What are the best streaming services in 2022? Initially, you may think it's the one (or ones) who the biggest back catalogs. Or, perhaps more importantly, the most popular TV shows and movies. But there's more to it than that – which one provides value for money? Which platform has the best user interface (UI) that can be navigated with ease? And which service lets you watch films and TV series alongside your family and friends?
Netflix and Prime Video may have started the streaming wars but, these days, every major studio has their own in-house streaming service. With prices rising across the board, too, we suspect you won't want to pay for every single one. So, which platforms should get your hard-earned cash?
Luckily for you, we have the answer. Below, we'll run you through the biggest streaming services around, weighing up the pros and cons for each, and coming to a decision on which one(s) you should subscribe to over its competitors.
Best streaming service 2022
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Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
If you're a connoisseur of movies and/or TV, there's only one must-have player in town and that's Netflix. It is, unequivocally, the biggest and best streaming service, despite not always stocking its digital shelves with must-have movies and TV.
That said, this is the staple streamer you need to own if you ever plan on cutting the cord and surviving without it, even if it has been haemorrhaghing subscribers lately while introducing Netflix password sharing restrictions.
These days, most smart TVs have Netflix apps and finding a streaming box without it is the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack. The quality of the movies and TV we tried – mostly streamed in Ultra HD – on both TV and on tablets is exquisite.
Since launching its own original content in 2013, Netflix's originals library has swelled to an enormous size, boasting dozens of award-winning shows including Stranger Things, The Witcher, and Squid Game – you can see our pick of the best Netflix series in the US.
The number one threat to Netflix is its licensed content disappearing to newer, competing networks. Friends and The Office, for example, have both departed already. Both garnered significant audiences on Netflix in the US. Netflix will have to work hard to make up for those losses.
Netflix's basic plan currently costs $9, while its HD plan sets you back $14, and its 4K Premium plan $18. But don't forget you can also give Netflix a spin with the 1-month free trial (in the US, anyway) to see if it's worth your money. Suffice to say, it's the best streaming service around.
Read our full Netflix review
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Amazon and Netflix are two sides of the same coin. That's not to say they're identical – they're definitely not – but the differences are few and far between, and Prime comes a close second in the battle of the best streaming services.
Like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video has its own set of original series – Invincible, The Wheel of Time, and The Boys among others – but, generally speaking, they don't receive the same fanfare as their Netflix-bred brethren.
Although Netflix is as guilty for dud programming as the rest of them, it's worth mentioning Amazon Prime does get some pretty terrible new additions from time to time. So always check out guide to the best Amazon Prime TV shows before you dive in head-first.
The two big differentiators between the services are the fact that access to Amazon's streaming service comes standard with a subscription to Amazon Prime – meaning access to Amazon Music and premium delivery services.
A subscription to Amazon Prime will run up $14.99 per month, which is still great value when you factor in the other benefits of the service.
Prime Video is available for PC and Mac, the Kindle Fire HD, iPad, Xbox, PlayStation, internet-enabled TVs and Blu-ray players, Sony's Home Cinema system, Sony's Network Media Player and myriad other minor devices that will go unmentioned.
Read our full Amazon Prime review