The Three Streams

Subscribing to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV

In April, I blogged why I did not subscribe to Netflix and other streaming services but I acknowledged that in “two years from now, I’ll probably wonder what took me so long to subscribe”. Well, it didn’t quite take two years. In fact, it took less than five months for now I’m subscribed to the three main streaming services in the UK: Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV.

Primed to an offer

It was either at the end of August or beginning of September when Amazon made what was quite possibly the offer of the year: a year’s subscription of Amazon Prime for just £59, down from the usual £79. Now, I have to admit that I jumped on the offer mainly for the “unlimited one-day delivery on millions of items … and same day delivery in select areas” that Amazon Prime offered. For me, the videos were just a bonus but since I had access to them anyway, I thought I might as well take full advantage of them. And so I bought an Amazon Fire TV stick so that I could watch Amazon Videos in comfort: on my TV while in bed rather than on my computer screen.

Netflix: free trial

Soon I was binge watching The Crossing, a short-lived sci-fi series, and I decided that I liked the TV streaming experience after all. Enough for me to wonder how Netflix compared to Amazon Prime. The Netflix app was pre-installed on the Fire TV stick and Netflix was offering a free month’s trial. I could not resist and so I signed up. Almost immediately, I got hooked on another sci-fi series, Salvation. The rebooted Dynasty and Black Lightning helped me decide to keep Netflix after my free trial.

Now what?

After Amazon Prime and Netflix, I thought I might as well try Now TV. Now’s unique selling point is that it offers live channels as well as TV on-demand TV. Getting Sky TV was out of the question for me and so the idea of having 11 Sky channels “not available on Freeview” including Sky One and Sky Atlantic appealed. Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow were all showing on Sky One, part of Now TV’s Entertainment Pass. I bought a Now TV stick with a bundled two-month Entertainment Pass for just £15 – a bargain, considering a month’s Entertainment Pass is normally £7.99. Later, I was enticed into signing up to a free two-week trial of the Movie Pass and before it run out I saw an offer to extend it to two more months for £15 (instead of £19.98). I’ve since found out that I will never have to pay the full price for any Now TV pass because vouchers widely are available at discounted prices. I topped up my Entertainment Pass yesterday with a £25 voucher giving me five more months of viewing.

Altogether Now

And so, I was subscribed to all three. But there was something wrong: I hated that I had to switch between two TV sticks. The Fire stick had Netflix and Amazon Prime while Now TV had its own stick. It was a hassle switching from one to HDMI device to another. After some research, I found the solution in the form of the Roku stick. Roku supported all three apps. It cost £30 but I decided it was worth it if it meant no more HDMI port switching.

So there you have it. From no streaming service to three services. I have more TV than I can watch but it is good to know that the choices are there. Long term, I don’t know if I will keep all three services, however. Maybe when the novelty wears off, I’ll drop one of them. The question is, which one?

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