The best UK streaming platforms – ranked!

The best UK streaming platforms – ranked!

Updated: 8 days, 9 hours, 11 minutes, 10 seconds ago

If you want to stream everything on every major platform in 2023 you’ll need to pay £1,126. Which is obviously ridiculous. Cut down your subscriptions and you’ll also be saving yourself from endlessly scrolling through a dozen watchlists every night – with far too much to choose from to ever justify the cost. So which ones are worth the direct debit? Here, we rank the best streamers available right now…

9. BritBox

Cost: £5.99 per month
Is there a free trial? Yes – for seven days
Best for: British TV classics
Worst for: Anything without a British accent
Biggest movie/show: Doctor Who

In a nutshell: BBC iPlayer and ITVX only keep shows that have been on TV for a year. If you want to watch anything older, you’ll need to sign-up to BritBox. Or go rooting around the bottom of the boxset bin in your local charity shop.

8. Paramount+

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Cost: £6.99 per month
Is there a free trial? Yes – for seven days
Best for: The movies that Netflix aren’t allowed to have anymore
Worst for: Buffering
Biggest movie/show: Top Gun: Maverick

In a nutshell: If you’re into Star Trek and Kevin Costner, Paramount+ is terrific. If not, it still feels very much like the lonely divorcee in the Netflix split – getting South Park and Mission: Impossible, but losing the house and the kids.

7. Apple TV+

Cost: £6.99 per month
Is there a free trial? Yes – for seven days
Best for: Occasional flagship gems
Worst for: A monthly subscription
Biggest movie/show: Ted Lasso

In a nutshell: Take a week off work to binge Severance, Bad Sisters, Slow Horses and the occasional original film (Emancipation, The Tragedy Of Macbeth, The Velvet Underground…) and then cancel your sub until the new Scorsese turns up sometime in the summer.

6. Amazon Prime Video

Cost: £8.99 per month
Is there a free trial? Yes – for 30 days
Best for: Next day delivery
Worst for: Hidden costs
Biggest movie/show: Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power

In a nutshell: Amazon has a huge library, but a lot of it you have to pay separately for. There’s always a half-decent rotation of films and shows for free, but the streaming part of the monthly cost does often feel like the extra that comes with the free postage.

5. NOW

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Cost: £9.99 per month for the Entertainment package, £19.98 for Entertainment + Cinema. NOW is also currently offering its Entertainment + Cinema package for £15 per month, for six months.
Is there a free trial? Yes – for seven days
Best for: Prestige Sky shows and new blockbusters
Worst for: Anything more than a few years old
Biggest movie/show: The Last Of Us

In a nutshell: NOW is a pretty good name, since the platform does a pretty good job of keeping up to date with the latest and greatest. House Of The Dragon, The White Lotus and whatever was on the cinema last year usually stops here. Pricey though.

4. Shudder

Cost: £4.99 per month
Is there a free trial? Yes – for seven days
Best for: Horrors
Worst for: Romcoms
Biggest movie/show: Halloween

In a nutshell: Run with love by people who love a good stabbing, Shudder is the opposite of Netflix and Amazon’s kitchen-sink approach to streaming, focussing instead on one genre (horror), and doing it better than anyone else.

3. MUBI

Cost: £10.99 per month for the basic plan, £15.99 for MUBI GO
Is there a free trial? Yes – for seven days
Best for: Arthouse dramas
Worst for: Adam Sandler comedies
Biggest movie/show: Aftersun

In a nutshell: A new arthouse or indie film gets added every day, making MUBI’s small but ever-changing library feel the most hand-picked. You can also upgrade to a deal that gets you weekly cinema tickets too, so you even get to leave the house.

2. Disney+

Cost: £7.99 per month
Is there a free trial? No
Best for: Star Wars and Marvel
Worst for: Shows without puppets in them
Biggest movie/show: The whole MCU

In a nutshell: Since Mickey Mouse bought Fox in 2019, Disney+ has gotten a lot less family friendly. A handful of great grown-up shows aside though (Only Murders In The Building, Atlanta, Reservation Dogs…), the channel is still best at doing what no one else can afford to – making the kind of franchise blockbusters that are big enough to threaten the future of cinema.

1. Netflix

Cost: £6.99 per month for the basic plan, £10.99 for HD, and £15.99 for UHD
Is there a free trial? No
Best for: Having the biggest library
Worst for: Having the biggest library
Biggest movie/show: Stranger Things

In a nutshell: The OG of streamers is still, for better or worse, the last subscription worth cancelling. The algorithms suck, the amount of choice is dizzying and it’s about to get harder to share logins, but there’s still more to miss here than anywhere else.