The ultimate guide to every streaming platform in the UK

In the golden age of streaming services, one can feel like a kid in a sweet shop: all those platforms clamouring for your attention and monthly subscription fee! But which ones deliver the content you’re looking for?

We’ve compiled an exhaustive list of all of the streaming platforms available for UK viewers, comparing cost and pros and cons. Whether you want to compare the big streaming giants, find something for your budget, or learn about the more niche media libraries out there, we’ve got you.

This page was last updated on May 20, 2024

Platforms covered are: Netflix, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Apple TV+, NOW, YouTube Premium, BFIPlayer, All 4, ITVX, UKTV Play, Freely, Kanopy, Curiosity Stream, True Story, My5, BritBox, Shudder, Pluto TV, Hayu, Mubi,


Still the grandaddy of streaming platforms, Netflix has become an international juggernaut with its library of originals and crowd-pleasing favourites. In the last couple of years, series like Squid Game and Tiger King have turned into huge sleeper successes, thanks to the US empire’s emphasis on immediate binge-ability.

Cost: £10.99 per month for the Standard Plan’s two HD screens, and £17.99 for the maximum four screens. An ad-supported tier became available in November 2022, costing £4.99 each month if you’re willing to sit through some messages from our corporate overlords.

Pros: With each passing year, the streaming service’s originals are becoming more and more groundbreaking, packed with big-name celebs and filmmakers. Soon, all will be Netflix. Praise be to Netflix.

Cons: The movie selection can be a little underwhelming when you look beyond the recent festival acquisitions and comfy old faves. In fact, the service has a shockingly small amount of films from before even the 90s.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon’s streaming service is as comprehensive as you’d expect of the US mega-retailer. The platform comes free with a membership to Prime Video, meaning subscribers can also access a huge library of eBooks, and it’s the only way you can check out acclaimed TV such as Reacher, The Marvelous Ms Maisel, and The Boys.

Cost: A flat £8.99 a month, still one of the more reasonable subscriptions on this list considering its diverse movie library.

Pros: Over the course of the pandemic, Prime Video has become another great place to rent or buy recent hits: fresh festival releases are often available to watch here while they’re still in select cinemas.

Cons: One thing that irks me is picking out a movie, hitting play and finding out that while the title is being promoted on Prime Video, you still have to purchase or rent it, as it’s not actually included in your subscription for whatever reason. There is a yellow dollar sign that appears on the key art for each of these rental titles but it’s still annoying. Grrrr.

BBC iPlayer

Hey, random citizen reading this: thanks for funding BBC iPlayer! You’re partially responsible for this solid streaming platform from the Beeb, bringing together both live and catch-up programs from BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, cBBC, BBC News, and Radio 1. It’s enough to make one feel downright patriotic.

Cost: It’s free, hun. As long as you’re covered by the usual TV licence, just register and sign up.

Pros: There’s a blend of esoteric oldies and fresh new stuff arriving on iPlayer every single month: sweeping orchestral Prom performances, edgy new scripted series, and brilliant old-school classics all alongside one another.

Cons: Some of the platform’s controls can act buggy or seem a little outdated in comparison to the slickness of paid subscription services, but that’s to be expected for the refreshing pricetag, perhaps.


All Disney, all the time. Actually that’s not true: there’s also every Marvel movie, every Star Wars property, and a tonne of National Geographic content, making Disney+ the family-friendly option for entertainment. Then, once the kids are in bed, check out recent and classic films on Star, the latest ‘content tile’ added to the platform’s menu.

Cost:£7.99, or £79.90 a year. With no free trial. Cheaper than a trip to Disneyland at least. The Premium plan costs £10.99 each month or £109.90 annually.

Pros: Disney+ has gotta be a lifesaver for parents everywhere, as its huge selection of princess movies and wholesome kid-friendly TV makes it the perfect never-ending screensaver for little ones.

Cons: Some of Disney’s most exciting recent releases are only available to watch for an additional ‘exclusive premiere’ fee, meaning subscribers need to fork out an additional £19.99 on top of their monthly subscription fee to watch the latest buzzy title.

Apple TV +

Apple’s slick streaming app has garnered some positive buzz for its star-studded projects: a recent ad showed Jon Hamm wondering why basically every other famous person in Hollywood has had an Apple TV+ show apart from him. But it still doesn’t boast a large amount of titles, despite all that star power and big budget. The only real breakout is Ted Lasso, TBH.

Cost: A quite low £8.99 a month, after a week-long free trial.

Pros: Considering Apple recently invested another billion into its original content, there should be more good stuff coming to Apple TV+ soon, even if it’s taking a while for the service’s offerings to build familiarity and acclaim.

Cons: Sometimes you just wanna veg out and watch something comfy and familiar, not one of Apple TV+‘s bundle of quietly-received series and handsome documentaries.


Wanna watch the hottest movies and HBO dramas right…NOW? Shows like Succession and Euphoria are a huge part of this Fox service’s appeal, where heaps of the world’s most talked-about titles all seem to show up. Peacock services are only available in the UK through Now, too, for all your NBC faves.

Cost: £9.99 each month for either the Entertainment or Cinema pass, after your week-long free trial. The entire range of both film and TV selections will cost you $19.98 each month, then.

Pros: NOW promises “brilliant entertainment”, and Lillian Crawford’s monthly guides to the best new arrivals on the platform would seem to back that claim up.

Cons: Ads at the start of your chosen title might annoy, especially considering how much you’ve paid for the privilege of watching.

YouTube Premium

Ha, you might be thinking to yourself; these idiots don’t know that you can use YouTube for free. Well that’s true, and the site’s subscription YouTube Premium is perhaps not even technically a streaming a service. But to many, the monthly fee is worth it, for ad-free background play and the ability to download videos to save offline.

Cost: After a 30-day free trial, YouTube Premium is £12 a month; quite steep for one screen.

Pros: YouTube Premium is the only way to have your music and videos playing in the background while you’re not actively using the app, and to save your favourite clips to watch later. This almost makes it a must for YouTube users that are creators themselves.

Cons: Our love and respect for previous YouTube Original success story Cobra Kai is well documented. But even that graduated to Netflix, and the website/platform is still not known for its original titles.


Expand your movie-going mind with classic and cult films on BFIPlayer, the British Film Institute’s classy streaming platform. A bunch of releases even come with an intro from critic Mark Kermode, and the ‘free’ tab is an archive of thousands of important titles to take you around the world, or to see 120 years of Britain on film.

Cost: £4.99 each month or £49 a year, and you get a two-week free trial at the start, too.

Pros: Hot new releases can also be rented on BFIPlayer for as little as £2.50—not a bad price to see exclusive movies that may still be in cinemas.

Cons: Probably not the place to go for familiar comfort viewing, with challenging and cerebral titles all demanding a few hours of your time.

All 4

BBC iPlayer’s most significant competitor, Channel 4′s free on-demand platform continuously updates its selection of reality, fiction, and newsy content. If you’re a Bake Off or Come Dine With Me fanatic, this is the place to be—plus there’s entire series of millennial hits like The Vampire Diaries and Smallville.

Cost: Gloriously free! Or you can fork out £3.99 for All 4+, a premium ad-free service.

Pros: After signing in, you’ve got access to all of Channel 4’s live channels, meaning your laptop (or even your phone!) can now basically act as your telly.

Cons: Sure All 4 is free, but you’ll have to sit through a bunch of ads to make up for it, and some can apparently be pretty lengthy and unskippable.


Bye, itv Hub: iTVX is in town, touting itself as the UK’s “first integrated advertising and subscription funded platform”, à la Netflix’s ad-supported offering. Since December 2022, viewers have been able to choose between watching some ads to get tonnes of free British and international content, or paying for the boosted premium service, which comes with many exclusive titles and access to BritBox.

Cost: Free but not ad-free, unless you’re down to pay £5.99 each month for the premium service.

Pros: The service promises that at least one major series will premiere each week, which includes star-studded BritBox originals like A Spy Among Friends.

Cons: iTV’s clever bundling-together of all of its related content kinda screws over those hoping to subscribe to BritBox, if you’re not already signed up. Scroll to read BritBox’s entry below for more info…


The first digital-only brand from UKTV, this platform brings reliably entertaining titles straight to your streaming screen from comedy channel Dave, history-oriented Yesterday, and Drama, a channel giving us…drama. It seems like just about every UK comedian and TV presenter has their face in some corner of the UKTV Play‘s homepage.

Cost: Another one of the free, on demand services available to anyone in the UK with a TV licence.

Pros: Shows like Red Dwarf, QI, and salacious drama Tell Me Your Secrets.

Cons: You can get most of those shows elsewhere, too, seeing as most of them are BBC or ITV productions.


A mighty collaboration between BBC, itv, Channel 4 and 5, newcomer Freely gives subscribers the ability to blend together live channels and their on-demand watchlist, claiming to put “free TV front and centre of the streaming age.” A solid public service that combines the powers of all the UK’s public service broadcasters!

Cost: As the name may have indicated to you, the service is free. It’s built into select Smart TVs already, and you don’t need an aerial or cumbersome TV box to set it up, requiring only a WiFi connection.

Pros: It’s a seamless aggregated experience, perhaps even negating your need to fiddle around with too many of the above free services individually. Users can pause and restart live TV programs, and the service claims to offer “95% of the UK’s favourite TV shows”.

Cons: Freely is still an infant in the streaming sphere, having launched in late April 2024. Let’s hope that viewers take to it and find it easy to locate their fave titles from their separate public service applications.


Kanopy is available through whatever public or student libraries you have access to. The little streaming service that could, it has a self-proclaimed focus on ‘thoughtful entertainment’: this translates to a diverse variety of powerful documentaries, classic films, and more recent festival favourites.

Cost: It’s free!

Pros: I just said it’s free, pal. But it’s also home to some truly excellent movies that might otherwise fly under your radar, such as (to name only a few) Under The Silver Lake, Dogtooth, and Hunt For The Wilderpeople.

Cons: Kanopy‘s content varies greatly depending on what library or institution you’re watching through, meaning that your public library’s selection could be a bit more meagre than the full catalogue.

Curiosity Stream

Another doco streaming service, this one is based in the US but can be enjoyed by any non-fiction-lovers around the whole world. The Premium service may be worth those extra buckaroos, offering seven niche streaming specialties with everything from ‘One Day University’ course lectures and Da Vinci Kids, a mind-expanding category for your lil brainiacs.

Cost: Just £2.99 per month on the standard annual plan, and £9.99 per month under their premium 4K annual plan.

Pros: Wine mums and dads rejoice: the SOMM TV channel will tell you everything you ever needed to know about vino. Plus thousands of exclusive and fascinating docos, available to download for offline viewing.

Cons: Their website claims a library of “award-winning exclusives and originals”, but a cursory sneak peek of the library doesn’t reveal too many big, familiar titles. Not that true doco obsessives will mind finding a new, lesser-known favourite.

True Story

A sleek documentary-only streaming service with a focus on independent storytelling, True Story promises to expand your understanding of the world around you. Log in for the very best of raw, auteur-driven docos from around the world, via either a monthly subscription fee or a one-off rental fee, if you’re just keen to catch one particular gem.

Cost: Monthly subscription is £5.99, or £59.99 each year. Individual rentals are £3.90 each.

Pros: Critic Guy Lodge gets at the precise appeal of True Story, describing its catalogue as “selective and distinctive, largely made up of strong, compelling documentaries that made a dent on the festival circuit without cracking a general release elsewhere.”

Cons: Not the place for lighthearted distraction, a glance at the ‘critically acclaimed’ and Russia-Ukraine specific libraries on True Story mostly suggests a rigorous and challenging watch.


Recently renamed from the even more simple ‘Channel 5’, this free content library could keep you entertained for ages with lurid true crime docos, comfy reality, and a decent amount of all-time great movies. There’s even a good selection of US and Australian shows, like beloved soaps Home and Away and Neighbours.

Cost: My5 is totally free, as you’d expect of a platform offering so much free-to-air, accessible stuff.

Pros: Kid’s channel Milkshake is practically a streamable babysitter. And there’s a slew of digestible crime stories both true and fictionalised, illuminating shocking stories from here in the UK to anywhere in the world.

Cons: It can be difficult to tell just how much of thoese tantalising series you’ll be able to watch in total. For instance, Yellowstone only has its first two episodes available :(


Does it seem a bit, um, redundant having a UK-specific streaming service, when there’s free services like BBC and ITV around? Well both content libraries are combined in BritBox‘s UK-specific catalogue, but it’s going through some significant changes lately thanks to ITVX, above. Potential subscribers are now directed to get ITVX instead, but existing subscribers can continue to pay for BritBox’s patriotic programming.

Cost: £5.99 a month once your free seven-day trial ends, or £59.99 per year. If you try and sign up now, however, you’ll be redirected to get ITVX, which envelops all of BritBox’s offerings with even more exclusive content.

Pros: There’s no ads anywhere, and the promise of shows like Crashing, Broadchurch, Peep Show, plus original series The Beast Must Die and a terrifying new exclusive version of Spitting Image.

Cons: A healthy amount of the ‘just in’ and ‘most popular’ categories are made up of more obscure titles. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not as attention-drawing as offerings from Netflix and Now, say.


If you wish it could be Halloween everyday, you probably already love Shudder; a horror-centric streaming platform churning out surprisingly solid originals whilst also promoting under-sung scary stories from the past and all around the world.

Cost: A modest £4.99 each month, or to save up on a few scares, £49.99 for a yearly subscription.

Pros: The team at Shudder clearly know their stuff, in terms of both curation and production. Thoughtful original films and series really stand up alongside the well-organised categories of classics, Joe Bob Briggs’ irreverent horror host specials being just one highlight.

Cons: That ‘all horror, all the time’ niche may mean your household only watches Shudder sparingly. Plus it can be frustrating that Shudder‘s UK library still doesn’t feature as many titles as the US platform.

Pluto TV

Here’s a unique streamer, where you can flick through countless free channels, choosing between hyper-specific niche marathons or endless streams of your fave trashy shows. We’re talking about a Gordon Ramsay binge until the end of time, or the ability to play snarky Rifftrax B-movies in the background all day long.

Cost: Free, but not ad-free. You’ll even get promotions for other Pluto TV channels you could be watching instead of…the one you’re currently watching.

Pros: The scrollable channel list is a fresh, addictive way to spend your spare streaming time. No need to commit to completing one show: just surf around and veg out to something that appeals.

Cons: There’s little prestige, celebrated stuff here outside of some unexpectedly quality films. Otherwise, you better be in the mood for Cops, Baywatch, Jersey Shore…


Hey, you! A reality fan’s vision of paradise, Hayu is focused on bringing the best unscripted content to global viewers, dropping episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Real Housewives as soon as they land in the US.

Cost: £4.99 a month. Not bad for a platform where most of the shows have a vast amount of seasons, specials, and spin-offs.

Pros: Rather than dropping entire series at once, Hayu works more as a pipeline to bring international shows right to your doorstep practically as soon as they premiere. You’ll feel like you’re right there, hearing the latest LA gossip at the same time as Lisa Vanderpump!

Cons: Hayu‘s selection really is limited to reality and lifestyle TV, meaning anyone other than a reality die-hard might tire of the subscription after a while.


Bringing a curated arthouse/film club vibe to the world of streaming, Mubi adds a new film every single day to its high-quality library. Its ‘Now Showing’ section includes just 30, diverse, unusual films in total, with a much broader selection available in the ‘Library’ catalogue.

Cost: Flat rate of £10.99 per month, with a week’s free trial, no contract, and no ads, ever.

Pros: Cinephiles will find plenty of rare, artistically significant, and challenging films to soak up on Mubi, as well as thoughtful community functions to find your next cult favourite. Lately the service has even taken to funding and snapping up some titillating festival releases.

Cons: In the words of Ferris Bueller, life moves pretty fast sometimes; if you wait a few weeks too long to watch that one amazing Chilean word-of-mouth sensation that you’ve been meaning to see for like 6 years, it just might pass you by.