Netflix vs Sky vs Prime vs Britbox vs AppleTV+ and now Disney+

(Liam) #1

There have been a lot of developments in the last 12 months when it comes to streaming TV services.

Netflix and, to some extent, Amazon Prime have been the long-established major players in this area are likely to face competition from newcomers and beefed up streaming offerings from established broadcasters in the near future.

Apple TV has announced its ‘plus’ service which, it says, will put quality over quantity with commissions from big names including Steven Spielberg.

The BBC has just paid £180m as part of a carve-up of its UKTV joint-venture with Discovery - giving the public service broadcaster full ownership of UKTV’s Alibi, Dave, Drama, Eden, Gold, Yesterday and W channels. It is thought that its eagerness to pay top dollar for the channels is less about seven channels and three freeview slots and more about taking back control of the streaming rights to the BBC programmes on UKTV Play.

It has, of course, just announced plans to launch a UK version of ‘Britbox’, its North American streaming service and joint venture with ITV. It’s unlikely that these two developments are unrelated.

And now, enter Disney+, complete with back-catalogue material from Pixar, Marvel, Lucas Film - far from a Mickey Mouse offering.

Last year Disney was locked into a battle with Comcast over Sky TV. It lost to the NBC-owner by auction, but it’s thought that the main driver in that bidding war was programme rights and technologies. Something Sky has in abundance.

So, despite all this activity and investment in new streaming services - is the market already saturated and will these new services be able to gain a foot-hold?

( #2

Our new wildlife show Serengeti has just become one of the anchor shows of the new Discovery VoD service, which was the other half of this deal obviously; the beeb get UKTV, and discovery gets to license all the beebs natural history content for for their new ‘Wildlife Netflix’, and weve been given a sneek peek of the service which looks incredible. I’m not sure how much is set to happen at launch, and how much is stuff that is in development to happen further down the road, but while being mindful to keep :zipper_mouth_face:, safe to say it could be pretty revolutionary. Very exciting stuff.


I wouldn’t consider SkyStore as a competitor here (assuming you mean buying things off the store like new releases etc) - I’d consider the standard Sky subscription the competitor (with movies, docs etc).

But yeah, there does seem to be far too much now.

At home, we have:

Netflix (it’s only £8 per month, the kids like it, and occasionally there are some decent series).
Amazon Prime - We have it with our subscription
Sky (with all the packages) - The wife and kids watch a lot of the movies.

I’d consider AppleTV+ if the content looked good, but I’d probably live without Disney+.

I wonder if Sky is taking a hit with all of these services?

(Liam) #4

I should have just said Sky really,

They do a lot in the streaming area, both linear and on demand.

There’s box sets on their TV boxes and payTV catchup on their telly-boxes, there’s NowTV, and they are already trialing SkyX in some of their European markets.

(Liam) #5

I had heard little snippits about Discovery’s VoD service. Interesting to see what it turns out like.

Discovery already operate Eurosport Player as a streaming service in the UK. Be interesting to see if they have any plans to unify content from Discovery, Eurosport, Travel, Food Network, Quest, et al under one roof at any point down the road?


I get Amazon Prime with my Prime Subscription, the layout is the most annoying thing ever, you have to scroll through buy and rent programs and films.

Netflix I get and enjoy the series and TV programs, the films are normally rubbish though.

I get Sky and prefer that out of all of them for films.

Anything else I just get on my laptop and connect to my TV I wouldn’t get a new service. Discovery programs are easy to get just using a US proxy not worth paying for I get that why my Virgin Subscription.

The Apple TV plus service doesn’t make sense to me, people want choice and the more the better, however it will be interesting, they might get that content that people will pay for.

Disney+ has been trialing its service for a long time before launch, I imagine that will change to be bundled in something eventually, I can imagine Sky Kids buying the rights in the future and bundling it with Sky Kids.

(sam) #7

I totally agree about prime layout, it’s terrible. There isn’t much good content on there either


Is there room in the UK market for so many pay streaming services, some being quite niche as well?
Eleven Sport has pretty much disappeared already. Despite having some high profile rights packages hardly anyone bothered signing up.
And why should you? If you’re paying for BBC and Sky (and maybe BT and Netflix) why would fork out for more streaming content.
Especially when it will available on Kodi (or whatever takes it’s place) soon for free.

(Liam) #9

Eleven was a pretty flawed concept. None of their rights were must-see, their app didn’t work from the get-go and their business model seemed to assume that Sky would eventually throw money at them to carry them on Satellite.

Eleven made it on to linear TV in Belgium and Poland and I guess they have more revenue as a result.

(Daniel White) #10

The thing that annoys me about Amazon Prime the most is that the UHD (4K) content is a separate series in the the app to the not 4K stuff and finding it is a real pain in the ass.

Why not just have it under the same series and let you select 4K when you play (or have it automatically) just like everyone else.

This is on Android TV. I assume it’s the same on others

(Lord Chimpington... the 3rd) #11

It’s heavenly compared to NowTV’s layout…


I also dislike many of the apps and feel the user experience is never at the forefront of these companies minds when designing their crappy apps. With Apple TV+ on the horizon and the Apple TV app pulling content from many other services into a more unified layout and user experience, it feels like some of these broadcasting companies are beginning to realise that users don’t want to use fragmented apps and content. I hope they continue to work with Apple but they won’t want to become content providers only so innovation and the end user will suffer in the long run. Some companies even completely refuse to work will Apple and won’t allow their context to be imported into the Apple TV app (looking at you Netflix). These will be the losers longterm and it’s very short sighted.


I haven’t looked into this properly… But I know Netflix have disabled the ability to “AirPlay” Netflix from your iOS device, to the TV.

But… Surely the Apple TV already has the Netflix app on?

What am I missing?

(Lord Chimpington... the 3rd) #14

It does, can’t say I’ve ever felt the need to airplay Netflix from my phone to the Apple TV…


Agreed - But I’m wondering if I missed something, as there seems to have been a little bit of outrage over this…

(Lord Chimpington... the 3rd) #16

I guess if you were visiting a friends place who doesn’t have Netflix… but who doesn’t have Netflix :wink:


Assume you mean…

Doesn’t have a Netflix account, but does have an Apple TV?


Sorry I mean that the BBC iPlayer, Amazon, and ITV Hub for example will speak directly to the Apple TV app and serve content suggestions etc, but Netflix don’t do this and the only way to search is directly through the Netflix app.


I do when staying in hotels for work.

(Liam) #20

I’ve got an a little Xiaomi Android TV box that I use if I am working away from home.

Not the most powerful box in the world, but has native Netflix, has Prime Video and using OpenVPN I can connect to my satellite dish (via TVHeadend) to watch the live TV channels I get at home.

Works pretty well.