Netflix is the granddaddy of content streaming services and takes the lion’s share of the streaming market, dominating competitors like HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, etc. While it was not the first video streaming platform, it had a big role in the evolution of streaming services. But how much does Netflix cost? And how much is Netflix compared to the competition? Does it still make sense to pay for a Netflix subscription in 2023? Read on to decide!
How much is a Netflix subscription?
Netflix costs $6.99 a month for the Standard with ads plan and goes up to $19.99 for the Premium package. You also have a Standard streaming plan for $15.49 in the middle.
In short, depending on your usage, there are different prices available. Netflix services can be broken up into the streaming service, its DVD rental business, and the hybrid version where you can order DVDs and access the entire library. But what is the difference between these Netflix plans? Let’s take a look at what would work best for you.
Streaming only plans
The most popular option among Netflix subscribers, the streaming-only service is the most convenient to access the vast library of movies and TV shows. The streaming plans are broken up into Basic, Standard, and Premium options. Netflix allows you to change your plan or cancel your subscription at any time. While the Basic plan offers a lot of value, there are also restrictions such as video resolution, the number of screens you can watch on, and of course, how many screens can be used simultaneously.
The Premium plan offers the best of Netflix, giving you not just 4k Ultra HD content but also allowing you to access Netflix on more screens at the same time. The Standard plan offers you a bit of everything. Keep reading to understand the plans better.
Standard with Ads
As mentioned earlier, this is the most affordable option if you want to try out Netflix. The plan starts at $6.99 a month in the US and gives you streaming access to movies, TV shows, and mobile games from Netflix’s library. On the flip side, you do not get HD or Ultra HD resolution, and you can only use Netflix on one screen at a time. You are also allowed to download content to just one tablet or phone.
The standard plan is ideal for those who find the basic plan too restrictive in terms of screens allowed simultaneously. It’s also good for those of you who want better video resolution, as you get HD (720p) resolution, which adds a lot more detail to your favorite movies and shows. The standard plan charges $15.49 monthly and lets you use two screens at a time and download to two different phones or tablets.
The Premium plan unlocks the best benefits of Netflix and is perfect for those who want the most flexibility. Priced at $19.99 per month, the Premium package s a great option for families or groups of friends, as you get all the features from the Standard plan. The additional perks include watching Netflix on four screens instead of two, and you can also download four devices.
If you want the best possible resolution to watch movies on, then the Premium plan mentioned above would be ideal for you. This plan lets you watch 4K content on devices that support viewing a 3840 x 2160 resolution for movies and shows, namely 60Hz 4K TVs or compatible computer monitors. You’ll also need an internet connection that offers a speed of 25 megabits per second or higher so you can watch content without hiccups. And make sure you set your streaming quality to High! If you still run into issues, here’s a great article to help you tackle them.
The Netflix DVD service is great for old-schoolers or even people who love the tradition of sitting down and playing movies on their DVD player, with the best audio and video quality possible. You can order DVD and Blu-ray discs in the mail, and the copies arrive 2-3 days later. The service is only available in the US and you can pick between two types of plans — the Standard plan and the Premier plan.
While the Standard DVD plan starts at $7.99 a month, the Premier plan is priced at $9.99. If you want to include Blu-ray discs in your plan, the pricing for Standard and Premier plans go up to $11.99 and $14.99 respectively.
The main difference between the two plans is that you can order two discs at once with the Premier plan while you get only one DVD/Blu-ray disc at a time with the Standard plan. You get free shipping and returns, and there are no late fees either. You can check out more details about the DVD service here.
DVD Service + streaming
For those who love the convenience of streaming Netflix and want to order the occasional DVD for movie night, this one would be the best choice. It’s also useful if you are an avid movie lover and can’t find a specific title in the online library. Additionally, the DVD option is excellent if you travel to places where internet access is spotty and you can’t use your Netflix streaming subscription. You have the option of trying out Netflix DVD for free, thanks to their one-month free trial. You should definitely give it a go!
Which plan is best for you?
If you are still wondering which Netflix plan would be best for you, here’s a quick table for you to compare pricing and the differences between the plans:
|Standard with Ads||Standard||Premium||Standard DVD||Premier DVD|
|Number of screens allowed at once||1||2||4||–||–|
|Number of tablets/phones you can download to||1||2||4||–||–|
|4K Ultra HD Content||No||No||Yes||–||–|
So now that you know all about Netflix — how good are its competitors? While Netflix is the market leader with a considerable lead over all its competitors, platforms like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, etc are catching up quite rapidly. Let’s take a closer look at the platforms that are trying to dethrone the king.
Amazon prime video
Amazon Prime Video is considered by many to be the closest competitor to Netflix, thanks to its gigantic catalog of movies and the popularity of some of its TV shows. Amazon Prime membership costs $12.99 a month or $119 for an entire year, which works out to about $9.92 per month. You get full access to Prime Video with this membership, with no restrictions to the video resolution.
You can also watch content on three screens simultaneously via the same Amazon account, which works out great for families. And if you don’t want Prime membership but still want to watch movies and shows on Prime Video, that’s possible too, with a plan priced at $8.99 a month.
Content streaming platform Hulu is seen as the dark horse in the battle of OTT (over-the-top) media services. Many people consider Hulu to offer more value for money, but this is thanks to its pricing strategies.
The most affordable Hulu plan costs $6.99 a month, but you will have to view ads or commercials along with the content. Hulu gives you this plan at $1.99 a month if you’re a student. One benefit of Hulu is that you can use two screens simultaneously.
The platform also offers an ad-free plan priced at $12.99 per month. Hulu also offers an interesting package where they bundle live streams, sporting events, entertainment, and news content, as well as on-demand videos, along with Disney+ and ESPN+. The platform charges $69.99 for this Hulu + Live TV with Disney+ and ESPN+ plan, and $75.99 for the exact same plan minus the ads. If you’re wondering why Hulu has teamed up with Disney for content when they’re both different OTT platforms, here’s a great explanation.
Hulu has some exciting tie-ups that you can explore if you’re an entertainment buff. The company has partnered with HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, STARZ, and ESPN+ to offer customers add-on packages. You can get more info about the price tags on these add-ons on Hulu’s page.
Showtime started as a premium cable TV channel. It has managed to keep up its excellent offerings on the internet as well, having grown into a formidable content platform. With a wide variety of premium TV shows, its subscriber base has grown slowly and consistently. You can access Showtime by paying $10.99 a month.
Showtime offers shows like Billions, Yellow Jackets, Your Honor, and the evergreen Dexter, among many others. MMA events and other sports events are also accessible on Showtime.
HBO Max is the online streaming platform of HBO, which is probably one of the most reputable names when it comes to movies and TV shows. The online platform has been battling it out with Netflix for market share, and thanks to its rich catalog, it has been attracting attention. Getting an HBO Max membership will let you watch shows such as Game of Thrones, The Wire, The White Lotus, Hacks, Betty, etc., and movies like Spirited Away, Seven Samurai, Casablanca, The Dark Knight, etc.
You can get an HBO Max subscription for the same price as a Netflix Basic plan — $9.99 per month and a bigger discount if you get the yearly plan, priced at $99.99. The only issue is that you’ll have to watch commercials in between, as this is the ad-supported membership plan. You also have an ad-free plan that is priced at $14.99 per month.
Backed by an industry titan, Disney+ or Disney Plus has been climbing the ranks rapidly and could well hold the top position among OTT services in a few years. Thanks to Disney’s deep pockets and of course, all the media that the company owns, Disney+ makes sense for those looking for original Disney content.
Subscribing to Disney Plus will cost you $7.99 per month, though you can also go for the yearly plan priced at $79.99.
Netflix vs Hulu vs Prime Video vs Disney+ vs Showtime vs HBO Max
So we have talked about Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and Showtime. Which one of these streaming services offers the most value? While it comes down to personal preference, all of these platforms are excellent and offer bang for your buck. Let’s do a quick side-by-side comparison of Netflix stacked up against the best Netflix alternatives.
|Netflix||Amazon Prime Video||Hulu (with ads)||Showtime||HBO Max (with ads)||Disney Plus|
|Cost Per Month||$9.99||$8.99||$5.99||$10.99||$9.99||$7.99|
|Key Feature||Best overall||Huge movie library||Lowest priced streaming platform||Lots of popular TV shows||Amazing movie collection||Access to a lot of exclusive Disney Content|
Ways to save on Netflix
Now that you know how much Netflix costs, what’s a good way to squeeze the maximum value out of your subscription?
Luckily, Netflix does team up with all kinds of companies to offer exciting deals for you. Many phone carriers in countries across the world offer Netflix as a part of their phone plans, so you should check to see if your service provider has a deal with Netflix that you can cash in on. Similarly, some TV companies also offer a certain period of access to Netflix for free when you purchase their products.
Looking out for deals during the holiday season is also a good idea as you could come across a massive discount online. Many online retailers use Netflix gift cards and offers to entice customers. You could use the opportunity to reduce your expenses while saving up on Netflix charges at the same time. You should look out for offers on your credit card that offer discounts when you recharge your Netflix account through it.
Split Netflix with friends or family members
We saved the best suggestion for last! Most Netflix users already know that the easiest way to get the most out of your Netflix plan is to split it with a group of people. Even if you plan to use Netflix only on your laptop, you could get the Premium plan and split it with three other people. This way, not only do you get to watch Ultra HD content, you’re just paying $5 per person as the package is priced at $19.99 per month.
How many people can stream at the same time?
If you go for the Basic plan, you’re looking at being able to use your account on just one machine at a time, and you can only download content to one laptop, tablet, or phone. If you want to use Netflix on your phone and your tablet, or maybe you want to share your account with one more friend, you can go for the Standard Plan, which allows you to use Netflix on two screens and download content on both.
However, four people can stream Netflix content simultaneously with the Premium plan. This is why it’s the ideal package if you want to split it with your family or if you want to add one account to your TV, one to your laptop, one for your tablet, etc. Netflix allows you to make different user profiles so that each user can enjoy Netflix and save their choices and history.
Popular netflix content
Netflix started off by building an excellent collection of movies and then TV shows, and soon we also got Netflix originals. Produced by Netflix, these movies and shows are well-loved across the world. Let’s go through some of Netflix’s best offerings for its end users.
As of 2023, some of the best TV shows on Netflix include Ozark, Lost in Space, Squid Game, The Witcher, Sex Education, Emily in Paris, Outlander, House of Cards, and Alone. So whether you’re looking for drama, romance, thrillers, or political flicks, there is a TV show of every kind of genre.
Netflix Originals include content that has been produced and promoted for Netflix, to offer exclusive content for its subscriber base. Some of the best content you can watch under the Originals banner include shows such as The Witcher, Squid Game, Money Heist, Ozark, Stranger Things, Kobra Kai, and Peaky Blinders. In the list of movies, you have options such as Don’t Look Up, Worth, Army Of Thieves, and Mank.
Netflix has stayed loyal to its roots by offering the best catalog of movies. The online library carries many popular movies and chances are, you will find what you’re looking for, if you browse through the collection. While we can’t name all the titles here, there are some excellent options like Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Terminator 2, There Will Be Blood, Uncut Gems, and Step Brothers.
You won’t be watching live sporting events on Netflix anytime soon, as the company is currently focused on content that takes more time to produce. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any content for sports fans. Some of the best documentaries, fiction, and docu-series about sports and sportspeople are on Netflix, including titles such as Schumacher, A Life Of Speed, Last Chance U: Basketball, and Counter Punch.
Another feather in the Netflix cap is its massive collection of international content. In fact, Netflix has been able to successfully push international content to its user base with shows such as Squid Game and Narcos. Some of the other high-quality foreign language shows on Netflix include Crash Landing On You, Lupin, One More Time, and Borgen.
What devices are compatible with Netflix
We already know Netflix will run just fine on your PCs and laptops, but here’s a full list that you can refer to:
- Xbox 360/One/X/S series
- Playstation 2/3/4/5/Pro/Vita
- Wii, Wii U
- Nintendo 2DS, 3DS
- TiVo S3/HD/HD/XL/Premiere/Roamio
- Apple TV 2nd/3rd/HD/4K
- Apple iPhones and iPads
- Amazon Fire TV
- Kindle Fire, Fire HD/ HDX
- Android tablets and smartphones
- All devices running Android TV
- Google TV devices
- Most if not all smart TVs
- Most Roku, Western Digital, and WeTek set-top boxes
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get Netflix for free?
The only way you can get Netflix for free is if you get it free with a voice/data plan from your phone carrier, or if you work at Netflix.
While the question of how much is Netflix or how much does Netflix cost can be answered by its Standard plan of $9.99, we hope that this article has shown you how you can get it for a much better deal. All you have to do is share it with your friends and family or find a deal from your phone carrier. If you have a hack to find a great discount or deal on Netflix, we’d love to hear it in the comments!