Though student life is often associated with nights out, these days it’s more likely to mean nights in. A tough economy has cut disposable income for many, and if you’re studying then your bank balance has likely been obliterated!
Streaming services are the go-to destinations for home entertainment, providing a vast array of films and TV shows in one convenient package for a monthly subscription. Arguably the chief amongst these is Netflix, who are a constant presence in the living room of many a screen addict. It has an established brand and a hungry audience, but what does Netflix offer for the poor student…? Our guide gives you the lowdown…
This is where we should be honest with you. Truth be told, Netflix does not offer a student-specific package. In one sense this is surprising, because the student audience would surely be attractive to them as a potential money earner. In another sense it’s maybe understandable due to the range of access on offer.
Netflix does tempt newcomers with a month’s free viewing before laying on the fees and even then they’re not astronomical. The cheapest is £5.99 a month, though that doesn’t give you HD and you can only use one screen at a time. For anything beyond that the starting rate is £7.99, which again isn’t off-putting unless your budget is very low. Should you wish to back out once you’re forking out the process seems fairly straightforward but, as ever with these things, checking the small print is essential.
Of course Netflix’s lack of interest in students opens up the conversation to include other services offering streaming goodness for future generations. Below are some key examples:
Freeview is an easily-overlooked option for streaming and is included with the cost of a TV Licence. The content is limited, but then again Netflix and the like pack in more than you’ll ever get through in a lifetime. It depends on how much you need to binge and whether you should be studying instead!
Catch up programming for BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and all the major channels are stored on their respective hubs. All 4 has made an extensive back catalogue of shows available in a way the BBC sadly hasn’t, though they do put a small selection of older series on their iPlayer. Be aware, that you now have to pay the £145 tv license fee to watch iPlayer. So, Netflix is actually pretty cheap in comparison!
Amazon Prime Instant Video
Netflix has a huge amount of exclusive content, but it isn’t the only game in town when it comes to specific movies or shows. Amazon has branched out from retail to media production in recent years with lucrative results. Prime Instant Video provides a raft of viewable goodies and best of all they have an unlimited package tailored to students.
If you have a student e-mail address (ending in “.ac.uk”) you can sign up for 6 months free access and after that it’s £39, which is half the price of a regular subscription. There’s also the option of paying monthly at £3.99 - this doesn’t save you in the long run, but if you don’t have the funds and need boxsets fast then that could be your best bet. Read more about student deals for Prime here and our guide taking you more in depth here.
Now TV is essentially a selection of Sky programming, delivering your entertainment in chunks rather than giving you the whole package, which can be pretty expensive. You can sign up online and if you want to stream it to your TV the most affordable option is a USB Smart Stick at £14.99, or you could connect your laptop to the TV. Alternatively the Now TV boxes can be found in major retail outlets for discount prices.
Passes are then made available for things like Entertainment (such as Catch Up and box sets) and Sky Cinema. A 14 day free trial period isn’t the best of offers but it has been longer, depending on how you access the service. You pay per pass after that, so that’s £7.99 for Entertainment and £9.99 for Sky Cinema and it’s contract free, meaning you can cancel at any time.
As with Netflix, there are no student deals currently on the website but the different levels of access and the price plans perhaps rule out the need for them. It’s worth checking the website for updates though.
We hope you’ve found this guide useful. For more info on top student entertainment deals read on…