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BritBox vs Netflix — which streaming service is better for you?

BritBox vs Netflix - Call the Midwife
Call the Midwife is available on Netflix and BritBox. (Image credit: BBC)

BritBox vs Netflix — which one is right for you? 

With so many streaming services out there, it can be difficult to decide which ones you need to watch all the content that matters to you. Just like how we’re constantly wondering which streaming device is best, every time a new streamer shows up, decisions about which one to get only become more difficult. With BritBox growing in popularity, we wanted to produce a comprehensive guide to help you to decide between these two streaming services. 

BritBox vs Netflix: Overview

Netflix doesn’t really need that much of an introduction; chances are, a decent amount of you watching have a subscription already. At the end of 2020, Netflix had over 200 million subscribers globally

Netflix is available in 190 countries worldwide and boasts an ever-evolving, on-demand library of movies and TV shows. It’s consistent popularity is down to an easy-to-use user interface, and a huge range of stuff to watch.

BritBox is a very different beast. Rather than attempt to market itself as a disruptive service desperate to pull you away from juggernauts like Netflix or Disney Plus, BritBox is billing itself specifically as the go-to service for British TV. 

It boasts a much larger amount of classic and modern British TV than any other service out there. When we compared BritBox vs Acorn TV, it came out on top as the streamer of choice for British shows. So, if you’re desperate to consume as much British TV as possible, BritBox is still a service to consider picking up.

BritBox vs Netflix: Price and Free Trials

Netflix is far more complicated on the pricing front, as there are three plans currently available, each offering different options.

For $8.99 / £5.99 a month, you can get access to Netflix’s “Basic” package, which is the cheapest option available right now. 

The most popular package is the “Standard” option, which will run new subscribers $13.99 / £9.99 a month.

For viewers who want access to 4K content and the ability to stream to four devices, you’ll have to opt for the “Premium” package, which costs $17.99 / £13.99. You can see a full breakdown of what each package gets you below:

BritBox vs Netflix - Netflix Pricing Plans

(Image credit: help.netflix.com)

BritBox, by comparison, keeps everything super simple. A monthly subscription for the service costs $6.99 / £5.99 a month, but you can also opt to pay yearly for $69.99 / £59.99. Opting to pay annually will net you 12 months’ access for the price of ten!

UK readers can also get six months’ worth of BritBox access for free if they’re a BT broadband customer, or if they pay for their mobiles with EE. Head over to BT.com or EE.co.uk for all the details on these offers.  

If you want to try both services before you sign up, we’ve got some bad news for you: Netflix stopped offering free trials last year. However, you can try BritBox free for seven days regardless of which region you’re in. 

BritBox vs Netflix. Netflix's desktop UI.

Netflix's UI as it appears on desktops. (Image credit: Netflix)

BritBox vs Netflix: Availability

BritBox is currently available in Australia, Canada, US and the UK, with plans to bring the service to South Africa soon. Subscribers outside of the UK can use their subscription in any region. 

BritBox is available on: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast, YouView set-top boxes, selected smart TVs, iOS and Android mobile devices, Roku, and in-browser.

US viewers can also add BritBox to their Amazon Prime Video subscriptions as a Premium Video Channel, and this option should be available to UK viewers soon!

Netflix, as you might expect, is available basically everywhere. The service is open to viewers in 190 countries, so it’s easier to list where it isn’t available.

With Netflix having been around quite as long as it has, it’s appeared on a range of devices. You can currently watch Netflix on: Android and iOS devices, Facebook Portal, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, a range of smart TVs, PlayStation and Xbox games consoles, PCs and in your browser

BritBox vs Netflix: Content

Please note: content mentioned may not be available in all regions.

Netflix is one of the biggest streaming services available in 2021. Whether its original or licensed shows, movies, comedies, dramas, cartoons, family content or stand-up, chances are you will find something for you on Netflix.

Some of the service’s best-known recent shows include Bridgerton, Orange is the New Black, Bojack Horseman, Stranger Things, Tiger King, Sex Education, The Crown, The Witcher, The Haunting of Hill House, and The Queen’s Gambit.

Film fans are just as well-served by the streamer. You can find a huge library of movies to suit any taste on the platform; recent releases include I Care A Lot (in the US), Moxie and The Dig. some of Netflix’s original movies like Roma and The Irishman have been Oscar nominees. If somehow there aren’t enough movies available for you on Netflix right now, Netflix is getting new movies every week in 2021. 

BritBox also has a sizeable content library, but its interested in one thing: British TV. For readers less acquainted with British shows, that means the service is home to bingeable faves like Gavin & Stacey, Sherlock, The Inbetweeners and Fawlty Towers stand alongside new shows such as Dead Pixels, Finding Alice, Broadchurch and The Pembrokeshire Murders.

Fans of reality TV and soaps will also be well-served by the box sets of Love Island, The Only Way is Essex, Strictly Come Dancing, Coronation Street, EastEnders and Emmerdale, too.

If you’re looking for movies, you’ll find some Shakespeare adaptations on BritBox alongside British hits like Under the Skin, Attack the Block and Trainspotting among its ranks. If you’d prefer an A-Z of content, we’ve got a full list of shows on BritBox on the site already! 

It’s important to note that a lot of hugely popular shows such as Bloodlands and Line of Duty might be available on BritBox, but plenty of content is also available to stream for free via BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub for UK viewers. Eventually, new shows from these free streaming platforms will migrate over to BritBox for wider consumption. 

BritBox vs Netflix: User Interface and Features

BritBox and Netflix feature very similar UIs. Both curate their content into carousels around different genres and types of content to help you navigate their platform easily. Jumping between info pages for shows and movies couldn’t be easier, and the search tool functions almost identically on both platforms too.

Both streamers also offer viewers the chance to download shows to watch offline, if they want. The length of time content is available offline once downloaded does vary from platform and from show to show.

Where the two services differ is in their players. For one thing, BritBox streams at a maximum 1080p resolution, but some content on Netflix can be streamed in 4K (as long as you pay for the Premium package. 

Netflix’s media player is also more feature-rich. You can read summaries and jump between episodes and seasons of shows via Netflix’s overlay, which makes binge-watching that much easier. 

The simplest (and still best) feature of Netflix is still how well its algorithm tailors content to you, based on your viewing habits.

BritBox vs Acorn TV. BritBox's UI.

BritBox as it appears in your browser. (Image credit: britbox.com)

So, should I get BritBox or Netflix?

Unlike our comparison of BritBox and Acorn TV, BritBox and Netflix isn’t necessarily a fair fight. Netflix has been around for a lot longer, and has huge partnerships with distributors all across the globe.

BritBox is marketed mainly as a supplement to your streaming habits; if you’re looking to include more British content, be that much-loved shows from days gone by or more recent releases

That being said, if you only want to pay for one streaming service, the choice is fairly clear. Netflix offers viewers a lot more versatility. Subscribers can choose whether they want 4K streaming, have access to a much broader range of content, and Netflix has many more features built into the service than BritBox. 

So, we recommend BritBox as an addition to your usual services, but Netflix is the better choice of the two if you’re only paying for one streamer.