We outline the movies and shows available on each streaming service, plus the cost, number of users and other key info. Plus, a cost comparison of streaming vs. cable.
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Streaming services in Canada boast endless options. While choice can be a great thing, it can also cause confusion when it comes to the value of each service, since each differs greatly in terms of available movies and shows, subscription costs and the number of users that can access a single account. But don’t worry, that’s why we’ve rounded up the Canadian streaming services, their prices and other key information, so that you can choose (and binge-watch) wisely. Plus, we’ve included some free services for the frugally-minded movie enthusiast, too.
Canadian streaming services deals
Before you sign up for any streaming service, find out first if it offers a free trial. This will not only save you a few bucks, but it will also allow you to sample the service to get a better idea of whether you want to fully invest in the service. Some services, like Netflix and Disney+, do not offer free trials, whereas Crave and Amazon Prime Video offer 7- and 30-day free trials, respectively.
While conventional sales are rare in the world of streaming services, that’s not to say you can’t find a deal. Some services can be bundled (like through your Amazon Prime membership, for example) or you can save by paying for an entire year upfront (as you’ll see below).
Of course, a great way to save on streaming services is to check how many users are allowed on one account—then have a conversation about it with family and friends. If, say, your parents or adult kids subscribe to Netflix, you may be able to use their account. If you have an existing account of your own with a particular streaming service, and room to add more users, you can always agree to exchange log-ins, too.
Here are the streaming services in Canada, along with their prices and features, to help you choose the right one for you and your household:
What’s on it: Just about anything of any genre, with thousands of titles to choose from. Netflix has both original shows (Ozark, Squid Game, Stranger Things) and movies (The Power Of The Dog, Bad Trip). It also has the rights to a number of ultra-popular shows, such as Seinfeld, Downton Abbey and Breaking Bad. Plus, a huge selection of movies old and new, from Don’t Look Up to Terminator 2. Documentaries and kids shows are available here, too.
Cost: Basic $9.99/month, standard $16.49/month, premium $20.99/month.
How many devices: 1 device with basic, 2 devices with standard, 4 with premium.
What’s included: Watch unlimited movies and shows on your mobile phone, laptop or tablet at any time with high-definition (HD) streaming, You can download videos on up to two devices with a standard plan. Get 4K and HD video streaming, and downloads are available on up to four different devices with the premium plan.
What’s on it: Stream Crave and HBO original videos including Letterkenny, Game of Thrones, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Wire. It also has a selection of movies like Free Guy, Bridesmaids, Goodfellas and The Harry Potter series. Plus, family content and documentaries.
Cost: Crave Total: $19.99/month or $159.90/year. Crave Mobile: $9.99/month or $99.90/year. Starz add-on: $5.99/month. You can also sign up for Crave through your cable provider (trials vary by province).
How many devices: 5 on both Crave Total and Mobile.
What’s included: Downloading and streaming anytime on up to 5 devices along with access to its entire library. You also have access to the entire Crave library on your mobile device, too.
Free trial or deals: 7 days of free streaming if you sign up with Crave directly.
What’s on it: It’s YouTube plus some added luxuries, including ad-free video streaming, offline video downloads and background video playback. Get access to YouTube Music with ad-free streaming, offline music downloads and background playback.
Cost: Standard plan: $11.99/month; family plan: $17.99/month; student plan: $6.99/month.
How many devices: Stream video and music offline on 10 devices.
What’s included: For all subscription tiers: Ad-free video and music streaming and downloads along with background playing of YouTube.
Free trial or deals: Three-month free trial for standard subscribers. One-month free trial for family and student subscribers. (More info on free stuff from YouTube below.)
What’s on it: Enjoy ad-free streaming of all CBC videos, including well-known shows like Kim’s Convenience, Schitt’s Creek and Pretty Hard Cases, as well as news programming and special event coverage.
How many devices:5.
Free trial or deals: 30-day free trial when you create your account.
What’s on it: Streaming of Amazon original programming, such as The Wheel of Time, The Boys and I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Cost: Amazon Prime membership fee (includes Amazon Prime Video): $7.99/month or $79/year. Channel add-on costs vary, but start around $3.99/month and can go up to $12.99/month. For further details, see Amazon’s pricing add-on chart.
How many devices:Stream select content on three devices.
What’s included: 4K streaming of Amazon Prime; offline viewing and downloads on select titles. Ad-free and on-demand music streaming with Amazon Music Prime. Get access to free games through Prime Gaming and to thousands of books and magazines through Prime Reading. Get free two-day shipping included with your Prime membership. To top it off, Amazon Prime Video Channels allows you to add premium video channels to your base prime subscription for an additional fee, including Starz, StackTV Canada, BBC Earth and BritBox. The costs vary depending on the channel.
Free trial or deals: 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime Video when you sign up for Amazon Prime. Get four months of Amazon Prime Music Unlimited free when you sign up for Amazon Prime for the first time.
What’s on it: Stream documentaries, such as Secrets of The Solar System, Man’s First Friend and The History of Home, along with many other movies and shows about history, science, technology, nature and society.
Cost: Standard HD subscription: US$2.99/month or US$19.99/year. Premium 4K subscription: US$9.99/month or US$69.99/year.
How many devices: 5.
What’s included: HD streaming with a standard HD subscription, and 4K streaming with 4K subscription.
Free trial or deals: The HD annual subscription is US$11.99 for a year when you use code GIFT21 when signing up.
What’s on it: Get access to award-winning CBS news library and Paramount+ original shows such as The Twilight Zone, Why Women Kill, Star Trek Discovery, Coyote, One Dollar, The Good Fight and Console Wars.
Cost: Paramount+ $5.99/month.
How many devices: 3.
What’s included: Stream more than 30,000 TV episodes and movies from a variety of different channels, including CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and CBS News.
Free trial or deals: 50% off for three months, along with a 7-day free trial.
What’s on it: Access hundreds of different anime, like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Attack on Titan and Black Clover, and 30,000 different anime episodes.
Cost: Fan: $7.99/month. Mega Fan: $9.99/month or $99.99/year.
How many devices:One with Fan subscription, four with Mega Fan subscription.
What’s included: Unlimited ad-free streaming of the entire Crunchyroll anime library with a Fan subscription. Unlimited ad-free streaming and offline viewing. Stream on up to four different devices with a Mega Fan subscription.
Free trial or deals: 14-day free trial available before purchasing a premium subscription.
What’s on it: Watch more than 55,000 episodes from a variety of different shows and channels. Notable streaming picks include Mythbusters, Deadliest Catch, 90 Day Fiance, Man vs. Wild, Dirty Jobs and How It’s Made.
What’s included: Access to over 2,500 current and former shows from a variety of TV brands, including Discovery, Animal Planet, Food Network.
What’s on it:A bone-chilling selection of horror movies, from classics like Hellraiser and Black Christmas to modern horror like It Follows and B-movies like Sleepaway Camp. Shudder also features a selection of podcasts and series like Eli Roth’s History of Horror and The Last Drive-In.
What’s included: Streaming of movies, series and podcasts, as well as access to Shudder TV, where you can watch real-time horror movies as they come on, as though you were browsing basic cable.
Cost: $4.75/month, $56.99/year.
How many devices: 1.
Free trial or deals: 7-day free trial.
No funds, no problem: Free streaming services and alternatives
If you’re on a shoestring budget or simply don’t want to pay for what you watch, there are free (and totally legal!) alternatives available.
YouTube is the most popular streaming service online, and it offers endless hours of video. We covered the paid plans on premium services above, but YouTube can also be a trusty, free choice for hours of entertainment—you may just have to endure some ads (some are skippable, though!). You can watch a variety of free videos through the YouTube Originals channel, such as Retro Tech, Liza on Demand, Rhett & Links Buddy System and Demi Lovato’s Dancing with the Devil. You can also watch YouTube stars, like Marques Brownlee, Liza Koshy and Rhett & Link from Good Mythical Morning.
Into gaming? Twitch is the platform for streaming and watching gaming content. Watch prominent gaming streamers, including h3h3productions, Ninja, auronplay along with staple gaming channels, such as IGN and GameSpot. Ninja is the top streamer on the platform with 17.1 million followers, and auronplay is in the second spot with 10.8 million followers. Twitch also features emotes (or emoticons), including the popular <3 (Twitch heart), PogChamp, LUL, 5Head, CurseLit and many others you can download and use. You don’t need to register for an account to watch streams on the desktop version of Twitch, but you’ll need to if you’re streaming through the app.
There’s a lot to like with Tubi, which offers more than 35,000 movies and TV shows, along with over 100 local and live news channels. Prominent shows on the platform include MasterChef Canada, Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen and Forensic Files. Tubi is a division of media giant Fox Entertainment, whose network has over 250 different entertainment partners from major Hollywood studios. No account is required to stream content on Tubi, but having an account allows you to queue up movies and save them for later. With a strong content library, Tubi is a great free choice for streaming. However, you will have to endure short commercials (remember those?).
Kanopy is a streaming service that’s available through public libraries in Canada, as long as you have a library card (if you’re a student, you can access it through your college or university, too). Offering both entertaining and educational content, the platform has a unique content selection, including Canadian and independent cinema. Titles include Small Town Murder Songs, Iqaluit, Almost Adults, 52 Words for Love. Independent picks include Silo, The Phone Call, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Boy.
Though nowhere near the size of YouTube or Twitch, Dailymotion has features worth checking out. The site has four dedicated verticals: News, sports, entertainment and music. Prominent news publications like the Canadian Press, Vogue and Teen Vogue have channels.
Is streaming cheaper than cable?
Interested in knowing how steaming costs stack up against cable? Assuming you already pay around $70 for internet service each month, here’s what it will cost you to add a streaming service (or two) to that expense. Keep in mind prices will vary depending on where you live and the plans you choose. The chart below compares the streamers’ fees with the average costs of cable plans.
1 streaming service (basic Netflix): $9.99/month
Basic cable (Rogers and Bell): 25 to 30 channels, $25/month
All-inclusive package (Rogers and Bell): 92 to 192 channels, $160/month (Rogers) to $230/month (Bell)
If you’re wondering which of the two is offers the best selection at the lowest cost, the short answer is: it depends. Many factors affect the costs of streaming, including what you want to watch. For instance, someone who needs cable to watch live sporting events may not find the same value in having a few streaming services, whereas a British TV show lover may find little value in basic cable.
How each streaming service sources its content
So, where do all these platforms get their content? Short answer: It differs for each service. While streaming giants like Netflix, Apple and Crave do produce original programming through their own production houses, they also procure the rights to stream various television shows and movies on their platforms. Other services, like Crunchyroll and Paramount+, don’t produce original shows or movies; they only procure rights for what they stream. And sometimes those rights are limited, which is why you may have heard that Prime had Superstore, but it’s now it’s only available on Netflix, for example. Streaming services will also buy the rights to stream exclusively on their respective platforms (like when Friends stopped being available on Netflix and was then it was released for streaming on Crave).
The country you’re watching from matters, too. What’s available to Canadians to watch can differ in other countries, even on the same streaming service provider. So, you should always check the streaming service’s website to be sure you’ll be able to get the shows and movies you want to watch.
Either way, with so many services available, all with huge libraries of films, shows and documentaries, you’re bound to find something binge-worthy—no matter your budget.