Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services worldwide, providing thousands of films and TV shows to the masses. As long as you have an internet-connected device, whether that be a smart TV, laptop, tablet, games console, or smartphone, and are happy to pay for the monthly subscription, anyone can access the streaming service for a huge range of on-demand entertainment.
Since launching its streaming service in 2007, there have never been ads on the platform, but in November, Netflix will launch a cheaper, ad-supported tier for the first time in the wake of tumbling subscriber numbers.
In March, the streaming service increased its subscription prices by an additional £1, which saw its most popular standard tier tip over the £10 per month mark. While it subsequently lost a million subscribers following the announcement, it’s still one of the most popular streaming services, though it has now been overtaken by Disney+ in subscriber numbers.
Netflix’s streaming catalogue contains fan favourites such as Stranger Things, Squid Game, Clickbait and Maid, and old classics such as Dirty Dancing, Scarface and Monty Python. And there’s a great dedicated children’s section too, with Spongebob, Cocomelon, Paw Patrol and countless other shows your little ones are sure to love.
If you haven’t yet tried Netflix, are in two minds about rejoining the streaming service now there’s an ad-supported tier or want to check that you are definitely getting the best deal, we’ve answered all your burning questions below, including how much it costs, payment plans and how easy it is to set up an account.
How much does Netflix cost and what is the cheapest option in the UK?
From November, there will be four different Netflix packages available instead of three, ranging from basic to premium. While all accounts can have up to five profiles tracking individuals’ watchlists and recommended shows, the main difference comes down to ads, cost, video quality and how many accounts can stream simultaneously.
At the cheapest end of the spectrum is the basic package with ads tier. Launching on 3 November in the UK, the basic with ads tier will cost £4.99 a month, will only work on one device at a time, won’t have offline playback and you’ll only get 720px resolution. The entire content library will not be available at launch either. More on that below.
The second-cheapest tier is the basic tier, which costs £6.99 a month, following a recent price increase. Included in this option is unlimited access to all TV shows and films, but you’re only able to stream them on one device at a time and you can only download TV shows and films to one mobile device. You only get 720px resolution as well.
At £10.99 a month, the standard package includes all of the above but allows you to watch shows across two devices simultaneously and download them onto two different mobile devices. It also has shows available in 1,080px HD for higher-quality viewing.
Finally, at £15.99 a month is the premium package, with all of the above available on four devices at the same time as well as having an Ultra HD viewing option available on most TV shows and films.
How much does Netflix cost and what is the cheapest option in the US?
In the States, the plans are identical, with fees of $6.99 for the ad-supported tier, $9.99 for the basic plan, $15.49 for standard and $19.99 for premium.
What’s included in the regular monthly price?
In terms of streaming, everything on the Netflix site is available to the three non-ad supported tiers. The core difference between them is the number of devices that can stream at the same time and the different video resolution.
New releases are added monthly across all genres, so re-watching the same shows should be a thing of the past (unless you’d like to – no judgement here).
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If you’re just looking to stream alone or don’t mind ads, the basic ads package would be perfect. But for those looking for a family plan or to group up with friends, the premium package may be a more cost-effective solution, working out at just £3.20 per month if split five ways – cheaper than the ad-supported tier, and it includes ultra HD content.
How does Netflix with ads work?
On 13 October, Netflix announced it will be launching an ad-supported tier in 12 different countries on 3 November, but you won’t have access to the same catalogue of content as the other three tiers.
During a press conference, Netflix’s COO Greg Peters said he estimated 5-10 per cent of content would not be available on the basic with ads tier at launch, but that it would depend on each region. There will be an average of four to five ads per hour, with ads running for between 15 and 30 seconds, playing before and during TV shows and films.
How does the price of Netflix compare with that of other streaming services?
Compared with other streaming services, Netflix is on the more-expensive side when looking at the premium package, but actually on the cheaper side when it comes to the basic rate. Compared with many other services, there are no additional fees when it comes to newly released films or TV shows. It’s also the first streamer to launch an ad-supported tier, though Disney+ is expected to release one at the start of 2023.
Meanwhile, Apple TV is just £4.99 a month, and Amazon Video is actually included within the Amazon Prime subscription, which is £8.99 per month – which gives you next-day delivery and access to sales events such as Amazon Prime Day – for no extra cost. Amazon increased the cost of Prime on 15 September, a rise of 20 per cent, and the first time Prime’s price has gone up in the UK since 2014.
How to sign up for Netflix?
Signing up to Netflix is easy. Simply visit the sign-up page, choose your desired plan, pop in your email address and a password and link the account to a credit and debit card, Paypal or a gift voucher, and voila! Easy streaming within minutes.
What to watch on Netflix?
Whether you’re a classic film lover, horror fanatic or anime fan, there’s a huge range of variety on Netflix so no one list of recommendations will suit everyone. Luckily the site does have a good algorithm and will quickly learn your style of shows, recommending similar options.
Are there any good alternatives to Netflix?
By spending billions of dollars on a huge catalogue of original content, Netflix has become the default streaming platform of choice for many. But with several price hikes also under its belt, you might be considering other options. The good news is, there are more streaming services than ever, each offering something unique and, in many cases, costing less than Netflix.
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There’s Apple TV+, which costs just £4.99 a month and, while its catalogue isn’t anywhere near as large, it has a good selection of high-quality content that isn’t available anywhere else. These shows include Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, For All Mankind, Severance, Trying, CODA and Slow Horses, among others.
You could also try Amazon Prime Video, which is included in the £8.99 a month (or £95 a year) Prime membership, but is also available on its own for £5.99 a month.
Prime Video includes plenty of original Amazon content too, plus a wide selection of TV shows bought in from other producers. There’s a broad catalogue of films too, including the entire James Bond collection, thanks to Amazon’s recent purchase of MGM.
Lastly, you could try swapping Netflix for Disney+, which costs £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year and includes the entire Disney back catalogue. There’s also everything Disney owns, including the Marvel and Star Wars franchises, and brand-new releases like Mulan and Cruella, plus exclusives like Pam & Tommy and The Beatles: Get Back.
But, to help you get started, we recommend some popular shows like Stranger Things, Maid, Squid Game, Clickbait and Sweet Magnolias.
For the latest discounts on TVs and other tech offers, try the links below:
Before you start streaming, you may want a new TV to watch your favourite shows on and we’ve rounded up the best deals this month