With the cost of living tightening our purse strings, streaming (opens in new tab) services are taking a hit as many people avoid or cancel non-essential purchases and subscriptions.
Almost every household has at least one streaming service subscription (I personally have three) but many people are paying monthly or annual fees and forgetting about free streaming services. I feel like a lot of us think that free streaming doesn’t have the best quality of content or the variety that paid services have. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth and if you have a TV license, you should definitely be taking advantage of free streaming from BBC iPlayer, the ITV Hub, All4 and My5.
While Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services (opens in new tab) of all time, it isn’t without its issues. Within the first three months of this year, Netflix lost over 200,000 subscribers – the first time it’d lost subscribers in over a decade. It’s also known to cancel a lot of its popular original series and remove popular shows like New Girl and How I Met Your Mother from its catalogue (both can now be found on Disney+).
Overall, with the cost of living crisis and the negative side to Netflix, I don’t think it’s serving my needs anymore. I've started to realise that a lot of what I watch on Netflix is actually available for free on BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab). BBC iPlayer has thousands of TV series, films and documentaries available to watch live or on-demand and I’ve already started to watch most of my streaming on there.
Here are 3 reasons why I’m cancelling Netflix for BBC iPlayer and why you should consider doing the same thing.
Why I’m cancelling Netflix for BBC iPlayer
The range of TV shows, films & documentaries
As I mentioned above, many of my favourite TV shows are actually available for free on BBC iPlayer. One reason that people choose Netflix over BBC iPlayer is because they think that iPlayer only has BBC produced content. However, BBC iPlayer has tons of shows, films and documentaries from American channels and other streaming services. Essentially, whether it’s a film or reality show, if it’s been shown on a BBC channel, you can find it on BBC iPlayer.
Peaky Blinders and Pretty Little Liars are programmes I’d typically watch on Netflix, but as the cost of living gets more expensive, I’m going to watch them on BBC iPlayer! For many BBC shows, the newest seasons are also added in their entirety to BBC iPlayer so you can binge watch them immediately rather than wait to watch them each week, like the last season of Killing Eve. I also never realised how many films are available on BBC iPlayer, including classics like Funny Girl and Meet Joe Black to more modern movies like The Imitation Game and Official Secrets.
Although BBC Three has been made a ‘proper’ channel again this year, the main reason I used to use BBC iPlayer was because of BBC Three programming. BBC Three streams some of my favourite shows of all time like Gavin & Stacey and Normal People which I can watch on-demand at any time on BBC iPlayer. BBC Three also has the UK, Canadian and Down Under versions of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and while new episodes do air on the BBC Three live channel, I sometimes forget to watch or record the episodes so I appreciate the convenience of BBC iPlayer.
Similar to Netflix’s layout
I really enjoy the layout of Netflix and BBC iPlayer is extremely similar so there’s not too much of a change if and when you make the switch. BBC iPlayer is easy to search through, the categories are clear, concise and helpful, plus you can search for films and series by channel. I’m a big fan of the ‘My Programmes’ section as it shows me what I’m watching, what I’ve added to watch later and recommendations.
If you’re looking to save money on your streaming services (opens in new tab), I’d definitely recommend trying out a free streaming service like BBC iPlayer before cancelling your current subscription. This gives you a better idea on what’s available, how the service works and helps you weigh up your options on whether you want to bite the bullet and cancel or not. I also don’t have to completely get rid of Netflix if I don’t want to as I can always downgrade my plan to the cheapest option or cancel and sign up again when a movie or series becomes available (like these 86 original Netflix films arriving in 2022 (opens in new tab)).
For more streaming saving tips, check out the best streaming service deals (opens in new tab) for discounts on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, NOW TV and more.