The 6 best streaming services you can get in the UK for 2022

It seems the on-demand market has become increasingly saturated throughout the years.

Streaming services have changed how we watch films and television, bringing new videos, episodes, and shows directly to our homes. The success of early subscription services like NOW and Netflix brought many different companies into the arena, offering comprehensive options for virtually any niche.

Unfortunately, the monthly costs of all streaming services can add up to serious expenses. It’s essential to consider the type of content posted on the platforms before subscribing (so you know there’s something you’d like to watch). Start with two or three different providers you enjoy and register for free trials. From there, set a budget for your television entertainment and stick to it.

What are streaming services?

Streaming services are platforms that offer collections of media content. These might include videos, television shows, podcasts, or live channels. When a user pays the monthly subscription, they unlock the content for the duration of their payment (for example, monthly for those who pay once a month). Programs include British programming, North American favorites, and other international collections. Movies and television shows are mostly relatively static, although some providers will change the content regularly depending on licensing agreements.

Which Streaming Providers Are Available?

In the UK, there is no shortage of streaming services. The UK holds many niche platforms, catering to British audiences and catch-up platforms (rewatch your favorite programs). Some larger companies are available; Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple TV+ are all available in the UK.

Choosing the Right Provider

BBC iPlayer

Although most streaming services charge a monthly subscription to use them, BBC iPlayer charges an annual licensing fee (£159 per year). Once this fee is paid, users have unlimited access to high-value content from most BBC programming. For popular shows, users can access previous episodes for extended periods, including recent seasons.

Plex

This platform is considered a streaming provider thanks to its comprehensive functionality and storage capacity. Plex also includes live television channels for members paying for the Plex pass, which costs $5 a month. It allows users to watch free tv with their antenna and tuner functionality. The Plex pass also enables on-demand programs, music, and multimedia programming (similar to YouTube). You can still upload your media content to the server without the plus services, providing a personalized programming experience.

BritBox

Tailoring to a British audience, this streaming service is a niche provider that connects users to comprehensive programming. Memberships are only £6.99 a month and include many programs from popular UK networks (like BBC and ITV). Many UK residents consider BritBox to be the British version of Hulu, with hours of television programs and movies available with the click of a button. With over one million registered users in North America, this niche-based platform fills a much-needed gap in other streaming providers online.

Disney+

The perfect option for anyone wanting kids’ content without paying for cable, Disney+ is a combination of educational programming, engaging movies, and widespread network programs. You’ll find all the classics on the streaming service, including the original Disney classics. Registration often includes a free week to look through the programming. After the trial, users pay a monthly membership of £11.99.

Netflix

As one of the original streaming providers, Netflix has thousands of programs, videos, and television programs available. Many popular shows have current and past seasons available for viewing. Eventually, Netflix begins building a ‘recommended viewing’ category based on your past viewing habits. This content includes North American content, British programming, and international items to pique your interest. Users will have access to Netflix-produced content too, which is becoming increasingly popular. Subscriptions are available for £5.99 a month, with free trials available for new registrations.

Amazon Prime Video

If you’re looking to combine live television channels and a comprehensive content library, Amazon Prime Video may be the best option. All prime members can register for Prime Video, including live channels, television programs, new content, and classic videos. Users can watch past seasons of registered channels, along with personalized recommendations based on popularity. While the basic membership does include some content, users can purchase additional channels (called packages) to unlock more content.

Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.