Sky Cinema vs Netflix: which service is best?

The two services boast a ton of great content - but which comes out on top?

In the current entertainment landscape it can often feel like a new streaming service pops up every week, but two of the biggest names are still going strong - Netflix and Sky Cinema.

Both are giants of home entertainment: Netflix was one of the first big streaming services - and remains one of the most successful - while Sky have been around even longer, and their push into the streaming space in recent years - led by Sky Stream and Sky Glass - have made them a true contender.

But which one is more deserving of your attention and, most importantly, your money? Read on as we ask which is better - Sky Cinema or Netflix?

Sky Cinema vs Netflix: Movies

Both Netflix and Sky Cinema have extensive movie libraries on demand, but going purely on numbers, Netflix wins out with over 5,000 titles compared to Sky Cinema’s still-impressive 1,000+. Both platforms also add new movies every week.

However, it’s also worth bearing in mind that Sky Cinema regularly gets new movie premieres before anyone else - including Netflix. Take Barbie and Oppenheimer for example, two of 2023’s biggest hits; both are now available to stream on demand with Sky Cinema, but have yet to make an appearance on Netflix.

Verdict: A tie. While Netflix has the numbers, Sky Cinema is unbeatable for the newest blockbuster releases.

Sky Cinema vs Netflix: TV

Of course, where Sky Cinema is devoted solely to movies, Netflix offers a whole host of TV shows as part of its standard package. On the surface, this might seem like an easy win for the streamer, until you take into account the fact that Sky Cinema can only be purchased as an add-on with a basic Sky TV package, meaning that if you’re thinking of buying Sky Cinema, you’ll also get access to all of Sky’s TV offerings.

That makes this category something of a tie. Both have more than enough TV to keep you busy until the end of time, and both have a selection of fantastic, award-winning shows for all audiences, from Netflix mega-hits Stranger Things and Bridgerton to Sky’s all-time classics, like Game of Thrones and The Sopranos.

Verdict: A tie. Both services have impeccable libraries of classic TV.

Sky Cinema vs Netflix: Originals

There are over a hundred Sky Originals across Sky’s movie and TV offerings, while it’s estimated that Netflix currently offers over 3,000 originals and exclusives - well over half of its entire catalogue. That’s a pretty commanding lead.

Both libraries have some quality productions, though. Sky have received critical acclaim for recent movies like May December and Promising Young Woman, and have had great awards success in their TV efforts - Chernobyl in particular picked up nine BAFTAs and eleven Emmys.

On the other hand, Netflix is steadily building an impressive list of Oscar-winning films, including recent heavy hitters like All Quiet on the Western FrontThe Power of the DogSociety of the SnowMaestro and Scorcese’s The Irishman. On the TV front, Netflix has produced some of the biggest, most popular shows in recent memory, including Squid GameWednesday and the monster hit Stranger Things.

Verdict: All things considered, we have to give this one to Netflix.

Sky Cinema vs Netflix: Image Quality

Sky Cinema is presented in HD as standard, although UHD is available on selected titles at an extra cost. Netflix is a little more complicated, in that it offers several different levels of quality at varying price points.

The standard subscription allows for HD, while the next level up offers UHD for an extra £7 per month. On the other end of the spectrum, Netflix also offers a cheaper, standard definition subscription (which also has ads).

Verdict: Another tie. Both services offer the best image quality around, with options to upgrade even further at an extra cost.

Sky Cinema vs Netflix: Cost

As we’ve already alluded to above, Netflix comes at various price points. At the time of writing, the current prices you can expect to pay are as follows:

SubscriptionIncludesPrice per month
Basic (with ads)SD, 1 device, no downloads£4.99
Basic (without ads)SD, 1 device, downloads permitted£7.99
StandardHD, 2 devices, downloads permitted£10.99
PremiumUHD (where available), 4 devices, download permitted£17.99


Sky Cinema on the other hand will only cost you £8 per month for full HD movies on demand. However, you’ll have to purchase it as part of a Sky Entertainment package, which could push the monthly cost up to around £30.

Going by the standalone cost of each service, Netflix comes out on top here. But what if both have peaked your interest? Why choose between Sky’s wide range of entertainment options and Netflix’s impressive catalogue of TV and movies?

Sky now offers Netflix as an add-on with any entertainment package, meaning you could bundle the monthly subscription costs of both Netflix and Sky Cinema into one payment.

Sky Stream Entertainment & Netflix + Cinema

£30.00 a month (down from £48.00)Prices may change during contract

  • All Sky Cinema channels
  • 1000+ movies on demand with Sky Stream
  • The latest releases with Sky Cinema Premieres
  • Netflix included
  • Over 100 Sky channels in HD
  • 24-month contract
  • No upfront cost
View this deal

Don’t forget to check out our deals page to see the latest Sky Entertainment packages, including both Sky Cinema and Netflix.

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