Streaming TV is so popular that terms surrounding it are slipping into our everyday vocabulary. If you’re struggling to choose between Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV, we’ve lined them up and compared the pros and cons of each.
Each of the major streaming providers offer a free trial so you can test the service before subscribing.
Netflix is very straightforward, it offers one month free on signup with a rolling contract. If you don’t cancel after the first month you will be charged.
Amazon has the same deal but also offers a six-month trial exclusively for students.
Sky’s Now TV offers a two-week trial on entertainment and movies, which are also on rolling contracts. There is no way of testing its sport offerings.
The cost of all three services is similar but the extras you can purchase are very different. Netflix starts at £5.99 and the price increases as you add extra screens (laptop, TV, Xbox etc). You can watch on two screens for £7.49 a month but for only £1.50 more, four screens in 4K definition is all yours.
Amazon Prime is £79 annually, the equivalent of £6.58 a month. It includes next day delivery on Amazon purchases, early access and exclusive deals. Amazon is experimenting with monthly payments in the US but there is no sign of it crossing the Atlantic anytime soon.
Now TV has a complex pricing structure that reflects the three types of content it offers. Its entertainment package costs £6.99 per month and movies are an additional £9.99. To access sports, it is £6.99 for a day pass, £10.99 a week or £31.99 monthly.
Every provider offers a slightly different selection of films and TV. Now TV offers the newest films because of the deals Sky has with film studios. Netflix and Amazon compete for rights to older films. Amazon tends to feature more drama and action films while Netflix is better for comedy and documentary fans.
In terms of TV, all three platforms produce their own content – Netflix is widely regarded as the most successful. It has produced award winning titles including House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and BoJack Horseman. It also partially funds Better Call Saul, Arrested Development and several others.
Amazon also creates its own TV shows and has several award winners. It has deals in place to provide American network shows first. Highlights include Mr Robot, The Man in the High Castle, Turn and Transparent.
Now TV streams the major Sky channels but programmes are only available for a limited period of time. It also offers HBO shows through Sky’s deal with the US cable channel. This means series like Game of Thrones, Last Week Tonight and the Late Late Show, are exclusively available.
All three offer apps but are not necessarily compatible with every device. iOS and Android are covered by both, so there are no issues with mobile streaming. All the major games consoles are compatible with all three provider’s apps. Smart TVs may or may not be compatible, check the app store on your device to find out or take a look at the manufacturer’s website.