Netflix is probably the most recognisable name on the list. Recently, it increased prices, with the basic package now €8.99 per month. The Standard Package is €14.99, while the Premium is €20.99. The Basic Package allows streaming on one device at a time: two on the standard package and four with premium. Netflix also allows users to download content to watch while offline, often a particularly handy option for summer holidays.
New shows include the final two extended episodes of Stranger Things 4. Last week, Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson’s comedy, The Man From Toronto, was the most-watched film on Netflix.
Upcoming biggies include The Gray Man (July 22), a big-budget action thriller with Ryan Gosling and Regé-Jean Page; and The Sandman (Aug 5), a fantasy series adapted from the Neil Gaiman comic books.
Disney Plus is home to fan favourites such as Disney (of course) as well as Marvel, Pixar and Star -a relatively new branch of more ‘adult’ content on Disney Plus. A subscription costs €8.99 per month while the annual subscription is €89.90 per year. The service currently allows subscribers to watch on four devices at once. There is also an option to download content, which means you can watch without wi-fi.
Recently added animated adventures include Raya and the Last Dragon, which takes place in the fantasy world of Kumandra, where humans and dragons once lived together as one in harmony before the arrival of monsters. Pistol has been another well-regarded recent series, dramatising the heady days of punk rock and the emergence of the Sex Pistols.
Also available is Wolfgang, a documentary on the life of Austrian- American chef, Wolfgang Puck, who has become one of the most prolific chefs of our time after overcoming a troubled childhood.
Live Sky channels and on-demand TV are available from Sky’s NOW. The Entertainment and Cinema Membership are each €7.50 per month for four months, and €15 thereafter. A seven-day free trial is available for both while Hayu Membership is €6 per month, with access to reality shows from the US. Viewers can watch on two devices at once but with NOW Boost, you can watch on three. You can also watch offline, with an option to download content.
The Entertainment package includes classic series like The Sopranos, The Wire and Chernobyl, while upcoming additions include the new series of dark comedy Breeders (July 13), starring Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard.
The most recent to launch in Ireland, Paramount Plus has already snatched up several blockbusters. With content from Paramount Pictures, CBS, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and more, it is currently offering a seven-day free trial. The monthly subscription is €7.99 per month. Three devices can stream at once and premium subscribers can download content to watch offline but note – downloads are not part of the Essential plan.
For Star Trek fans, the first episode of the brand-new Strange New Worlds series is available on Paramount Plus. New episodes are available every Wednesday. Another series, The First Lady follows the lives of Michelle Obama, played by Viola Davis; Betty Ford, played by Michelle Pfeiffer and Eleanor Roosevelt, played by Gillian Anderson. All ten episodes were made available for the launch of Paramount Plus in Ireland.
In terms of films, both South Park: Post Covid and South Park: Return to Covid movies are available, with promises of even more adventures from Eric Cartman and co arriving exclusively to the streaming service.
Another streaming service known for its originals, Amazon Prime Video has a good mix of old classics and new releases.
Monthly membership costs £7.99 (€9.28), while the annual fee is £79, and is charged in British pounds as there is not yet a dedicated Irish Amazon Prime. Three people can stream at once through a single Amazon account.
The Summer I Turned Pretty: This Amazon original is popular among teens and young adults. Based on the book by Jenny Han, the seven episodes follow 16-year-old Belly Conklin as she heads to spend a summer at the beach. In Backstage with Katherine Ryan, the comedian reveals what really goes on backstage at a stand-up show with hidden cameras revealing the jokes behind the scenes.
Other recent series include The Terminal List, starring Chris Pratt as a Navy Seal Commander hunting down the forces behind the mysterious murder of his entire platoon; and season three of the rather adult superhero show, The Boys.
The first three months are free when you buy an apple device, and a seven-day free trial is available but will cost €4.99 per month thereafter. Downloads are possible, while one subscription for Apple TV+ allows for six viewers at once.
Loot, a new Apple Original comedy series stars Maya Rudolph and recently made its global debut with the first three episodes on Apple TV+. Upcoming highlights include Black Bird, premiering with the first two episodes on July 8. This psychological thriller is inspired by actual events. It sees high school football hero and policeman’s son, Jimmy Keene (Taron Egerton) presented with the choice of a lifetime after he is sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Set in Ireland, the newest comedy from creator and star Sharon Horgan, Bad Sisters (August 19) is a blend of dark comedy and thriller and follows the lives of the Garvey sisters. It features a stellar cast of Irish talent.