Spending too much money on your TV Subscriptions? Cut back the costs without missing out on your favourite shows & movies.
Updated 24/05/23: Netflix’s Password Sharing Update and new ITVX Streaming Platform.
If you’re a keen binge-watcher or movie buff, you’re probably all too familiar with popular streaming giants like Netflix, Disney+ or Prime Video.
With the rising cost of living and energy bills soaring, many of us are looking to cut back on those luxury household costs, starting with our TV Subscriptions.
But before you rush off to cancel your Netflix or Now TV, the good news is, you don’t have to give up your favourite services altogether. There are plenty of ways you can tune into the latest series without spilling over your monthly budget, and we’re sharing them all.
In This Guide:
- Netflix’s Password Sharing Update
- Rotate Your Streaming Services by Leapfrogging
- Plan Your Viewing
- Free Trials you didn’t know about
- Watch TV for free
- SkyQ vs Streaming
- Cancel for a discount
- Downgrade your Netflix subscription
- Watch more, spend less FAQs
Netflix’s Password Sharing Update
Netflix’s ‘Password Sharing Fee’’ is now officially active in the UK. From here on out subscribers will receive an email notification from Netflix if they are caught sharing their passwords with people who reside outside their household. This email serves as a warning that continuing such sharing practices will result in additional charges.
If you want to continue sharing your account with people outside your home, be prepared to open your wallet a bit wider. For each “Extra Member” added to your account in the UK, you’ll be charged an extra £4.99 per month. The number of members you can include depends on the Netflix tier you’re subscribed to:
- Basic Tier: Allows for the addition of one “Extra Member.”
- Standard Tier: Permits up to two “Extra Members” to be included.
- Premium Tier: Accommodates a generous allowance of up to four “Extra Members.”
The added extra member will be granted their own individual account with a unique password, allowing them to access the platform independently. It’s important to note that they must be located in the same country as the primary account holder.
Users must also ensure that the profile they’re using is connected to the Wi-Fi network of the bill payer’s primary location, typically their home. Netflix also requires users to watch at least one show or movie on either the app or website within a 31-day period. Failure to meet this requirement or persistent viewing from locations other than the primary one may result in the device being blocked from accessing Netflix.
So what does this mean for uni students away from home or those of you looking to stream your favourite shows while you’re on the go? When streaming outside of the house, Netflix will ask you to verify your device. The primary account holder will receive a link via text or email with a four-digit code. This will need to be entered on the device within 15 minutes to make sure it is verified for use outside the home. So, if you are a student living at another address, don’t worry- just make sure you ask your parents to look out for the verification code and you should be good to go!
If you aren’t happy with this new policy or get caught password sharing and receive a charge- perhaps it’s time to reconsider your streaming habits. With so many platforms now available, the cost of watching the latest shows and movies can really add up. Thankfully, we have a few tricks up our sleeves that can help you save money on your TV subscriptions.
Rotate Your Streaming Services by Leapfrogging
Have you got multiple TV subscriptions on the go at once? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. During the pandemic, the popularity of UK streaming services skyrocketed by over 50%. But with recent price hikes by streaming giants like Netflix, more of us are rethinking our spending habits. It’s time to watch smarter, not less.
The beauty of TV streaming means you’re not tied to any contracts – if you want to cancel, you can cancel anytime at no extra cost. But we’re all about being smart here at NetVoucherCodes, and if being more organised saves us a few quid, we’re all ears.
If you’re forking out £8 here, £12 there and another £5 a month elsewhere on streaming services that you’re not always watching, it’s time to rethink your TV schedule.
Consider choosing one streaming service per month to subscribe to – also known as leapfrogging. Make a hit list of the series & movies you want to watch then cancel after the month’s up and leapfrog on to the next.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 streaming services in the UK and how much they cost:
|Netflix UK Standard||£6.99|
|Disney + Standard||£7.99|
|Now TV Plans||£9.99|
|Prime Video Standard||£8.99|
This simple hack could be the difference between £40+ every month compared with a one-off fee of £7 or £8. Basically, you’re spreading the budget over several services rather than paying for them at once.
For example, for 1 month you could subscribe to Netflix, then Amazon Prime the next month and in month 3, Disney+ and Apple TV the following month.
And if you’re waiting on new seasons or any new releases, you could line up your subscriptions accordingly. And better still, when you get around to a platform you’ve not used for a while, there’s plenty of new content to binge-watch.
Plan your viewing
If you’re a mindless scroller without any idea of what you want to watch, try to plan your viewing to get the most out of your streaming service. We don’t head off to the cinema without knowing what we’re watching, so why do we take up that habit at home?
By planning what you’re going to watch, you could even work out where the cheapest place to watch it is. Free mobile apps like JustWatch and WatchPlayStream are great for finding where you can watch your favourite movies or shows for the cheapest price.
For example, why binge-watch Peaky Blinders on Netflix when you can watch for free on BBC iPlayer?
Free Trials you didn’t know about
Before you splash out on a subscription for a new streaming service, check for a free trial and save yourself some money. Free trials don’t just allow you to try before you buy, they’re also a great way to watch your favourite films and TV shows for free.
The key to making the most of your free trial is organisation…
- Wait until the entire series of your favourite show is released before you sign-up.
- Make sure you have the time to binge-watch before starting your new trial, you don’t want to waste it!
- Keep an eye on new release lists and start your trial when there are a few things you fancy watching.
One of the most important things to remember when you’re taking out a free trial is to make a note of the end date. Don’t fall for the free trial trap, mark the end date in your calendar or set yourself a reminder to cancel it in time before you’re charged.
Free trials are great when you’re ill and stuck on the couch at home, or when you have a slow week and plenty of time to watch TV. Be smart with your TV schedule, don’t take out a free trial the day before you go on holiday, wait until you have some downtime and watch as much as you can for free.
Now TV is one of the best services for free trials, providing multiple 7-day trials across their streaming platforms. Get 7-day free trials on their Entertainment, Cinema & Kids packages as well as Boost- the add-free extra that allows you to stream in Full HD on 3 devices at once. They even provide a 7-day free trial for the reality TV platform Hayu.
Prime Video provides a 30-day free trial for their streaming service, granting you access to movies and TV shows, anytime, anywhere.
Within the Prime Video website, you’ll also find sub-streaming services like StarzPlay and HBO that premier popular shows like Outlander and Euphoria. In the past, these platforms have been known to provide free trials or discounted subscriptions, starting at just £1.99, so make sure you keep an eye out for these.
Watch shows and films exclusive to Apple TV with your 7-day free trial. You can also try the 7-day Apple One free trial. The Apple One Bundle includes up to 6 Apple services including Apple Music and iCloud storage. If you buy an Apple device, you will also receive 3 months free of Apple TV which can be redeemed within 90 days of purchase.
Fancy binge-watching a good old British drama? Start your 7-day free trial on the ITVX app and watch your favourite ITV shows and BritBox originals like Downtown Abbey, Love Island and Gavin & Stacey. To watch BritBox content you’ll need an ITVX Premium subscription which will also give you access to ad-free content. Along with all the exclusive BritBox content you already love, you’ll also be able to stream over 10,000 hours of quality ITVX shows and movies.
Watch TV for free
Free UK streaming services
If you live in the UK, make sure you’re taking advantage of all of the great TV shows and films on free streaming services like BBC Iplayer, ITVX, All4 and My5. Watch live TV, catch up on your favourite shows or binge-watch old releases.
On a Sunday afternoon, you’ll often find blockbuster films on BBC One and ITV2, available to stream for free online. BBC also features popular series like Happy Valley, Peaky Blinders, Pretty Little Liars, Killing Eve and Luther on Iplayer, available to stream whenever, wherever. They also have a film section which is updated every month with everything from Oscar-winning dramas to British indies.
Stream for free with FreeVee
If you’re a Prime Video member or have a free Amazon account, you can stream for free with Amazon Freevee (formerly IMDBtv) both in the UK and the Channel Islands! Enjoy TV Shows and Documentaries like Hell’s Kitchen, The A Team or Bosch: Legacy as well as Digital Movies including A League of Their Own, with loads more being added every month.
Not only is Freevee completely free to use, but you can also stream from the Freevee app on Fire TV devices, from your web browser or via the Freevee channel which you will find on the Amazon Prime Video app.
Get 6-months of free TV with your phone contract
Mobile phone networks like Vodafone & O2 often provide free subscriptions for streaming services with their pay-monthly contracts. Before you take out a new contract, keep an eye out for packages that include free subscriptions to platforms like Disney+, Apple TV and BT Sport.
You’ll often find free 6-month subscriptions for Disney+ with Samsung phones as well as free trials for Apple Music with selected EE contracts.
We’re not suggesting you take out a phone contract just to get 6 months of free TV or music, but if you’re ready for an upgrade, it’s something to consider before you buy.
Get 3-months of Disney+ for free with your Tesco Clubcard
Did you know Tesco Clubcard holders can exchange £8 of Clubcard vouchers for a 3-month Disney+ subscription? Download a Clubcard for free on the Tesco Clubcard app and start collecting points for free access to Disney+.
If you’re really wanting to get serious about your spending habits, cut back on all subscriptions and simply enjoy Freeview. Freeview is exactly what it says in the title, free viewing and is eligible to everyone in the UK with a TV licence and an aeriel. Tune in to 70 TV Channels as well as 30 Radio Stations and watch up to 15 channels in HD.
SkyQ vs Streaming
You’ve probably heard of TV Giant, NOW TV. In fact, many of us are switching to the popular streaming service and ditching costly contracts with the likes of Sky or Virgin. But just how much could you save by switching to Now TV? Well, let’s take a look at Sky’s popular TV Bundles.
Based on 18-month contracts, Sky Q TV bundles vary from £28 per month up to £46 per month. Basic plans include access to Sky Entertainment and Netflix while more expensive bundles include Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, BT Sport, Sky Kids and more. If you’re a new Sky customer, be sure to grab a Sky discount code when you sign up to enjoy savings on your monthly plan.
When it comes to NOW TV, entertainment memberships are priced at just £9.99 with NOW Cinema at just £9.99. Sports channels come in at the most expensive at £34.99 a month although 24-hour memberships are available for just £11.98.
However, trumping Sky, NOW TV offers a seriously good value for money bundle with NOW Entertainment, NOW Cinema and NOW Boost available for just £24.98. Boost allows you to stream on up to 3 devices in full HD, includes no ads and you’ll spot most of your favourite sky channels & movies on both NOW Entertainment and NOW Cinema.
Cancel for a discount
If you’ve decided you’re going to cut ties with one of your subscriptions, you may end up getting more than just a ‘sorry you’re leaving’ email. The cancellation process can be lengthy – something services do purposely to sway your decision and get you to stick around.
But a great hack to consider is that when you’re cancelling, they often ask you for a reason. Click on the option around price being the problem and they will offer you a short-term deal if you continue to subscribe.
Downgrade your Netflix subscription
An easy way to reduce your monthly bill when it comes to your subscriptions is to downgrade your plan. For example, switching from the premium Netflix plan priced at £15.99 to the basic plan at £6.99 could save you £8 per month. Doing this across 4 or 5 streaming services could total a nifty £30+ saving.
Of course, you can expect to lose some premium features. In fact, going without could be a great test to see if you actually need them or not. Instead of paying extra for simultaneous streaming, try watching TV altogether or at scheduled times. Or, weigh up whether you actually use these benefits at all. But above all, you’ll be saving a few extra quid.
Watch More, Spend Less – FAQs
How can I get Netflix for free?
For a brief time, Netflix offered access to limited episodes of popular series. Unfortunately, this service is no longer available, nor do they offer a free trial. However, the great thing about Netflix is that you have the freedom to cancel and change your plan at any time. If you need a month or two off, you can cancel free or charge. Likewise, if you fancy saving money for the next few months, switch from premium to basic.
Which streaming service is most worth it?
This all depends on what type of TV you want to watch. If it’s just TV and shows, Netflix is the most value for money, supplying customers with loads of original content and regular new releases for just £6.99. If you want to watch Netflix Originals like Bridgerton, Stranger Things and Queens Gambit, this is the only place you’ll find them.
If you want access to Sky channels and sports, Now TV is your go-to. For just £9.99 you can stream Sky TV shows like Game of Thrones and Chernobyl. From just £11.98 you can also get access to Sky Sports.
Disney+ is great for kids and lovers of big fantasy franchises. For access to Marvel films and series, the Star Wars franchise and the Star Network, choose Disney+ for just £7.99.
Prime Video usually features the same monthly releases as Netflix, however, they do also provide their own original content with shows like Mrs Maisel and The Grand Tour. In terms of content, Netflix and Prime Video are quite similar, although Prime Video costs £1 more.
With Prime, you also have access to platforms like HBO, Starz, Showtime, IMDb TV, PSS Masterpiece, Magnolia Selects, Britbox and Acorn TV. And for an extra cost, you can buy and rent films from these services without having to leave Prime Video.
Is NOW TV cheaper than Sky?
In short, NOW TV can work out more affordable than a Sky Q or Sky Glass bundle. For example, Sky Q, Sky TV and Netflix cost £26 per month based on an 18-month contract.
The NOW TV entertainment membership is priced at just £9.99. Add the basic Netflix plan for £6.99 and altogether you’ll pay £15.99 per month for the same services. A huge £10 less every month. And the best part is, that you’re not tied into any contract and can cancel at any time. NOW TV even runs a 7-day free trial.
Of course, Sky does have its perks. They’re well known for offering serious discounts to returning customers who are prepared to haggle and feature exclusive channels you won’t find elsewhere. But that being said, if we’re talking about costs, NOW TV trumps sky with both its lower prices and convenience.
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