From Disney+ to Netflix: These are the best streaming deals for 2023
As the cost of living crisis escalates and streaming services compete for valuable Christmas audiences, it can be difficult to know which streamers to keep and which to ditch.
That’s why we’ve rounded up the best deals available across mainstream services and outlined what they each offer (and what they’re best at).
Now when you see the subscription fees leaking out of your bank account, at least you can know you’re getting the best content at the best possible value!
BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Hub, My5: Free (with license fee)
If you pay for a TV licence, you can use a range of streaming services offered by network channels.
Not only do these covers shows and movies recently on TV, but they’ve also amassed quite substantial collections of box sets, and BBC iPlayer in particular has made much of its archive freely available.
As terrestrial TV channels strive to outdo each other with the best Christmas and winter broadcast schedules, you can expect a huge amount of great TV (and some of the best blockbusters) to be available online well into the new year.
Apple TV+: Two months free and then £4.99 a month
Apple TV+ got off to a disappointing start, with its debut original offerings largely failing to generate much critical acclaim or audience hype. But it has cultivated a handful of excellent series, including The Morning Show and Ted Lasso, and added older material to deepen its content library.
Now Will Smith is promoting a new deal (two months of free streaming) to help drive audiences for his Oscar-tipped film, Emancipation.
It’s a good offer, and a smart move towards rebuilding his image after *that* bang!
Britbox: £5.99 a month
Britbox represents a rare collaboration between the BBC and ITV – and their curated archive collections include much of the best television ever made.
The streaming service also has some original content, including a revived spitting image that is just as vicious as the original.
And if you have a BT TV subscription, you’ll already get six months free!
Netflix: £6.99 a month
The big. New films and TV from some of the most acclaimed directors and stars in the world coexist alongside an almost unbelievably large catalog of older material. (The other day I discovered a collection of Egyptian classic films from the 1950s and 60s – where had they been hiding?).
Netflix may still be the dominant streaming service on the market, but it hasn’t seen off the competition without suffering some injuries. It has lost a lot of family content — especially on the superhero front — to Disney+, while Amazon Prime and Apple TV+ are making competitive inroads with mature dramas.
But the sheer breadth and rapid turnover of Netflix’s library, as well as its formidable record of high-quality original content, means it’s still the service to beat.
How to save money on your streaming in 2023
- Unsubscribe from all your current streaming services for the start of the new year.
- Give yourself some time to see how happy you are without a subscription. If you pay the license fee, see if you can find enough to watch BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub etc.
- If you fancy more content, research and compare both what’s available on different services (you can use free sites like JustWatch) and what’s set to be added over the next year.
- If there are some shows or movies you really want to watch, but you hate paying for a full subscription to the service they stream on, then use free trials. Most services offer these.
Disney+: £7.99 a month
Disney+ offers the best deal for family entertainment. While it may not be able to match Amazon Prime and Netflix for volume of output, the collection includes almost everything produced by Disney, Pixar and National Geographic, plus libraries of Marvel and Star Wars content.
The Star subsidiary service is included in the price, and adds much more mature material, including recent theatrical releases.
Oh, and every Simpsons episode (except one) is there!
Amazon Prime Video: £7.99 a month
Amazon Prime Video has been working hard to try and compete with its streaming rivals, and there’s now a lot to make it worth your while.
There are shiny original series – especially the gigantic Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (the most expensive TV show ever made). And there’s also prestige sport, with some Premier League games shown exclusively on Amazon.
It might not have the strength in depth of some rivals just yet, but if you’re a sports fan looking for some solid series to binge on, Prime Video could be the streamer for you.
In addition, students qualify for a six-month free trial, although you must provide proof of student status – either an .ac.uk email address, NUS membership card or another document from a list on the website.
NOW TV: £12 a month for 6 months
NOW TV Cinema allows you to follow the latest films as they leave the cinema. For securing access to the biggest recent blockbusters, it’s unbeatable.
And now comes a new deal with some of the best TV around, as NOW TV Entertainment lets you watch the likes of The White Louts, House of the Dragon and the rest of HBO’s prestigious output.
You can access both services for £12/month over six months. It’s more expensive than other offers we’ve mentioned, but includes a huge amount of high-quality content.
Honestly, the hype generated by The White Lotus finale alone makes it tempting!
MORE: Christmas movies streaming – our pick of the best festive movies and where to watch them
MORE: Ads on Netflix: What to expect and what it means for the streaming industry