FREE 30-day trial on Prime video
Get Prime video at Amazon with FREE 30-day trial. T&Cs apply.
Netflix is a pretty big deal these days. It’s the dominant provider of on-demand entertainment for millions of people around the world, and unsurprisingly, Canada has taken quite a shine to Netflix’s vast library of movies and TV shows, hitting an estimated 6.7 million subscribers as of April 2018.
This success hasn’t gone uncontested, however. Eager to capitalize on the streaming boom, rival services like CraveTV, Amazon Prime Video and hayu have emerged to provide Canadians with plenty of choice for getting their streaming fix. Each of these services offers something a little different, distinguishing themselves from Netflix with unique content, extra features or cheaper pricing.
To help you decide whether any of these Netflix alternatives is right for you, we’ve broken down their core features below. We’ve also put together comprehensive guides for many of the services, which you can read by using the links in the relevant section below.
Available on Chromecast, Samsung Smart TVs, Xbox One, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Windows Phones and tablets, Android Phones and Tablets, iPhone and iPad and web browser. Not available on PlayStation.
iTunes provides a central location to download, not just music, but movies and TV shows too. There are thousands of movies and TV shows to choose from, so you can catch up on your favourite episodes at any time.
For US$4.99 a month, you can watch the best of British TV from the comfort of your own home. Compatible on a range of devices including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, iPhone and iPad, Android mobile and tablets, Chromecast, laptops desktops and tablets via browser.
Subscribe to TMN through your cable provider and you automatically have access to TMN Go, which allows you to stream content from the Internet. HBO, which streams Game of Thrones and other phenomenal original series, comes in a package with TMN.
For just $5.99 a month, hayu cuts right to the chase by offering nothing more or less than thousands of hours of reality TV fast-tracked from the US.
While the library of blockbuster movies and big-name TV shows available through Amazon Prime Video in Canada could be better, the selection of original content more than makes up for it. With critical darlings like The Grand Tour, The Man in the High Castle and American Gods available exclusively through Amazon Prime Video, the affordable yearly buy-in is definitely worth it.
If you’re looking for access to unique content, Sundance Now may be the right streaming service for you. For $4.99 to $6.99 a month, access hundreds of indie films, documentaries and TV shows via web, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast.
The highest streaming quality currently available is 4K Ultra HD. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video both support 4K streaming, though only for select titles – mostly original content rather than traditional Hollywood fare. To stream in 4K through Netflix, you’ll need to purchase their top-tier subscription options, while Amazon Prime Video offers 4K streaming by default with its standard subscription.
Just keep in mind that streaming in 4K can chew through quite a large chunk of data: On Netflix, an hour of 4K streaming uses up roughly 7GB.
A basic Netflix subscription will set you back $8.99 a month, but this only gets you the ability to stream to one device at a time and limits you to streaming in Standard Definition (SD). A premium package costs $13.99, which gives you access to Ultra HD and the use of up to four screens at one time. CraveTV isn’t far behind Netflix, with a pricier subscription than some other streaming services.
hayu, AcornTV and Sundance Now have the clear price advantage on Netflix, charging just $5.99, US$4.99 and $6.99 a month respectively. The catch here is that hayu only allows you to stream to one device at a time, and both have a much smaller content library than Netflix. Your choice of viewing is also limited, where hayu has a library filled with reality only TV content, while AcornTV has a library stocked with British content. Sundance Now has a focus on indie films and documentaries, which is suited toward the viewer with eclectic taste.
Content is king in the streaming video space, and Netflix has a sizeable lead on the competition in terms of the number of TV shows and movies it offers. That said, quality is always more important than quantity, and there are plenty of top-notch titles available exclusively on CraveTV, Amazon Prime Video and Sundance Now.
Here’s a comparison of some of the top shows available on each service:
|Netflix||Stranger Things, Prison Break, Orange is the New Black, The Crown, Black Mirror, Master of None, 13 Reasons Why|
|CraveTV||The Wire, The Flash, Orphan Black, Jersey Shore, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Handmaid’s Tale, Lucifer|
|TMN & HBO||Game of Thrones, Nurse Jackie, Call Me Fitz, Skins, The Wire, The Sopranos, Westworld, Silicon Valley, Veep|
|hayu||The Real Housewives of Orange County, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, The Hills, Vanderpump Rules|
|Amazon Prime Video||Transparent, The Grand Tour, The Man in the High Castle, Mozart in the Jungle, American Gods, This is Us|
|iTunes||The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Pretty Little Liars, Downton Abbey, Revenge, State of Affairs, The Real Housewives|
|Sundance Now||Gaza Surf Club, The Bureau, Travel Man, Boyhood, Laurence Anyways, Capote, Shoah, On The Road|
You must be logged in to post a comment.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.