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Are streaming subscriptions worth it?

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For many of us, streaming services have become part of our everyday viewing lives. We spend our evenings scrolling through our Netflix Top 10 or catching up on Strictly Come Dancing on BBC iPlayer. Streaming services mean we can pick up the shows and films we want to watch when we want to watch them.

But with so many services on offer, the cost of these can soon mount up. So, are they worth it? Are there any we can do without?  

What are streaming services?

Streaming services are usually accessed through a Wi-Fi-connected TV or device. The media file that we watch on a streaming service is stored remotely. We usually pay a subscription fee to get access to the transmission of the media.

Some examples of streaming services include Netflix, Amazon Prime, and NowTV. There are many and it seems that there are more popping up as time goes on.

Are streaming services popular?

With so many of these services available, it appears that they’re popular. However, subscriptions fell by two million last year.

There are a few potential reasons for this. First, there’s the increase in the cost of living. For many of us, we’re tightening our belts and removing non-essentials from the monthly outgoings list. Many households are removing most of their subscriptions and some are doing away with them entirely in order to save cash.

Another reason could be because there’s a lack of choice. Some services seem to have a better offering than others. It can often be the case that once we’ve caught up with our favourite shows, we’re tempted to cancel the subscription until the next season is released.

Additionally, some people are getting frustrated by the streaming services. For example, Netflix has been in the headlines recently for bringing in expensive new subscription fees and not allowing people to share passwords.

What are the main streaming services?

There have been new launches in the last few years. Paramount Plus is the latest to join the fold. However, there are some go-to services that are consistently popular.

  • Netflix – Netflix remains the most popular streaming service available. It has big budgets to produce its own original shows, remakes, and updates. It also has the rights to old favourites like Heartbreak High. Add to that great marketing and an active social media output, and it’s easy to see why Netflix is king among these streaming services.


  • BBC iPlayer – You might not think of iPlayer when you think of streaming services, but you need a licence fee to access the BBC’s online output. This service can only be used in the UK. So, if you are travelling outside the UK or you’re an expat who wants to watch your favourite shows, consider using a VPN for your TV. This will allow you to access UK sites like iPlayer as though you’re still at home.


  • Disney Plus – This was launched in 2020 and quickly became popular. It offers everything from Disney classics and all things Star Wars to kids TV shows like Bluey.


  • NowTV – This features a combination of series that feature on HBO and Sky, giving us access to a lot of content that’s mostly from the States.


  • Prime Video – Amazon has come a long way from simply delivering cheaper books. Prime Video can be linked to your Prime membership, bringing everything together.


So, are they worth it? Ultimately, it depends on your circumstances and own personal preference. For some, Netflix is exactly what they need, while others just want to access the BBC. If you want to access your favourite shows and films at the touch of a button, then they can be very worth it.


Melissa Jane Lee

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