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What are the best UK streaming services? Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ and more

Streaming services in the UK

The UK has come to love streaming services in recent years, with the boom starting with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offering an alternative way for Brits to enjoy TV shows and movies.

Our day-to-day TV viewing is no longer dictated by the TV guide when watching live TV and live sports, as on demand shows and streaming services give viewers the chance to watch what they want, when they want.

With giant streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus all producing incredible, award-winning original shows and movies (as well as timeless classics), it’s never been a better time to get stuck into an online streaming service.

We’ve made it easy for you to check out each streaming service individually, with price, content and special features all playing a part in choosing the best streaming service for you.

The best streaming options

With streaming services being subscribed to by an estimated 16.9 million people in the UK, there are no of options out there for you to choose from.

With ‘streaming wars’ continually evolving as each subscription platform offers new features, original programming and competitive prices, where you sit on the streaming spectrum depends on what kind of content you’re looking for as well as budget.

Almost all streaming services can be accessed via Smart TVs, Android TV, Apple TV and compatible mobile devices, so wherever you are you have no issues watching your favourite shows. Most also offer the chance to download shows to watch offline, too.

Disney's acquisition of Marvel & Star Wars has propelled them to one of the best streaming services
Amazon Prime Video offer exclusive shows on its streaming service

The big TV streaming services

The obvious popular streaming services – all available on Apple TV, via Amazon Fire TV stick, Smart TVs and more – are the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus. The three streaming services offer a huge catalogue of TV shows, movies and more for the entire family.

While Netflix has found huge success with the likes of Stranger Things, Amazon Prime Video streaming offers sports fans an inside look at their favourite teams (All or Nothing series) and comedy-documentaries like The Grand Tour, with former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.

Disney+ have the enviable collection of all Disney movies throughout history – as well as modern Pixar classics like Frozen 2 and Encanto – as well as the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe and all Star Wars films and series, since Disney bought both brands in recent years. Add Star TV to the Disney+ offering and you can view a whole host of movies and shows like Mrs Doubtfire and X-Files.

Disney+ and Netflix also offer customers the chance to watch content on simultaneous streams, whether that’s via Smart TV, game consoles or web browsers.

Live TV subscription streaming services

Existing customers for paid TV subscriptions like Sky and Virgin Media can benefit from watching both live TV and catch up TV service channels with their paid package.

These streaming platforms such as Sky Go give you full access to live channels, live sports and all the best TV you could binge – all you need is an internet connection and you’re ready to watch!

Sky Go also benefits from original HBO Max content, elsewhere unavailable in the UK, so you can watch all the TV episodes of Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and more at the touch of a button.

Sports fans can watch Premier League football on Sky Go, Sky's streaming service
CHILI TV is the latest video streaming service to draw a big audience in the UK

Other streaming services

Looking for a streaming service with a difference? There are more options than just Prime Video and streaming Netflix.

New streaming services have been launched in recent years that have drawn a big audience in the UK, such as the Italy-based streaming service CHILI TV. CHILI offers customers the chance to have more control over their budget, with no monthly subscription fee – you only pay for what you watch. There are frequent flash sales that allow you to purchase movies for as little as 99p.

Plus, if they don’t have what you want to watch just yet, they’ll point you to your nearest cinema and give you the cinema times.

Another streaming service that could be a big draw for true cinema fans is BFI Player from the British Film Institute, once again giving you the option of paying monthly or purchasing/renting individual titles. The BFI Player shows the very best of British and international cinema that other services wouldn’t ordinarily stream.

Free streaming services

While some of the streaming services mentioned above offer a free trial to check out their platform (Amazon Prime Video still offers a 30 day free trial), many of the options no longer offer this to new customers.

However, if you simply want to keep up to date with regular TV shows traditionally available on freeview, there’s still a streaming service for you!

Free to air TV channels such as BBC, ITV and Channel 4 all offer their own streaming services, with the BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All4 all available completely for free – you only have to sign up for an account to start watching (and have a TV licence to view BBC content).

There are also some free events shown on YouTube TV channels, such as live sports events like the UEFA Europa League final which was shown on the BT Sports YouTube TV channel completely for free.

Catch classic original BBC shows like Poldark, Sherlock and Luther on BBC iPlayer, completely free
Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV can turn TVs into Smart TVs

Streaming devices

There are multiple devices you can purchase, too, that will transform your home TV into a Smart TV to stream all the best content straight to your living room.

An Amazon Fire TV stick or Apple TV box will give you all the best streaming services at the touch of a button, allowing you to keep all your platforms in one place. With Amazon Fire TV giving you the chance to subscribe to various channels through your Fire TV stick, you can access BBC iPlayer, Disney+, YouTube, All4 and more.

An Apple TV box will provide the same kind of access, with the added benefit of Apple TV Plus (with a paid subscription), meaning you can access the best exclusive content from Apple to boot.

Which streaming service for you?

Choosing the right streaming service can be tricky, with so more streaming services than ever before to choose from. The best streaming services are ones that give you more options, more features and more of the content you want to watch.

Whether that’s Star Wars, live TV streaming or international arthouse cinema, there’s a video streaming platform for you.

With almost all apps offering instant access and available via your mobile device or Smart TVs (including LG TV, Samsung Smart TVs and Apple TV, etc), there’s also never been more ways to watch and stream your favourite TV.

Check out our recommended streaming subscriptions here.

Catch True Crime originals on Netflix
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