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The best streaming services in 2023

These are the best streaming services of 2023 worth your money for TV series and new movies, across Netflix, Amazon Prime, Shudder, and more.

Best streaming services

What are the best streaming services? Whether you’re a seasoned on-demand watcher or just tired of broadcast TV, there are now dozens of streaming services ready and waiting to entertain you at a click of a button. With more people than ever choosing to cut the cord and new services joining the big names like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, it’s undeniable that we have entered a new era of entertainment.

Be it live TV, sports, or the latest blockbusters, watching the best TV series and the best movies has never been easier. With all these options, though, subscriptions can soon stack up, making your wallet cry, and leaving you stuck scrolling through menus instead of actually enjoying yourself. Well, we’re here to help. In this guide, we go through all the best streaming services that deserve your attention.

We’ve chosen streaming services with the biggest libraries (especially for new movies), top-notch streaming quality, user experience, and the best value for money. Keeping in mind that US and UK viewers have different services available to them right now, we’ve also tried to make our guide as internationally accessible as possible, putting down options (with just a few exceptions) that everyone can enjoy, with or without a VPN.

What are the best streaming services?

Best streaming service: Disney Plus

1. Disney Plus

The best streaming service overall.

Disney Plus overview:

Notable shows/movies Disney movies, Pixar movies, Star Wars, MCU, The Simpsons, The Muppets, The Walking Dead, Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, Indiana Jones, Alien
Compatible devices Apple, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Smart TVs, PlayStation, Xbox, web browsers, Android, Chromecast, NowTV
Free trial None

The world’s biggest streaming service Disney Plus is a service that keeps on growing thanks to a steady stream of exciting new content. It offers Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic, Star Wars, the best Disney movies, and more, all organised and grouped for user convenience.

Between Star Wars series like The Mandalorian and Ahsoka, and Marvel series such as Loki, WandaVision, Hawkeye, and the rest of Marvel’s phase 5, it’s become a one-stop-shop for your favourite franchises. The price for Disney Plus may have increased as its library doubled in size, but when you can watch all your picks in 4K and HDR for little to no extra cost, it definitely feels worth it.

Best streaming service, Apple TV Plus - its iconic white logo is on a plain black background.

2. Apple TV Plus

The best streaming service for original content.

Apple TV+ overview:

Notable shows/movies Ted Lasso, Foundation, Severance, Dickinson, For All Mankind, Mythic Quest, The Essex Serpent, Physical, Pachinko, Shining Girls
Compatible devices Apple, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, PlayStation, web browsers, Apple TV, Chromecast with Google TV
Free trials Seven days, or one year if you purchase an Apple device

One of the newer entries on our list, Apple TV Plus, came into the streaming game in 2019 and makes for a great alternative to some of the more established services despite sporting less variety than most.

It mainly offers high-quality originals and has become increasingly popular thanks to titles like the award-winning comedy series Ted Lasso. However, Apple TV Plus is slowly adding more content to its library and has announced it is looking to acquire some older titles soon. For any Apple device users, the pricing deals are too good to pass up, and with an Apple TV 4K, you can watch all your shows in Ultra HD.

Best streaming service, Paramount Plus - its logo is imposed over an collage of various shows in its library.

3. Paramount Plus

Paramount Plus is the best streaming service for American TV.

Paramount Plus overview:

Notable shows/movies Star Trek, Yellowstone, South Park, Halo, iCarly, Daria, Frasier, Cheers, Twin Peaks, Deadwood, Oz, Top Gun
Compatible devices PC, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Android, Chromecast, FireTV, PlayStation, Xbox, Samsung TV, and more
Free trial 1 week

Paramount Plus is home to a wealth of sports programming (including the National Football League, PGA Championships, the UEFA Champions League and many others), as well as the majority of all Star Trek content ever created (including TOS, TNG, Picard, and more).

If you love classic American sitcoms, there’s also a bunch to choose from on Paramount Plus, with Cheers, Frasier, Happy Days, and The Brady Bunch all among the countless options in their library. With so many long-runners, Paramount Plus is a brilliant choice if you’re somebody who loves to binge on something that’ll bring a smile to your face. It’s also home to Top Gun Maverick.

Best steaming service, Amazon Prime Video - its logo is on a plain background.

4. Amazon Prime Video

The best streaming platform for variety.

Amazon Prime Video overview:

Notable shows/movies The Wheel of Time, Vikings, Man in the High Castle, Sneaky Pete, American Gods, Preacher
Compatible devices Apple, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Smart TV, Apple TV, YouView, web browsers, BT TV Box, Chromecast, Android.
Free trial 30 days

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you’ll no doubt love this streaming service. Amazon Prime Video stands next to Netflix with the vast amount of content available for users to watch. Boasting new originals like Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and a revolving door selection of classics, there is a lot for everyone to enjoy. Its streaming quality is known for being excellent, supporting 4K and HDR streams, and downloads for offline viewing.

However, its pricing can get a bit dicey as Prime members will often find titles promoted that require you to spend extra on rentals instead of the free options available. Despite this, Amazon Prime Video is easily one of the best streaming services around (with a 30. The selection of available shows and movies may change on a regular basis, but that means you get the opportunity to try lots of different things.

Best streaming services: Hulu. Image shows the company logo.

5. Hulu

Hulu is the best streaming platform for live TV.

Hulu overview:

Notable shows/movies Community, Alien, Die Hard, Only Murders in the Building, The Handmaid’s Tale, Castle Rock, Normal People, It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia
Compatible devices Amazon Fire tablets, Android, iPhone, Chromecast, PlayStation 5, Xbox, Samsung smart TVs, and more
Free trial One month (with ads)

Hulu is pretty darn cool – partially because it gives you live access to a number of television channels. As much as streaming services are the new way to watch TV, we understand that a lot of you are still going to want to watch the old channels as you used to, and with Hulu, you can do that.

Adult Swim, CBS, ABC, and the Cartoon Network are among the many channels that you can access through Hulu. It’s not just about TV shows or movies either, because there’s also a selection of news and sports networks, like CNN, ESPN, and Bloomberg Television, essentially ticking all the boxes for things you might want to watch on TV.

Of course, just like the other services, you’ve still got a selection of top-notch TV shows and movies to watch anytime (like Die Hard, Alien, Community, Cheers, and more). Technically, it’s only available in the US, but we recommend reading our guide on how to watch Hulu in the UK.

Best streaming service, Netflix - its logo is red on black.

6. Netflix

The best streaming platform for iconic shows and movies.

Netflix overview:

Notable shows/movies Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, Squid Game, Wednesday, Extraordinary Attorney Woo, The Witcher, Castlevania, Hearstopper
Compatible devices Apple, Smart TVs, web browsers, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, Xbox, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, YouView, Sky Q, BT TV Box, Now TV
Free trial none

Since it began streaming content back in 2007, the Netflix price held steady for a while, and with it its position as the top dog, but Disney Plus is giving its subscriber count a run for its money. Netflix remains popular and has an impressive variety of TV and films to pick from, like mega-hit Stranger Things, a user-friendly app, and is consistently pumping out exciting original content like the best Netflix series to keep its users entertained.

Over the years, quality has taken a bit of a hit, especially with a few Netflix originals. Still, the service has slowly been getting better, with some films like Marriage Story and Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman achieving recognition from the Academy Awards. The future looks bright for Netflix, and with three different plans to pick from and even the option to stream in 4K, it’s easy to get the most out of your money after signing up.

Best streaming service, Shudder - its logo is a blood red against a stormy sky.

7. Shudder

The best streaming service for horror fans.

Shudder overview:

Notable shows/movies Color Out of Space, Halloween, Hellraiser, Influencer, Night of the Living Dead, Re-Animator, Ringu
Compatible devices Apple, Roku, Android, web browsers, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, Apple TV, Chromecast, Smart TVs
Free trial One week

Finding the best horror movies to stream is hard, with even the big names like Netflix rarely delivering quality scares. Thankfully, there’s Shudder — a streaming service dedicated to the genre, giving fans a selection of horror classics as well as spooky original examples of the best fantasy series and best fantasy movies like Creepshow and A Discovery of Witches.

It also has the famed Masters of Horror Collection in its selection, which features work from thirteen acclaimed directors such as John Carpenter (Halloween), Dario Argento (Suspiria), and Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Shudder is low-cost, full of new content, and is a specialist streaming service that does its niche right.

Best streaming service: Britbox its logo is on a black background with the words "created by BBC and ITV".

8. BritBox

The best streaming platform for UK shows.

BritBox overview:

Notable shows/movies Doctor Who, The Thick of It, Black Books, Red Dwarf, Downton Abbey, The IT Crowd, Pride and Prejudice
Compatible devices Apple, Smart TVs, Android, web browsers, YouView, BT TV Box, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV
Free trial one week

British broadcasters BBC and ITV team up to deliver a streaming service that brings the best of British entertainment to various countries. If you’re a big fan of British TV and want to binge some Doctor Who, it’s a service that you’ll probably want to pick up.

Although you can find British programming via other streaming services such as All 4, BritBox has the best selection of British box sets and stands out with its deeper collection of TV and films compared to other services. It’s one of the more specialised picks on our list, but one you can’t ignore, due to its selection of cult-classic shows that many (especially those outside the UK) will appreciate.

Best streaming services: VRV

9. VRV

Best for animated shows and movies.

VRV overview:

Notable shows/movies HarmonQuest, The Cyanide and Happiness Show, Killjoys, Magic Funhouse, Cat Agent
Compatible devices Amazon Fire TV, Apple, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, web browsers, PlayStation, Smart TVs, Roku, Xbox
Free trial One month

When you talk about the best service for streaming the best anime series, cartoons, and gaming, the US-exclusive service VRV manages to stand out as the top of the pack. Here beloved channels are bundled together for your convenience and together make for one of the most diverse niche streaming services out there. VRV has content from Boomerang, HIDIVE, Cartoon Hangover, Crunchyroll, MONDO, NickSplat, Rooster Teeth, and even a few originals.

The broad amount of content fully caters to its target audience, and if you aren’t too annoyed by ads, you can watch most things for free in 1080p. However, despite its diverse library and competitive pricing, VRV lacks certain community features (e.g. forums, manga, and merchandising stores) that veteran anime lovers may take issue with.

Best streaming services: The CW. Image shows the service's logo.

10.  The CW

The best free streaming platform in the US.

The CW overview:

Notable shows/movies The Waltons, Superman & Lois, One Tree Hill, Jane the Virgin, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Reign, Flash, Smallville. iZombie, The Messengers
Compatible devices Android, iOS, Android TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, VIZIO, Roku, and more
Free trial Entirely free service

If you want a streaming service which you can use for free indefinitely, we recommend using The CW. While this free service requires that you watch quite a lot of adverts, it does also give you the opportunity to see all of The CW’s latest shows without having to spend a penny.

The CW catalogue includes things like the modern Waltons movies (masterpieces), One Tree Hill, Superman & Lois, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Jane the Virgin, and much more besides. That’s a lot of good television to access for free. It’s just kind of annoying that there isn’t a paid plan, because it means that even those who would like to pay to get rid of the adverts don’t have the option of doing so.

Best streaming service: All 4 - its logo is a numeric four made up various lines and is on a black background.

11. All 4

The best free streaming platform in the UK.

All 4 overview:

Notable shows/movies Spaced, Father Ted, The Inbetweeners, Young Sheldon, Derry Girls, Derek, Friday Night Dinner
Compatible devices Apple, Roku, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Smart TVs, web browsers, Chromecast, YouView, Xbox, PlayStation, BT TV Box, Sky Q
Free trial 14 days

Another UK Exclusive on our list, All 4 is a great free alternative to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Channel 4’s streaming service will surprise many with its range and quality of content, giving us some hit UK and US series for (and we can’t stress this enough) free.

Besides offering live shows, one of the most user-friendly built-in TV guides, and the option to download series on the go, it also has a huge number of boxsets to binge. Whether it’s US classics like Malcolm in the Middle or British comedy gold like The Inbetweeners, there’s tons to keep you busy. It’s pretty much a perfect service for any TV lover and if the pesky ads become unbearable, upgrading to the ad-free All 4+ for just £3.99 is a pretty great deal. Unfortunately, you can’t access this service outside of the UK without one of the best VPNs for streaming.

Best streaming services: Mubi

12. MUBI

The best streaming platform for movies.

MUBI overview:

Notable shows/movies Aftersun, Close, One Fine Morning, Shiva Baby, Earwig, Limbo, Cow, Thelma
Compatible devices Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Smart TVs, PS4, Nvidia Shield, Apple, Android, web browsers
Free trial one week

MUBI is the movie-streaming service every cinephile needs in their life. It offers an extensive and varied collection in both its ‘Now showing’ and library sections and is updated frequently. Featuring documentaries, and art-house shorts, every addition has been carefully considered and handpicked by MUBI curators, giving a quality guarantee like no other.

All content can be streamed in 1080p and downloaded for offline viewing, and there are community features in place. You can write reviews, engage in discussions with other movie connoisseurs, read editorial content, and create lists. MUBI is not only a solid streaming service but a friendly community for movie lovers to chat.

Best streaming service: Now

13. Now

Best for American TV shows in the UK.

Now overview:

Notable shows/movies The Last of Us, Curb Your Enthusiasm, House of the Dragon,
Compatible devices Apple, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, YouView, Smart TVs, web browsers, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox
Free trial 1 week

Sorry to any readers from the US, but here is one of the region exclusive picks on our list. For UK viewers finding Sky titles can be a hassle, so Now (previously known as Now TV) is a godsend. Now offers top-notch programming giving us some of the best entertainment to come out of America, with movies like Zack Snyder’s Justice League and an extensive list of HBO and Showtime series like Chornobyl being the recent examples to prove that fact.

Unfortunately, the pricing and streaming quality aren’t the best. Now’s default 720p resolution is lackluster, and you will have to pay to upgrade (or Boost) it to 1080p. Subscribing to various channels can be expensive as well, especially if you want them all. Now is a pricey option, but for the variety of content you get, it’s one we’re willing to pay for.

How we chose the best streaming services

These days, streaming services are a dime a dozen. It can be hard to know which ones are worth putting your money into. Here’s how we narrowed down the options on this list:

  • Pricing: Some streaming services are heinously expensive, but we wanted to include options which could accomodate readers on various different budgets  – and that means popping a few free services in.
  • Libraries: Arguably the most important thing when choosing a streaming service. Obviously everybody has their own taste in TV and movies, but we wanted to highlight the kinds of things you’ll get with each one, and any services with only a paltree offering didn’t make the cut.
  • Compatible devices: How do you like to watch TV? We wanted to include options that give you ways to watch on whatever your preferred device.
  • Live TV: Some streaming services give you the ability to watch live television. While a lot of people are content to just use the ever-evolving libraries of the big streaming services, we also wanted to include choices that give you an option to watch TV the old fashioned way.

Ultimately, we were able to build this list because we’re television conessieurs. We’ve used these different services extensively, and we know which ones are worth putting your money behind. If you have any more questions, check out the FAQs below:

What is the number 1 streaming service?

While we chose Disney Plus due to its extensive selection of classics and modern hits, but of course, there are platforms which offer shows and features that aren’t available with Disney Plus. Your own preference may vary.

Should I get Netflix or Disney Plus?

We recommend Disney Plus. Netflix is the OG and it still has a lot of things to like about it. Sadly, it’s clear that the service has declined a little in recent years, with many Netflix originals being cancelled prematurely, and classic shows disappearing from its library. For these reasons, if you’re torn between the two, we recommend Disney Plus.

How do I access streaming platforms in other countries?

If you live in a country where a service you want to access isn’t available, there are still ways of watching them. Our guides on the best Netflix VPN and the best Hulu VPN will give you some insight into this.

Those are the best streaming services, check out our lists of the best Netflix anime and best Netflix series if you’d like to find something to watch, or see our guide to the best VPN for streaming.