, comedy, action, horror, thriller, and many other genres for fans of every film out there. SKY Cinema is perfect for film lovers with its massive catalogue, and you have a choice to get a combination bundle of both SKY Cinema, and Entertainment for slightly cheaper, which provides good value and there is no fixed term commitment.
SKY Sports is the place to go for all you mega sports fans out there. Out of all the streaming services, NOW TV has the best offering when it comes to Sport. Like SKY Cinema, NOW TV allows you to stream all 11 SKY Sports channels to watch your favourite sport(s) or even help you get into a new one. There are two football channels, one that streams the premier league, and the other that shows other football matches from different leagues or country matches in the national league and qualifiers for the World Cup and Euros.
They also have exclusive channels as well as Formula 1 for all you race fans out there, cricket, golf, NFL, and boxing matches from big names such as Anthony Joshua, Canelo Alvarez, and many other famous boxers. They even have a SKY Sports news channel to talk about what’s going on in the sports arena in the world now.
The Kid’s pass is perfect for families who have children and are not allowed to watch films and shows that are aimed at a more mature audience. Here comes the Kid Pass which has over 1000 children’s shows that are ad-free, and you can pick between 6 different channels to watch including, Boomerang, Cartoonito, Cartoon Network, Nickeloden, Nick Jr, and Nicktoons.
The final pass that is on offer with this mega streaming service is Hayu which is aimed at fans of reality TV shows such as Keeping up with the Kardashians, Million Dollar Listing New York, The Housewives franchises, and many other reality TV shows for you to be invested in following these reality TV stars lives.
Overall, I think these four streaming services are both amazing services to invest in for everyone. All services have their pros and cons. I think out of all the four streaming services Netflix is the best one for its variety of films and shows it has to offer for multiple audiences, a lot of exclusive films and shows, and it is the best value for money. That being said it is not uncommon for households to hold subscriptions with a combo of them all and when you have exhausted the content unsubscribe until some fresh new shows come along.
Enjoyed this blog post? Share it with your social network and friends.