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How much do your favourite streaming services really cost?

As Disney increases its subscription prices, here’s how to check if you’re actually getting value for money from your online streaming services.

Netflix streaming image

Streaming giant Disney Plus has announced that it will increase its prices for existing subscribers from February 2021. Prices will rise from £5.99 to £7.99, alongside it's launch of it's new streaming brand, Star.

Earlier this month, Netflix enforced a price rise as well:

  • Premium subscriptions will increase from £11.99 per month to £13.99 per month

  • Standard subscriptions will increase from £8.99 per month to £9.99 per month.

  • Basic subscriptions will remain at £5.99 per month

With budgets tight at the start of the year, we want to help you work out if the service you’re using is offering you value for money. Here’s how Netflix mid-level subscription prices will stack up against rival services:

Netflix£9.99
Amazon Prime Video£7.99*
Apple TV+£4.99*
Disney Plus£7.99
NOW TV Kids PassFrom £3.99*
NOW TV Standard Entertainment PackageFrom £9.99*

Notes: We’ve compared the monthly cost of Netflix’s Standard subscription plan with the following products: Amazon Prime Video (£7.99 per month if paid for monthly as part of Amazon Prime - otherwise it’s £5.99 per month), Apple TV+ (£4.99 per month or one year free if you buy a qualifying Apple device), Disney Plus (£7.99 if paid for monthly) and Now TV (Kids TV Pass at £3.99 per month).

With the Coronavirus pandemic forcing us to spend longer periods at home our use of streaming services has surged. According to the broadcasting regulator Ofcom, last year 12 million people signed up to a service they had not used before.

Money.co.uk has taken a look at the average cost per hour of content watched on each of the most popular streaming services using figures from a recent study of lockdown viewing habits. 

We took the average amount of time per week spent on watching online streaming services, which according to Ofcom came in at 1 hour and 11 minutes per day.

We then calculated the cost of each of the most popular streaming services based on this average hours watched per day figure to come up with a price per hour of content viewed.

So how does Netflix compare to its rivals using this measure?

  • Netflix: 31p an hour

  • Amazon Prime Video: 22p an hour 

  • Now TV: 11p an hour 

  • Disney Plus: 21p an hour 

  • Apple TV Plus: 13p an hour 

It’s worth bearing in mind that each service offers something slightly different. For example, if you want to watch any Star Wars movies you’ll have to subscribe to Disney Plus, as they are the only streaming platform that offers this content.

Meanwhile, Now TV offers a range of different streaming packages called TV Passes. While the Kids TV Pass is the cheapest at £3.99 per month (after a seven-day free trial), the Entertainment Pass, which offers hundreds of box sets and thousands of movies, is £9.99 per month. 

While Apple TV Plus offers the lowest cost per hour viewed, it has a very limited number of available TV shows and movies. As one of the newest players on the streaming market, Apple TV is looking to increase their original offering over time.

For a strong all-rounder, Netflix could still be a worthwhile pick with a basic package costing only £5.99 per month, although you’ll be limited to watching on one device in standard definition. 

In depth - How the services compare

Netflix 
  • Price £9.99 per month (new price) 

  • Catalogue size: 3,900 movies and more than 2,000 TV shows

Disney Plus 
  • Price: £5.99 per month

  • Catalogue size: 500 movies and more than 350 TV shows

Amazon Prime Video
  • Price: Prime Video membership is £5.99 per month by itself or free with Amazon Prime annual subscription (£79.99)

  • Catalogue size: Thousands of movies and TV shows

Apple TV + 
  • Price: £4.99 per month or free for a year with a new iPhone, iPad, Mac computer or Apple TV

  • Catalogue size: 19 TV shows and movies (six more to launch in April and May)

Now TV
  • Price: From £3.99 per month

  • Catalogue size: More than 1,000 movies and 300 box sets

If you are looking to subscribe to a new streaming service, you may want to consider using a credit card to pay for your subscription. Take a look and compare credit cards to find the option that is best for your financial circumstances.

Find the best credit card for you, whether you're looking for 0% card for balance transfers or purchases or day to day spending and rewards