Here's How All Of Canada's Major Streaming Services Compare & Which You Should Fork Out For
From Netflix to Disney+ and Apple TV.
Did you sign up for every streaming service you could during the pandemic because diving into an ocean of content was the only way to stay sane? Fair. Are you also now feeling the financial pressure and effects of Canada's pulverizing inflation rates? Also fair.
So, you have to axe a few subscriptions, but which ones have to go? Heck, what's the difference in quality between Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple TV, and Disney+ anyway? That's what we're here to figure out.
In the time before the streaming wars, everyone just bummed their cousin's Netflix and watched a wealth of content scot-free. But those days are gone.
Deciding what platform to give your money to is a full-blown life decision these days, one that requires research and careful deliberation — and who has the time for that?
That's why we've done it for you. We've laid out the facts, weighed the pros and cons and analyzed the raw data so you can better decide which service fits your taste and personality.
All you have to do is gingerly scroll down and do a little light reading.
The Netflix home page
Love it or hate it, Netflix is the undisputed king of streaming, at least based on its subscriber base, which has reached 232.5 million paid subscribers as of 2023. It also has a mountain of content, both original and classic, with over 6,681 titles to choose from, which users can get ad-free access to for $9.99 a month. However, that plan also prevents you from streaming in high quality.
Here is a complete breakdown of Netflix plans and their pricing:
- Netflix Basic (with ads): $5.99/month
- Netflix Basic (no ads): $9.99/month
- Netflix Standard: $16.49/month
- Netflix Premium: $20.99/month
It's worth noting that Netflix Basic (unavailable to new or rejoining members) only lets you stream in 720p, which is okay. However, if you want to step into the modern age, its Standard plan, which hooks you up with 1080p HD, is probably the way to go.
The company's Premium plan caters to people who just blew their monthly budget on a new smart TV, allowing them to stream in 4K Ultra HD. If your perfect Sunday involves streaming nature shows in your underwear, this option will take that experience from average to awe-inspiring.
Here are some of the best shows Netflix has to offer based on ratings from IMDb:
- Stranger Things
- Love Is Blind
- Our Planet
- Cobra Kai
- The Umbrella Academy
- The Crown
- Black Mirror
Prime Video's home page.
So, while Prime Video may offer 11,420 titles on its service, in reality, you'd be shelling out extra money to watch many of them, which can feel like a bit of a bait and switch at times.
In terms of cost, though, Amazon Prime Video is slightly cheaper than Netflix, charging users $14.99 a month.
As for its subscriber base, Amazon Prime has roughly 200 million worldwide as of 2023, with a whopping 43% of Canadians, reporting that they are paying for the service.
Here are some of the streaming services' biggest shows and films:
- The Boys
- Rings Of Powers
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- American Gods
- Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
- Catherine Called Birdy
- Sound of Metal
The Disney+ home page.
Plenty of corporations have money and power, but few can compete with the all-powerful entity that is The Walt Disney Company, and its streaming service is certainly a reflection of that. It feels like every other week, Disney+ is releasing some massive budget show based around Star Wars or The Marvel Cinematic Universe. Heck, why not? They've got the money.
But, unlike when it launched, the streaming service has expanded to feature much more than just Disney content. Nowadays, you can access 1,822 diverse titles on the site, including everything from The Simpsons to gruesome horror films, thanks to the addition of networks like Star and Fox. All of this is available for just $11.99 a month.
According to Forbes, Disney+ has 157.8 million subscribers worldwide in 2023, despite reporting a 300,000 subscriber loss in the United States and Canada back in May.
Here are some of the Disney+ series and films that have captivated the world in recent years:
- She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
- Obi-Wan Kenobi
- The Mandalorian
- Peter Pan & Wendy
- Turning Red
The Crave logo and home page.
Owned by Bell Media, Crave is a Canadian streaming service that allows users to access content from a variety of networks, including HBO, Showtime and Starz.
Similar to Prime Video's bundled offering, Crave provides the option for certain individuals to access its library of 1,565 titles through their television service providers. However, for those who don't have cable (we're looking at you, Millennials and Gen Z), enjoying the platform requires a steep monthly fee of $19.99.
All in all, Crave has a pretty modest subscriber base compared to some of the streaming juggernauts above, reporting just 3.2 million worldwide as of 2023, according to Statista.
Here are some of the hit shows and T.V series you can gain access to through Crave:
- The Idol
- House of the Dragon
- The Last of Us
Apple TV+ icon on a laptop.
Apple TV+ takes a unique approach to content in the streaming world. Unlike Netflix or Prime Video, which offer thousands of titles, this platform boasts a more curated selection of just 176 titles to choose from.
However, what it lacks in quantity, it more than compensates for in quality. Apple TV+ showcases some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Harrison Ford, Seth Rogen, Idris Elba, Amanda Seyfried and Jennifer Aniston. These renowned stars take centre stage in exclusive films for the brand.
So, while its library may be smaller, people interested in watching something compelling featuring A-list celebrities may be more inclined to subscribe.
Here are some of the most noteworthy films and shows AppleTV+ has produced:
- Ted Lasso
- The After Party
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