From Netflix To Cineworld Unlimited: 9 Of The Best Entertainment Subscription Services
We’ve compiled a round-up of the top nine entertainment subscription services so that YOU can decide how to splash your hard-earned moolah...
Not gonna lie, there are a LOT of ways to part with your cash when it comes to watching films and telly these days.
From streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime) to membership at the UK’s top cinema chains (Cineworld, Odeon), it really is a minefield out there.
So we’ve compiled a round-up of the top nine entertainment subscription services so that YOU can decide how to splash your hard-earned moolah...
1. Cineworld Unlimited
One of the most well-known cinema memberships, you can watch as many movies as you can handle with Cineworld Unlimited. YASSSSS.
You also get loads of added extras such as 10% off cinema snacks, 25% off nearby restaurants (Pizza Hut, Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquitos) as well as advance screenings at your local Cineworld.
If that’s not enough, you’re also automatically upgraded to a black card after a year of membership for free, where you’ll receive free 3D film upgrades and 25% off snacks & drinks. RESULT!
Best for: Money-savers and popcorn-munchers
Price: From £16.90/month. London West End cinemas from £19.90/month.
2. Odeon Limitless
The main competitor to Cineworld Unlimited, you can watch as many films as you want with Odeon Limitless.
Odeon also has LOADS of central London cinemas (4-5 in the Leicester Square area alone), so Londoners can feel safe in the knowledge that if there’s a film out there you want to see, you’ll be able to find a London cinema that’s showing it.
Annoyingly though, you don’t get any added benefits compared to Cineworld’s extras (Odeon says it will be adding some soon).
Odeon also offers its Premiere Club from just £1.99, offering points for money spent on films which you can redeem at the cinema or on drinks/snacks, so that’s another option.
Best for: London cinema-goers
Price: From £17.99/month. Central London cinemas from £19.99/month.
3. Curzon Cult
The priciest cinema subscription of the lot but Curzon cinemas are like the Waitrose of U.K. cinemas, after all. You know you’re paying for a premium cinema experience when you step into any Curzon cinema. Ooh, fancy...
Curzon Cult offers members 15% discount on food & drink, 15% discount on Curzon Home Cinema, priority booking and money off events. Members also get a free Curzon mag in the post.
Best for: Luxe cinema lovers
Price: £350/year. For £55/year you can get two free film tickets, money off film screenings and discount on food and drink, but you still have to pay for films.
4. Picturehouse Membership
For cinema obsessives and independent film fanatics, Picturehouse membership (it doesn’t have a fancy name) offers four free cinema tickets per year, up to £2 off tickets, 10% off food and drink, priority booking and restaurant discounts. Sounds good value to us.
Best for: Indie film lovers
Price: Regional membership from £45/year, London membership from £55/year.
Moving onto streaming services, Netflix is without a doubt the most iconic of all. Netflix and Chill has even been entered into the Collins English Dictionary*.
*We can’t confirm this, but it should be.
Known for its original shows including House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black and Narcos (as well as Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Daredevil), it’s perfect for binge-watching shows in one go. Making A Murderer, anyone?
Netflix has also started making more original films (Special Correspondence with Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana was hilar), although the rest of its back catalogue of films are a bit shoddy.
The UK offering is frustratingly slim compared to the US and Netflix has a habit of removing shows without warning (anyone got the last season of the US edition of The Office we can please borrow?), but its exclusive TV offerings make up for it. HoC is one of the best shows on telly. EVER.
Best for: Box set bingers
Price: 30-day free trial, then subscription depends on how many devices you have. It starts from £5.99, up to £8.99.
6. Amazon Prime
The main competitor to Netflix, Amazon Prime also has original programmes, namely Transparent and The Man In The High Castle.
It has WAY more films than Netflix but not any decent blockbusters, however the main bonus compared to Netflix is that you can download some shows/films for offline viewing. Perfect for the commute.
Amazon Prime also offers a postal disc rental service (it took over from Lovefilm, FYI) and three devices as standard, compared to Netflix’s one.
The subscription service is a little confusing as you can pay for Amazon Prime Video on its own or as part of an annual Amazon Prime subscription (where you’ll get free next day P&P on Amazon, for example).
Best for: Online shoppers
Price: 30-day free trial, then monthly subscription (£5.99/month). Alternatively it’s included with annual Amazon Prime subscription (£79/year).
7. NOW TV
Owned by Sky, NOW TV is a TV/film offering for those without a satellite box. It’s best for big, blockbuster movies as they’re available soon after DVD/Blu-ray release.
NOW TV also offers a 14-day free trial of its entertainment/movies packages so you can try it out before you buy. Before you set-up, you also have to buy a streaming box (a one-off fee of £14.99) to change your TV to a smart TV.
Best for: Big blockbuster fans
Price: It depends on the package you want. The NOW TV Entertainment Month Pass (Including Sky 1 and Sky Atlantic is £6.99), whereas the movies package is £9.99/month.
A relatively new subscription service (in the U.K. anyway), Hulu’s unique offering is its abundance of reality shows.
Marketing itself as ‘all-reality on demand’, it has all the episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians (including the new episodes before they’re even shown on E!), as well as shows such as the Real Housewives of Cheshire and Made In Chelsea.
Best for: Reality TV junkies
Price: 30-day free trial then £3.99/month. Just think, you can watch Kim’s Fairytale Wedding (Parts 1 and 2) as many times as humanly possible!
9. Blinkbox (Now TalkTalk TV Store)
Recently sold to TalkTalk from Tesco, TalkTalk TV Store (formerly known as Blinkbox) isn’t a subscription service but is worth mentioning to clear up any confusion.
You can rent or buy films, or buy TV shows, as soon they’re released on DVD/Blu-ray.
Perfect for: Watching films you’ve missed at the cinema
Price: You can rent films in SD from £2.49, or buy films in SD from £6.99. You can buy TV shows in SD from £1.89 per episode.
What’s your favourite entertainment subscription service? Tweet us @MTVUK!
- By Sophia Moir