In less than a decade, the phenomenal rise of video streaming services is nothing short of revolutionary. While competing among themselves, these platforms have come together to form an industry that is posing a serious threat to the long-established cable TV sector. With people choosing to ‘cut the cord’ from traditional cables so to speak, more players are entering the streaming market space.
Another factor that has boosted the growth of this sector in recent times is the isolation caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
It’s not surprising as the content provided by the streaming services is a great way to alleviate the impact of the lockdown restrictions. There’s no doubt that a subscription to a streaming platform is a must-have, but, the question that prevails is; which is the best one?
If you want to determine which streaming service is the best for you, the top factors to consider are the library content available and the pricing options. In this guide, we will help you select the best pay-TV or streaming platform that will match your genre requirements and budget.
Arguably the most popular streaming service, Netflix is one of the oldest players, offering an impressive library of content for viewing purposes . Adding to the ever-growing collection of movies and TV shows are Netflix Originals; the platform’s own collection of films, programmes and series.
Netflix has been garnering a strong subscriber base in the UK since 2012 and has double the number of subscribers than most of the other streaming services. Using this streaming service is fairly straightforward – pay a monthly subscription and enjoy an unlimited amount of content.
Moreover, owing to its popularity, it comes as no surprise that Netflix boasts a huge market share and just this year its revenue hit £1.1bn in the UK.
How Much Does Netflix COST In The UK?
Netflix doesn’t offer a yearly subscription currently, however, you can choose from three monthly subscription pricing plans. The details of the plans are listed below:
- Basic: £5.99
- Available in standard-definition (SD) quality
- Streams content to just one device at any one time
- Standard: £8.99
- Available in high-definition (HD) quality
- Streams content to two devices at any one time
- Premium: £11.99
- Available in 4K Ultra HD quality
- Streams content to four devices at any one time
You can check which payment plan you’re currently on, and choose to change it if needed, in your account settings.
The Mouse House, Disney, launched one of the latest players in the streaming service industry called Disney+. Welcomed by fans, Disney+’s main highlight is the incorporation of Disney’s entire library of animation classics and TV shows, in addition to productions by subsidiary studios Pixar and Marvel.
According to a study published by Omdia, the overwhelming growth of this platform can be credited to the Coronavirus. In a press release, Maria Rua Aguete, senior research director, video, TV and advertising for Omdia said, “Disney Plus arrived in the UK just as Covid-19 social distancing and quarantine measures commenced.”
How Much Does Disney+ Cost In The UK?
You can subscribe to Disney+ on a monthly or yearly basis. Considering the pricing option for both plans, it’s best to sign up for the whole year. Mentioned below are the pricing plans offered by Disney+
- Yearly Subscription – £59.99
- Monthly Subscription – £5.99
3. Amazon Prime Video
The brainchild of the retail phenomenon, Amazon Prime Video is the toughest competitor for Netflix in the UK market, with four out of ten Brits being Amazon Prime members, according to research published by Mintel.
Amazon Prime Video’s library consists of a host of various options, including some exclusive content. In addition to this, this streaming service allows users to add subscriptions to a wide range of channels, which includes on-demand content and traditional ‘live’ channels. Some of these channels are part of your Prime subscription, while others come at a monthly fee, which is added to your bill.
What makes Amazon Prime Video stand apart from its competition is that it is not only a streaming platform. With a Prime subscription, users get multiple benefits from the parent company, including speedy order deliveries from Amazon and access to unlimited music and photo storage.
How Much Does Amazon Prime Cost In The UK?
As mentioned, Amazon Prime Video is just one among many the many services available to users who subscribe. You can choose to pay via monthly or yearly pricing plans, as mentioned below:
- Yearly Subscription – £79.00
- Monthly Subscription – £7.99
4. Apple TV+
A strong rival to the existing players in the video streaming industry, Apple TV+ recently launched in the UK after months of anticipated build-up. The tech giant’s streaming service launched in over 100 countries on November 1st and has quickly garnered a lot of subscribers as it houses a number of original shows and movies.
With this streaming platform, Apple hopes to enter the services industry instead of solely relying on hardware sales. The company also hopes to surpass other major players in the industry like Netflix and Amazon, with its $1bn-a-year (£770m) worth of original programming.
Subscribers can access Apple TV+ through the existing Apple TV app and users can access content from other channels and providers too, which includes HBO and Amazon Prime.
There will be a whole host of brand new content for users to enjoy, including Truth Be Told, The Morning Show and Spielberg’s big-budget reboot of his 1980s sci-fi anthology series Amazing Stories. In addition to this, you can also access classics like See with Jason Momoa, Dickinson, Oprah Winfrey’s book club, For All Mankind, Helpsters, Snoopy in Space, Ghostwriter and The Elephant Queen.
How Much Does Apple TV+ Cost In The UK?
The Apple TV+ is available at a monthly plan and does not currently provide yearly subscriptions. The monthly cost is £4.99 per month in the UK, which is substantially lower than its biggest competitor – Netflix.
You can also avail the services with a seven-day free trial. If you buy a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod Touch, you can avail a one-year free subscription from the time of activation.
However, if you want to avail the service but don’t have a compatible device, you will have to buy the Apply TV HD box, which costs £149.
It goes without saying that the past decade has been great for the streaming services, not only in terms of subscriber growth , but also the rise of competitors. While it’s unfortunate that a significant number of industries – including hospitality, sports, eCommerce, and travel – faced the brunt of the Coronavirus pandemic, streaming services have majorly benefited from the lockdown.
With new streaming platforms lined up to enter the industry, and existing players continually striving to better the content and services they offer, it goes without saying that this industry is showing no signs of slowing down.
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