With Amazon Prime Video finally entering the Canadian streaming market after months of rumours, and Rogers and Shaw’s Shomi coming to an untimely death, we’d laid out the various streaming platforms that are officially available north of the U.S. border.
Below is everything you need to know about Canada’s major streaming video platforms, including price, platform availability and offline viewing functionality.
- Pricing structure: $7.99/month for one screen in standard definition, $9.99/month for two screens in high definition and $11.99/month for four screens in HD and Ultra HD.
- Exclusive content: Netflix’s biggest draw is its original content, including critically acclaimed programming like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and even reviving cancelled series, with the most recent example being Gilmore Girls and Black Mirror. Netflix also has a deal with Disney where high-profile movies like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, with Doctor Strange and Rogue One and a variety of other movies also set to hit the Canadian version of the platform in the near future.
- Platform availability: Think of a platform and Netflix is likely available there. Netflix’s generally very reliable app is available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, desktop and basically every modern set-top box. This is also one of the platform’s advantages. If you’re buying a new device, it’s likely that
- Offline viewing: Netflix offers offline viewing that in our tests doesn’t seem to expire, though offline content is limited to a selection of specific television shows and movies.
- Pricing structure: $7.99 per month — When CraveTV first launched, the service was tethered to a traditional Bell television subscription. The CRTC, however, forced both Bell and Rogers/Shaw — which at the time was operating the now defunct Shomi streaming platform — into opening their streaming services up to all subscribers.
- Exclusive content: While some feel CraveTV doesn’t offer value for its price, the service features HBO’s back catalogue of content as well as new Showtime content, for no additional fee. Hulu, a U.S.-exclusive streaming platform, charges an additional fee for HBO content. Unlike Shomi, CraveTV is also investing in original content, with LetterKenny’s second season set to launch on Christmas day, and the Russell Peters backed Indian Detective, still in production.
- Platform availability: CraveTV is available on iOS, Android, Xbox One and Apple TV, though the platform’s TV app is lacklustre at best.
Amazon Prime Video
- Pricing structure: The service is available at no extra cost to current Amazon Prime subscribers. Prime is priced at $79 per year.
- Exclusive content: While the service has far less content than competing global platform Netflix, Amazon does have a few standout shows, including the revisionist history series Man in the High Castle, award-winning Transparent and The Grand Tour.
- Platform Availability: Amazon Prime Video is available on Android, iOS, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, and a variety of smart televisions. Some of these apps haven’t rolled out yet in Canada, though Amazon says they’re on the way. Unfortunately, because Amazon and Apple don’t like to play nice with one another, the service has yet to launch on the Cupertino, California-based tech giant’s 4th Generation Apple TV. There also isn’t an Amazon Prime Video app for Google’s Chromecast platform.
- Offline viewing: Amazon Prime’s entire library is available for offline viewing, though downloads expire after 48 hours.
- Pricing structure: The Vidéotron run Quebec-based service offers a 1/month free trial and then is priced at $9.99/month.
- Exclusive content: The service features exclusives such as The Avengers, Blue Moon and the Expanse. It also places an emphasis on French language content.
- Platform availability: Club Illico is available on iOS, Android and tablets.
- Pricing structure: AMC-owned Horror-focused Shudder is priced at $4.99 a month. If you sign up for a yearly membership, the service costs $4.16 per month of $49.99 a year.
- Exclusive content: Shudder’s content is divided into a variety of collections, including ‘Alien Intruders,’ ‘A-Horror,’ and ‘Gross Anatomy.’ Exclusive content includes 31, Beyond the Walls and Phantasm.
- Platform availability: Shudder is available on iOS, Android and desktop.
Is there a streaming platform you’re fond of that we missed? Let us know in the comments section and we’ll add it in.