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Best streaming sites in the UK 2023

Got a serious streaming addiction? We'll show you the best streaming sites and how to save money while using them. You can even watch some shows and films online for free...

remote and tv

You probably don't need us to tell you how great Netflix is. But, what if we told you that you could be saving serious money on your streaming subscriptions? Yeah, now you're listening.

Better yet, you can also save money when streaming films and TV without a monthly subscription. Your hungover Sundays just got a lot cheaper.

Downloading or watching films and TV online will require a good internet connection. See how your connection compares in our best broadband deals table and find out how to improve your WiFi speed.

Best streaming sites in the UK

Streaming servicePriceFree trial? 
amazon prime video
Amazon Prime Video
£8.99/month or
£95/year (£47.49/year for students)
6-month student trial Sign up »
Full review
apple tv+
Apple TV+
£6.99/month or
£69.99/year
7-day free trial Sign up »
Full review
britbox
BritBox
£5.99/month or
£59.99/year
7-day free trial Sign up »
Full review
disney plus
Disney+
£7.99/month or
£79.90/year
N/A Sign up »
Full review
sky
Netflix
£4.99/month (Basic with ads),
£6.99/month (Basic),
£10.99/month (Standard) or
£15.99/month (Premium)
N/A Sign up »
Full review
now
NOW
£9.99/month (Entertainment),
£9.99/month (Cinema),
£33.99/month (Sports),
£4.99/month (hayu)
7-day free trial for hayu Sign up »
Full review
sky
Sky Stream
From £26/month N/A Sign up »
Full review

Streaming sites reviewed

These are the best streaming sites in the UK:

  1. Amazon Prime Video

    amazon prime logo

    • Standard price – £8.99/month, or £95/year as part of Amazon Prime (£4.49/month or £47.49/year for students); other titles available at additional cost
    • Free trial? – Yes, six-month student trial
    • Popular titles – The Grand Tour, Mr. Robot, The Office US, Vikings, Outlander.

    Amazon Prime has many blockbusters, including The Hunger Games, Blade Runner 2049 and Indiana Jones.

    The selection of TV shows is somewhat less vast, but there are still plenty of treats on offer. The Man In The High Castle, Parks and RecreationThe Office US and The Walking Dead are just a few of the big hitters.

    When you’re deciding what to watch on Amazon Prime, just make sure that what you choose is part of the service. Many titles you’ll see listed aren’t included in your subscription, and you’ll have to pay extra to either buy or rent them.

    To check whether you can watch something with your subscription, look for the little Prime banner in the top left corner of the show or the film’s thumbnail.

    How to save money on Amazon Prime Video

    As long as you’ve got a valid .ac.uk email address, you’re entitled to a Prime Student membership. It’s almost the same as standard Prime membership, except rather than costing £95/year, it only costs £47.49/year (or £4.49/month).

    Not only does this get you access to Prime Video, but it also unlocks Prime Music, Prime Photos and, perhaps best of all, free delivery on all Prime-eligible products.

    Weirdly, the only thing missing from Prime Student is access to the Kindle library. And this is arguably the most useful part for students…

    But the money-saving doesn’t stop there. If you’re eligible for Prime Student, you should also be able to get a free six-month trial of the service.

    And even if your .ac.uk email address no longer works, standard users are still entitled to a free trial of Prime Video. This lasts a month before reverting to the standard price of £8.99/month.

    Note: Prime Student can’t be bought as a gift (unlike standard Prime). But, using any Amazon gift card tricks to get Prime Video will work out more expensive than just getting a Prime Student membership.

    Free Amazon Student trial »

     

    ↑ Comparison table

  2. Apple TV+

    apple tv logo

    • Standard price – £6.99/month or £69.99/year
    • Free trial? – Yes, seven-day free trial
    • Popular titles – The Morning Show, Ted Lasso, Severance, See, For All Mankind, The Elephant Queen.

    Apple TV+ has far fewer titles compared to the other major streaming services. But, there are still some great shows to watch.

    The £6.99/month price tag might currently seem quite (well, very) steep for the amount of content on Apple TV+. Luckily, there are some ways to watch Apple TV+ for free when you buy other things…

    How to save money on Apple TV+

    The best way for students to save money on Apple TV+ is by getting the Apple Music student plan. This includes a subscription to the TV-streaming service for a limited time.

    The Apple Music student plan lets you stream and download songs from a library of 100 million songs, ad-free. It has a one-month free trial, costing £5.99/month thereafter for up to 48 months (or until you leave uni). After this, it’ll go up to the standard price of £10.99/month. With the standard Apple Music subscription, you won’t have access to Apple TV+.

    It’s the same price as a student subscription to Spotify Premium. But, with Apple Music’s student plan, you get the added bonus of Apple TV shows. As Apple TV+ expands, this could end up being a very good way of saving money on streaming music and TV.

    Plus, you can also get access to three months of Apple TV+ for free when you buy a new Apple device like an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV or Mac. While we definitely wouldn’t recommend buying an Apple device just to get the free Apple TV+ subscription, it’s a good way to save money on streaming TV shows if you were planning to get one anyway.

    Free Apple TV+ trial »

     

    ↑ Comparison table

    Did you know that streaming in SD produces eight times fewer emissions? The quality difference is barely noticeable on mobile or tablet, so it’s an easy way to cut your carbon footprint.

  3. BritBox

    britbox logo

    • Standard price – £5.99/month or £59.99/year
    • Free trial? – Yes, seven-day free trial
    • Popular titles – Doctor Who, Fawlty Towers, Footballer Wives, River.

    A big fan of British entertainment? Then BritBox may be the best streaming site for you.

    This joint venture from the BBC and ITV gives you access to the best of British TV. For £5.99/month you can watch more than 100 British films and 300 television box sets, including Downton Abbey, Doctor Who and Love Island.

    How to save money on BritBox

    If you (or your parents) have BT Broadband, you may be able to watch BritBox for free. Simply add BritBox to your My BT account, and they’ll give you six months of BritBox for free. This works for both new and existing customers.

    After these six months, it’ll automatically roll over to the regular £5.99/month subscription. Make sure you cancel on time if you don’t want to pay.

    Alternatively, you can split your subscription with friends, as you can watch BritBox simultaneously on up to five devices. If your parents (or anybody else you know) are already paying for the subscription, you can ask if you can log into your device with their details and watch it for free.

    Free BritBox trial »

     

    ↑ Comparison table

  4. Disney+

    disney plus logo

    • Standard price – £7.99/month or £79.90/year
    • Free trial? – No
    • Popular titles – Hocus Pocus 2, She Hulk, The Mandalorian, The Simpsons, The Lion King.

    Disney+ includes an amazing range of content, combining films and TV shows by Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. On top of that, there are lots of other titles in the Star catalogue.

    You’ll be able to find plenty of classic family favourites like Toy Story and The Lion King. Plus, there are Broadway productions such as Hamilton, and Disney+ Originals like Once Upon A Snowman (about Olaf from Frozen).

    At £7.99 a month, Disney+ isn’t a bad price considering it’s got so many major films, shows and documentaries available for you to watch.

    How to save money on Disney+

    There was previously a seven-day free trial available for Disney+, but this offer seems to have been paused. If it becomes available again, we’ll share details on our Disney+ student discount page, so keep an eye out.

    But, even without the free trial, you can save a fair amount of money on a subscription.

    The best way to save money on a Disney+ subscription is by signing up for a one-year subscription for £79.90. This works out as a saving of around 16%, compared to paying the monthly cost of £7.99 for the year.

    You can watch Disney+ on up to four devices at the same time. To save money, you could share the subscription with three friends to make it just under £20 each for the year. Bargain!

    Get Disney+ »

     

    ↑ Comparison table

  5. Netflix

    netflix logo

    • Standard price – £4.99/month (Basic with ads), £6.99/month (Basic), £10.99/month (Standard) or £15.99/month (Premium)
    • Free trial? – No
    • Popular titles – Stranger Things, Breaking Bad, Ozark, Sex Education, The Crown.

    Just as Google has become a byword for any kind of online search, Netflix is now pretty much the go-to term for streaming sites. ‘Amazon Prime Video and chill’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it…

    Netflix’s selection of films is certainly nothing to be sniffed at (Seven, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Kill Bill to name a few). But, it’s the catalogue of TV shows that has helped establish it as the popular choice.

    Despite having the rights to classics like Breaking Bad, Peaky Blinders and Suits, Netflix’s original content is arguably the best of the bunch. Narcos, Stranger Things and BoJack Horseman are among the critically acclaimed titles that Netflix has produced in-house.

    Netflix now also has a ‘Basic with ads’ subscription for only £4.99/month. It’s the cheapest subscription available, but you will get ads while you watch. Also, not all TV shows and movies will be available to you. These will be highlighted with a lock icon on your Netflix search.

    How to save money on Netflix

    If you want to save money on Netflix, it’s worth looking for discounted gift cards. While they’re not always available, it could save you a big chunk of money if you find them.

    On eBay, some users sell gift cards they don’t want. They can go for up to 20% less than their value. For example, a £20 gift card for just £16.

    It’s also worth having a look on CDKeys. You can sometimes find discounted Netflix gift cards there, too.

    And keep an eye out for other gift card sales. Shops (including Tesco) will occasionally run offers on gift cards. That means that you can get Netflix credit for less than it’s worth. Check out our deals section to see if there’s a sale on now.

    Get Netflix »

     

    ↑ Comparison table

    Want to save even more? We’ve got a full guide on how to save money on Netflix.

  6. NOW (formerly NOW TV)

    now logo

    • Standard price – £9.99/month (Entertainment Pass), £9.99/month (Sky Cinema), £33.99/month (Sky Sports), £4.99/month (hayu)
    • Free trial? – Yes, seven-day free trial (only for hayu)
    • Popular titles – Dexter, Succession, Grey’s Anatomy, Game of Thrones.

    With a relatively small selection of titles, NOW has very much gone for the ‘quality not quantity’ approach.

    As it’s owned by Sky, NOW boasts exclusive rights to some of the best shows around. This includes all of Sky Atlantic’s (or, more accurately, HBO’s) most popular titles, such as Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon. And if you want to stream US reality shows, you can get a hayu subscription with NOW.

    Their film offering isn’t bad either. However, that’s probably not a surprise given that it’s just the back catalogue of Sky Cinema.

    On the downside, if you’re working to a budget (which we always reckon you should) you’ll have to choose between film, TV and US reality shows. NOW charges a separate monthly fee for each service, plus a massive £33.99 a month for Sky Sports.

    How to save money on NOW

    If you’re already a NOW customer, you can save some money by trying to cancel your subscription. Try unsubscribing online and see if a cut-price deal pops up.

    Alternatively, you can try phoning them up and get them to persuade you to stay with an offer. But before you do, make sure you know how to haggle.

    And while there isn’t a free trial for Entertainment or Cinema (just for hayu), there are often introductory offers on NOW. At the time of writing, you can get three months of NOW Entertainment for £15 instead of £29.97.

    Get NOW»

     

    ↑ Comparison table

  7. Sky Stream

    sky logo

    • Standard price – From £26/month
    • Free trial? – No
    • Popular titles – House of the Dragon, Downton Abbey, Stranger Things, Breaking Bad.

    The new streaming service from Sky essentially lets you stream TV over WiFi. There’s no need for a satellite or professional installation, all you need is the Sky Stream box and an internet connection.

    Your subscription gives you access to Sky TV, Netflix, and Freeview TV. If you already have a Netflix subscription, you can even link it to your account to avoid paying twice.

    It’s possible to add different packages to your Sky Stream subscription. For an additional monthly fee, you can add the likes of Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, BT Sports and Sky Kids.

    While it’s a little pricey, remember that there are over 30,000 shows to watch. However, keep in mind that you also have to pay a set-up fee. This will set you back £20 for an 18-month contract, and £39.95 for the monthly contract.

    Get Sky Stream »

     

    ↑ Comparison table

Why not sample as many streaming services as you can using our guide to the best free trials?

7 free streaming sites in the UK

There’s no better discount than getting something for free. Luckily for you, there are plenty of ways to watch films and TV online for absolutely no cost.

And before you say it, yes, there are lots of ways to stream things for free which aren’t strictly legal. But, because we don’t want to get you (or ourselves) into trouble, we’ll stick to the legal free UK streaming services:

  1. All 4

    all 4 logo

    • What can you watch? – Complete box sets for most of its popular shows, past and present
    • Ads? – Yes
    • How to watch for free – You have to register for a free Channel 4 account
    • Paid-for subscription available? – Yes, All 4+ lets you watch ad-free. It comes with a 14-day free trial, after which it’ll cost you £3.99/month or £39.99/year.

    Check out All 4 »

     

  2. BBC iPlayer

    bbc iplayer logo

    • What can you watch? – Most shows and films that have been broadcast on the BBC in the last 30 days, and some of its older content
    • Ads? – No
    • How to watch for free – You need a TV Licence (although there is a loophole) and create a free account on the BBC iPlayer website
    • Paid-for subscription available? – No.

    Check out BBC iPlayer »

     

  3. BoB

    BoB logo

    • What can you watch? – Variety of major titles
    • Ads? – No
    • How to watch for free – Sign in with your university’s login service to confirm you’re a current student
    • Paid-for subscription available? – No.

    BoB is intended as an online learning resource. It has an archive of over two million TV and radio broadcasts. This includes films!

    The picture quality isn’t as good as you’ll find on a paid-for streaming service, and the episode selection can be hit-and-miss. But when you’re not paying a penny and it’s completely legal, who cares?

    Check out BoB »

     

  4. ITVX

    itvx logo

    • What can you watch? – Shows and films from across ITV’s channels
    • Ads? – Yes
    • How to watch for free – Sign up for a free account on the ITV website
    • Paid-for subscription available? – Yes, you can upgrade to ITVX Premium to avoid ads while watching. There is a seven-day free trial, and it costs £5.99/month or £59.99/year afterwards.

    Check out ITVX »

     

  5. My5

    my5 logo

    • What can you watch? – Shows and films from Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5SELECT and the Paramount Network
    • Ads? – Yes
    • How to watch for free – Simply go to their website, no login is required
    • Paid-for subscription available? – No.

    Check out My5 »

     

  6. Sky TV

    sky logo

    • What can you watch? – 350 box sets on the Box Sets or Complete package, and over 1,000 films for Sky Cinema subscribers
    • Ads? – No
    • How to watch for free – Sky TV isn’t technically free because you need a Sky TV subscription to access its content. But you can ask if your parents (or the parents of one of your flatmates) have a Sky TV subscription and see if they’d let you log into their Sky Go account on your laptop.

    Check out Sky TV »

    If Sky decides to show the football on Sky Max or Sky Showcase, it works out much cheaper to buy a NOW Entertainment Membership than a Sky Sports one. That’s just one of our cheap ways to watch the Premier League
  7. UKTV Play

    UKTV play logo

    • What can you watch? – Most of the shows that have been on the UKTV channels, including Dave
    • Ads? – Yes
    • How to watch for free – Create an account on the UKTV Play website and you’re good to go
    • Paid-for subscription available? – No.

    Check out UKTV Play »

     

Make sure you’re keeping in line with TV Licence rules, especially if you’re exploiting the TV Licence loophole.

Best pay-per-view streaming services

Not sure you’ll be using a streaming site often? You could also opt for these pay-per-view (PPV) services:

  1. iTunes

    itunes cheap discount voucherWhile iTunes offers a ton of films and TV shows, you’ll need to download the software before you can buy or rent. Plus, you can only watch it on an Apple device (or computer).

    On the bright side, iTunes always has sales on. Sometimes you can rent a movie for as little as 99p.

    However much it costs, make sure you get some gift cards first. Head back up to our section on getting a discount on Netflix for a recap on how to get cheap gift cards.

    Check out iTunes »

     

  2. Google Play Movies

    google play logo

    Google Play Movies offers a huge selection of films and TV series. However, unlike iTunes, Google doesn’t restrict you to just viewing your downloads on their operating system. You can watch on any device.

    To get money off, you’ll want to get Google Opinion Rewards. As payment for answering a few short surveys about your shopping or viewing habits, the app gives you some credit for the Play Store.

    Keep an eye on our deals section too. Google often sells its Chromecast with some Google Play Store credit.

    And since you can use vouchers on the Play Store, you should also use the cheap gift card trick here.

    Check out Google Play Movies »

     

  3. Rakuten TV

    rakuten tv logo

    Rakuten TV used to be called Wuaki, but not many people have heard of it.

    It has a massive back catalogue that can be streamed through all Android and iOS devices, as well as your computer.

    Rakuten TV has a large library of free films and TV shows. If you do decide to rent sometime, you can use their loyalty point scheme to build up credit. It’s not very generous, at only one point (worth 1p) per pound spent, but it’s better than nothing.

    Check out Rakuten TV »

     

Fancy earning money from watching videos? We know of plenty of ways you can do just that.

How to stream to your TV

Everyone knows that you can use streaming services on your laptop, but it isn’t the most sociable or comfortable way to do things. If you want to watch your shows on the big(ger) screen, you’ve got a few options:

  1. Amazon Fire TV stickThe Amazon Fire TV stick supports pretty much every streaming service. On top of that, Amazon almost always has some kind of offer on it. Prime members also get free delivery. If you haven’t got an account, get your free six-month trial now.
  2. Chromecast – Google’s Chromecast is easily the cheapest streaming stick available. And, since it’s made by Google, you know you’re getting a quality product.
  3. Games console – Most gaming consoles allow you to stream to your TV. It’s worth a look if you already have one.
  4. HDMI cable – If your laptop has an HMDI port, you can go back to basics and connect your laptop to your TV with an HMDI cable. 
  5. Roku Express – This is a cheaper model of Roku’s higher-end streaming device. But, apart from being a little slower, it does a good job. The Roku Express supports all of the major streaming services, plus a few hundred more.
  6. Smart TV – If you’ve got a Smart TV, you can probably already stream without the need for any other devices. Keep in mind that these aren’t cheap though, and not all services are available on all devices.

Prefer to watch your flicks on the big screen? Check out our guide to saving money at the cinema.

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