This is going to be a lengthy article, so let me lay down some context prior to going through, more so about me. I’m 28, I live in the UK, and as much as I love to work full time on Comic Universe, I actually work a full-time normal job on what most would consider, a “normal” income. So I’m just an average regular Joe like most people. Living in the UK, it costs me almost twice the amount to fill the diesel in my car, energy prices have soared for my property, and more. I need to pick and choose carefully about the streaming services on offer, what could be on offer, and the issues today.
It has emerged recently that Netflix has lost over 200,000 subscribers. I’ve read a lot of comments and people seem to land at the same spot. Constant price increases with stale content. Honestly, I am close to canceling as well. But, this article isn’t about Netflix’s predatory tactics as much as I try to make it not about them, it does go into them a fair bit.
I am a massive superhero fan. If I want to watch something, 95% of the time I go for a superhero movie or show, whether that be DC, Marvel, Star Wars, or other freshly made content. Living in the UK, what streaming services offer me those types of content? Let’s look.
- Disney+ – Marvel, Star Wars, Fox, and a lot more
- Netflix – Umbrella Academy, Titans, and Doom Patrol after release
- Amazon Prime – Delightful next day delivery, The Boys, Invincible
- Sky/NOW – The CW weeks after release and holds usually a handful of movies, such as the Harry Potter movies, etc
The issue being in the UK, we don’t get access to The CW or HBO Max shows on release. If both of those streaming services were in the UK, I’d be subscribed. Especially with the content both shows provide.
Looking at the list above. Disney+. Let’s talk about good ol’ Disney.
Whoever is running point on their streaming service deserves a pay rise. What Disney has done with its streaming service is phenomenal. Providing all of the Star Wars movies and original shows, all of the MCU run (excluding Spider-Man), and original MCU shows. Even more than that by giving us all of the Pixar content, Simpsons, Family Guy, and so much more. The Disney+ roster of content is stacked. What’s worse, it’s cheaper than Netflix. Netflix on my plan has raised to £10.99 but my Disney+ subscription still stands at £7.99. How can that ever be justified? One major thing to note here. Netflix now doesn’t air any Disney content and has lost all of its Marvel shows to Disney+. Even if you’re not a superhero fan, they can’t showcase Toy Story, Cars, or anything else. So, in a nutshell, Netflix is charging you more for less content than they had 3 years ago.
Disney+ for me in my household, especially having a 2-year-old child is the ultimate streaming platform that I would never consider canceling. That’s basically it, they have done so well, especially in a day and age where streaming services have failed such as DC Universe and WWE Network.
Now we discuss what Amazon Prime offers. Running at the same cost as Disney+ at £7.99 per month, they include one major part with their offering. That’s Prime delivery. Next-day delivery on almost everything. Amazon alone has become such a major part of our daily lives that we often just order there without thinking. Their customer support is great and offer usually decent prices.
So alone, £7.99 for the delivery is actually pretty okay. Then they offer their streaming services, such as Video, Music, Audiobooks, and more. On their video streaming service, it’s not pretty, it’s not beautiful, but it’s alright. It offers a good range of movies, but more importantly, The Boys and Invincible. These are two of their original shows that have really set the groundwork when it comes to original shows. Most of the time you pit Netflix’s Umbrella Academy against Prime’s The Boys. As much as I have dicked Netflix here, they have made a damn good show with Umbrella Academy.
So, Prime is a subscription I have been subscribed to for many years and will continue to do so for many years to come. Yes, they only offer 2 original shows and have the odd DC movie on from time to time, but they make that up by offering free delivery. That’s why Prime is high on the list for me.
Moving onto Sky and NOW. Both of these are exactly the same as NOW is owned by Sky. Sky offer what most would consider, normal “TV” packages with a box, connected to a satellite dish. NOW is their streaming service for those who don’t want the box or the contracts.
If you have Sky with their TV packages, and Movies add-on, the price works out better than just going for NOW. The issue is, NOW is stupidly priced.
They don’t offer any original shows or movies that I’m interested in. If you want both the Movies and Entertainment bundles, it’s £19.98 per month. Plus, even worse, if you want HD and ad-free it’s an additional £5 per month.
Sky/NOW does offer content such as The CW shows. The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Superman & Lois, etc. However, they air months later than the US releases. What’s the point?
Understandably this is more of an issue with the companies such as HBO Max and The CW not fighting hard enough to get their content out to the world without waiting anywhere from 6 weeks+ to watch a show. It’s usually already been spoiled at this stage for us.
So, no, NOW just isn’t something I would consider subscribing to if I didn’t already have access to Sky for my usual TV. Obviously, if they offered same-day releases for The CW then I’d probably just subscribe to the entertainment bundle for £9.99, but they don’t so I won’t bother.
I’ve had my fair share of praising and going in on these platforms. One thing I do enjoy about what these companies have done is lower the levels of piracy. Obviously, piracy is still rife today but it’s a lot less than what it used to be.
Some of you may be asking, well, why is that good? Because it means these companies can focus less of their attention and money on fighting piracy, and putting that budget into making better shows with a higher budget. That’s the general consensus. I used to be a musician, so as a person, I am against piracy.
Another positive note is that when you’re subbed to these services, it means you have everything pretty much at your fingertips so long as you have the subscription and internet access. Yes, you don’t physically own anything but right now, I could go and do an entire Star Wars run from Episode 1 through to 9 without wondering where my Blu-Rays are or how I buy them. I get to turn my TV on, press one button on the remote, and away I go.
Netflix created this streaming world effectively. They laid the foundation. Netflix was one of the first major platforms to go into streaming but ultimately recently, they need to relook at their model as the competition now out there is fierce, and with people’s financial situations changing – their outlook needs to change along with us.
You may get to the end of this and think, what’s the point of this article? Meh, I feel the same. I’ve had multiple discussions with friends and family about streaming services and I wanted to express my thoughts on this and make it relevant to our website. So, most of it I probably did ramble on but I have my disappointments and high points with what’s on offer for us in the UK being a major fan of comic content.