A rundown of the best sites similar to Netflix for streaming TV shows and movies in Ireland.
Netflix is a pretty big deal these days. As the dominant provider of on-demand entertainment for millions of people around the world, it was a big win when the service arrived in Ireland in 2012. Unsurprisingly, Ireland has taken quite a shine to Netflix’s vast library of movies and TV shows. And although there are no official figures, it is estimated that Netflix has around 250,000 subscribers in Ireland and expected to reach 500,000 by 2020.
This success hasn’t gone uncontested, however. Eager to capitalise on the streaming boom, rival services like Now TV, Volta, and hayu have emerged to provide the Irish 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 each service, which you can read by using the links in the relevant section below.
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1. Amazon Prime Video
With an emphasis on original content you won’t find anywhere else, Amazon Prime Video is one of the best-value alternatives to Netflix.
While the library of blockbuster movies and big-name TV shows available through Amazon Prime Video in Ireland 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 £7.99 a month buy-in is definitely worth it. You also have the opportunity to pay up-front for the year for £79.
- Pay £7.99 a month or £79 for the year.
- Plenty of exclusive content like The Grand Tour and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- Offers a 30-day free trial
2. Now TV
Now TV offers over 1,000 movies, complete TV seasons, live sports and kids content.
A worthy Netflix competitor, Sky’s streaming service can be a little difficult to understand at first glance, since it offers various ‘passes’ that let you enjoy movies, TV, or sports for a limited time. However, the service does offer free trials as well, so it’s easy to try it out and see if it’s the right fit for you.
- Great content selection, including live sports
- Free 14-day trial for Entertainment, Kids and Sky Cinema packs
- Special offers always available
If you love your reality TV, no streaming service gets you more juicy drama than hayu.
For just €5.99 a month, hayu cuts right to the chase by offering nthousands of hours of reality TV, a lot of them fast-tracked from the US.
- Supports a wide range of devices including computers, tablets and smartphones
- Lets you download episodes and watch them offline
- Offers a 30-day free trial
For an impressive collection of independent film, you can’t go wrong with Volta.
The on-demand streaming service prides itself in bringing the best of independent cinema to Irish audiences. Its catalogue is a fun mix of popular indies and hidden gems, all carefully curated in collections to make browsing a breeze. Volta doesn’t offer a monthly subscription – instead, users can purchase or rent the titles they are interested in.
- Great selection of independent titles from Ireland and around the world
- Movies available to buy or rent for as little as €2.99
- Some titles available on Volta the same day as their theatrical release
5. Sky Go
Free for Sky users, the app allows you to watch TV live and on demand anytime, anywhere.
Sky Go enables Sky clients to watch TV on their mobile, tablet or laptop at no extra cost. You can stream shows on the go or via WiFi, whichever you prefer. Plus, for €6 extra you can get Sky Go Extra, which lets you download content to watch offline and stream on two devices at the same time.
- Free for Sky users
- Live and on demand TV, on 3G, 4G or WiFi
- Available on laptops, smartphones and tablets
The horror-centric streaming platform is a must for fans of the genre.
Shudder provides users with a wide selection of horror titles, both movies and TV series. Users can stream thousands of hours of horror, suspense, and thrillers, uncut and ad-free, with every title handpicked by genre experts. There’s a free trial, and plans cost only $4.99/month.
- Amazing selection of horror and thriller titles
- One-week free trial available to test the platform
- Significant discount if you pay for an entire year (only $47.88)
7. Disney Life
Disney enthusiast? Get all your favorite movies and shows in one handy app.
Disney Life brings the entire Disney catalogue at your fingertips. You get access to over 450 movies, as well as TV shows, shorts, and music. The perfect pick for anyone with a soft spot for the magical Disney universe. At only €6.99/month, it’s definitely worth the investment, especially for parents looking to keep the little ones entertained.
- All your Disney faves in one place
- One-week free trial available
- Family-friendly content
8. YouTube Premium
Ad-free Youtube videos and original productions? Yes, please!
YouTube Premium comes with several benefits for avid YouTube users, including ad-free streaming, background play, and offline viewing. You also get access to YouTube original productions (like popular series Cobra Kai).
- One month free trial available (€11.99/month after)
- YouTube Music included for free
- Ad-free streaming of all YouTube
Besides the services listed above, you can also purchase TV shows and movies from digital retailers. Here are the most popular.
9. Sky Store
Purchase the latest releases straight from the cinema.
Use the Sky Store to buy or rent movies and TV series, including recent blockbuster titles. You don’t need a subscription, since Sky Store is open to everyone – simply pay for the titles you’re interested in.
- The latest movies straight from the cinema
- Buy & Keep movies before they come out on DVD
- Purchase the digital movie or choose to add the DVD or Blu-ray and get it at home
10. Rakuten TV
If you like to pay-as-you-go, Rakuten TV offers an impressive selection of movies.
The service enables users to stream the latest new releases on a variety of devices, including smart TVs in just a few clicks. Rakuten TV’s catalogue includes everything from blockbusters to award-winning classics to independent flicks. There are no streaming subscriptions available – you simply register and then pay to rent to purchase the titles you want to watch.
- Impressive selection of movies, including titles fresh from the cinema
- Great device compatibility
- Tons of 4K content available
Organise and enjoy the music and films you already have, or shop for new titles.
iTunes opens you up to an entire world of entertainment, wherever you are. You can buy that catchy song you just heard or rent that film you’ve been meaning to see, anytime you want.
- Share your iTunes purchases with your family
- Enjoy your favorite content in 4K HDR
- The iTunes Store is available on all your devices
12. Google Play
Google Play enables you to shop your favorite films, books, and music in one place.
Buy recent releases straight from the cinema, including box office hits. Plus, get your fix of books and music as well for a complete entertainment experience.
- Various payment options available
- Purchase titles straight from the cinema
- Enjoy a wide array of books at special prices
Which internet TV provider offers the highest streaming quality?
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 option (Premium – €13.99/month), while Amazon Prime Video offers 4K streaming by default with its standard subscription. Just bear 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.
You can also purchase content in 4K from digital retailers like Rakuten TV – however, a better video quality usually translates to a higher price. The rest of the streaming services listed above offer titles in HD quality, which is great for most consumers.
How much do these alternatives cost compared to Netflix?
A basic Netflix subscription will set you back €7.99 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).
Now TV’s pricing is a bit different. Instead of paying a set subscription every month to get access to all content available on the platform, you purchase packages which allow you to watch either TV shows, movies, sports, or content for kids. The Entertainment and Sky Cinema passes both come with a 14-day free trial and cost €15/month each after that. The Kids Pass offers a two-week trial as well and costs €7/month after. As for Sports, there is no free trial available, but you can choose between three type of passes – Day Pass (€10/day), Week Pass (€15/week), or Month Pass (currently €19.50/month as a special offer). You can also combine these passes to create a personalized subscription. However, whichever option you choose, you will likely end up paying more than you would for a Netflix subscription.
Amazon Prime Video has the advantage of being free with an Amazon Prime subscription, so you can enjoy extra perks like fast delivery, free music, free books, and so on. If you shop Amazon a lot, it’s definitely worth the investment. As for specialized services, Shudder, hayu, and Disney Life all tend to set their prices lower than the average service, since they offer a limited amount of content and usually only appeal to genre fans.
If you don’t watch TV shows or movies often, but still like to enjoy the occasional stream, renting/purchasing titles directly from services like Rakuten TV, Volta, or iTunes may be a better fit for you – especially since some are available to rent for as little as €3. However, keep in mind that even these costs quickly add up. If you find yourself craving more content, a subscription to Netflix or Now TV may end up saving you money in the long run. It all comes down to your budget and personal habits, so make sure you consider all these factors before making an entertainment choice.
What shows and movies do Netflix’s competitors offer?
Content is king in the streaming video space, and Netflix has a sizeable lead on the competition in terms of the sheer 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 Now TV, Volta, Amazon Prime Video or hayu.
Here’s a comparison of some of the top shows available on each service:
|Netflix||Russian Doll, Sex Education, Stranger Things, BoJack Horseman, Orange is the New Black, The Crown, Black Mirror, Master of None, Star Trek: Discovery|
|Now TV||Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor, The Walking Dead, True Detective, Modern Family, Madam Secretary, Avengers: Infinity War, Game Night, The Shape of Water|
|hayu||The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Vanderpump Rules, Snapped, Botched, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Bi Life|
|Disney Life||Frozen, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, The Princess Diaries, Tangled, Toy Story, Inside Out|
|Amazon Prime Video||The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Jack Ryan, The Grand Tour, American Gods, Homecoming, The Man in the High Castle|
|Volta||The Lobster, Trainspotting, Older Than Ireland, The Great Beauty, In the Fade, RBG, Once, Making the Grade, Lean on Pete|
|Shudder||Revenge, Oldboy, Wolf Creek, Black Lake, Insidious, The Divide, Primal Screen, Don’t Leave Home, Terrified|
|YouTube Premium||Cobra Kai, Weird City, Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television, Origin, Sideswiped, Champaign ILL, 12 Deadly Days|