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What are the best UK TV and movie streaming services?
There are so many streaming services to watch movies and TV that it’s hard to know which ones are worthy of your viewing time. While it’s not quite as competitive as the streaming market in the U.S., there are a bunch of TV and movie apps and services available to UK media lovers too.
In this list, we’ll be running down the best UK TV and movie streaming apps and services available now.
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best UK TV and movie streaming services regularly as new apps and services become available.
Best UK TV apps and movie streaming apps for Android
Price: Free (requires license fee)
The BBC is a UK media institution so it’s no surprise that its TV app is one of the most popular streaming apps on the UK Play Store. Of all the channel-specific apps, iPlayer offers the most diverse selection of content with access to 12 BBC channels. This includes box sets, documentaries, and children’s shows on CBBC and CBeebies. It’s also the most user-friendly and has an easy-to-use offline downloads feature. You need a TV license to use it, but BBC iPlayer is without doubt one of the best UK TV and movie streaming apps. There’s also an iPlayer Kids app for the little ones.
All 4, ITV Hub, My5 (TV channel apps)
The rest of the UK’s major TV channels also offer apps with on-demand streaming and catch-up services. ITV Hub is great if you love reality shows, dramas, and soaps, All 4 has an eclectic mix of series and documentaries, and My5 has all the trash TV you’ll ever need. All three are propped up by adverts, but unlike BBC iPlayer you don’t need a TV license to use them (as long you don’t watch live). ITV Hub has a paid tier for £3.99 that removes the ads and makes the app work abroad. All of the apps also feature Chromecast support.
Price: From £9.99 a month
Of the many, many Sky-owned apps on the Play store, Now TV is arguably the best. The popular Now TV service essentially gives users quick access to Sky TV shows, movies, sport, and more, on a rolling monthly subscription. All you have to do is download the app and buy a “Pass” for the content you want. Sky’s apps are generally a bit terrible, but Now TV is the best of a bad lot thanks to its simple UI, Chromecast support, and offline downloads feature.
Price: Free (as part of Sky TV) / additional £5 a month for Sky Go Extra
Speaking of mediocre Sky apps, the Sky Go app only makes this list on the strength of the content available. Designed solely for existing customers, Sky Go gives Sky TV subscribers access to all Sky TV content they already pay for on the go. If you’ve got the Sky Cinema and Sky Sports bundles, you’ve basically got the best library of movies and live sport event coverage that’s possible on mobile. Unfortunately, the app itself is buggy, contains ads, and is incredibly restrictive unless you stump up more money for Sky Go Extra. This extends the two-device limit to four and includes offline downloads. If you’re a Sky Q customer the Sky Q app is a much better alternative. Likewise, if you have a different premium TV provider then BT and Virgin Media also have equivalent apps for paid users.
Price: From £6.99 a month
The streaming service to end them all, Netflix is just as great in the UK as it is everywhere else. While regional licenses mean UK Netflix misses out on some Hollywood movies and U.S. TV, there’s still plenty to fill your eyeballs with. It also has one of the best video UI’s and apps of any kind you’ll find with ultra simple controls and helpful features. Pricing starts from £6.99 a month for access to streaming of thousands of movies and shows, including widely-acclaimed Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Bojack Horseman, Mindhunter, and so many more.
Apple TV Plus
Price: £4.99 a month
Apple TV Plus still has one of the smaller libraries in the streaming world, but it packs a punch. Everything available is an Apple original, so you won’t see items on your watchlist disappear unexpectedly. With hit shows like Ted Lasso and The Morning Show, as well as some original movies and music docs, it’s punching above its weight, and it just keeps growing.
Amazon Prime Video
Price: From £5.99 a month
Netflix’s biggest rival in the UK comes from online retail giant Amazon with its Prime Video streaming service. Available as a standalone subscription for £5.99 a month or as part of the wider Amazon Prime package for £7.99 a month (or £79 yearly), Amazon Prime Video comes with a bunch of movies and TV shows, including a growing number of Prime Originals. Unfortunately, the quality control for what gets onto Prime Video is really low. The cluttered UI also makes it a pain to find content that is streamable as part of the subscription rather than buying or rental.
Price: £5.99 a month
One of the better-known UK streamers, especially as it makes British programming available in other countries, BritBox focuses on British content exclusively. A joint venture between the BBC and ITV, the service offers films and series from both networks as well as titles from public broadcasters Channel 4 and Channel 5.
Price: £9.99 a month
Available in over 190 countries, MUBI is a wonderful source for alternative cinema and classic movies. For £9.99 a month the MUBI app lets you pick from a wealth of films, download for offline viewing, and start building a social profile to show off your favorite movies and directors.
Price: Free / £4.99 a month
For anime fans, Funimation is the place to go. The Sony-owned streamer has absorbed the Crunchyroll library and is now the premier streamer for all things Japanese animation, including some exclusive titles.
Price: £4.99 a month
If you’re after UK indie and cult classic movies, then the British Film Institute has you covered. Unlike on iOS devices, the BFI Player doesn’t actually have an Android app and just uses the Chrome web browser, but it’s one of the better UK-exclusive streaming services out there. For £4.99 a month you get access to BFI Player’s vault of over 300 carefully curated cinematic masterpieces.
Disney Plus Star
Price: £7.99 a month
Disney Plus has a massive selection of titles from the Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel, and National Geographic libraries. In the UK, the service is even bigger through the Star brand, including titles from Hulu, FX, and other Disney-owned properties like the 20th Century Studios collection inherited from Fox. You won’t find any third-party programming here, but considering how huge Disney’s holdings are, there’s plenty to watch for £7.99 a month.
Price: £4.99 a month
For horror fans, you can’t do better than Shudder. With a mix of classics, obscure gems, and streaming exclusives, Shudder is a one-stop shop for anyone looking for scary movies and other genre fare, and it’s quite affordable. While it hasn’t managed to get into very many markets, the UK is one of the few places where Shudder is available.
Have we missed any great UK TV and movie streaming apps? Let us know in the comments!