Starz has been around for quite some time now and while it is available as a premium channel that you can bundle with a live TV plan, it is also available as a standalone service and subscription, priced at $9.99 a month.
Overall, we found Starz to be a good streaming service with a decent amount of quality originals that are worth watching. However, it is hard to fully recommend a subscription at the usual price, and especially at a time when there is so much competition.
Streaming Better verdict
At $9.99 a month, Starz feels like it is overpriced for what it offers. Still, it does have some originals and exclusives that are worth subscribing for on a short-term basis.
While Starz isn’t a must-have subscription in our eyes, that doesn’t mean it won’t be for you. If the library, and especially the originals, appeal to you, then Starz is likely to be worth a subscription.
Starz full review
Still unsure whether Starz is worth your subscription dollars? Our full review provides a closer look at what you get.
How we reviewed this service: We signed up to an annual Starz subscription and have been routinely using the streaming service over the past nine months. We also tested Starz on Apple TV, Google TV, and Android mobile, as well as the Starz website.
Below is a summary of some of the main specifications for Stars.
|Annual Price||$74.99 (when available)|
|Live TV||✔ (website only)|
|Downloads||✔ (mobile only)|
Starz offers a good, but not quite premium, experience. Unlike some other streaming services, Starz has been around for some time now, and that age and maturity has resulted in very reliable apps. Not to mention, a varied level of device support in general.
So while subscribers shouldn’t encounter too many issues when looking for a device to stream on, they might find the apps to be a little on the basic side.
In general, everything you would expect to be there is there, it is just there isn’t much polish beyond the bare essentials.
The smart TV and streaming player apps open to a typical Home screen where Starz utilizes a row-based system for recommendations. Rows include Featured For You, Starz Originals and Exclusives, New Releases, Recommended For You, Your Playlist, and Last Chance.
The Home screen also offers rows that are more specific to the viewer. For example, if you watch or add Outlander to your watchlist then you’ll probably see a If You like Outlander row appear on the Home screen as well.
In addition to the Home screen recommendations, the Starz app also features a top row menu where users can filter the library by Series, Movies, Playlist or Browse.
The Series and Movies sections look and work as expected, with Starz using the same row system to display filtered results for shows and movies.
Title pages are also as to be expected. App users have the option to play the title, watch a trailer (if available), or add the title to their watchlist. Titles pages also include the option to browse episodes (if a series), view any available extras, and see titles that other viewers of the movie/show have watched.
If adding the title to you watchlist, it will become available to watch directly through the Playlist section of the app.
If you are someone that tends to add a lot of stuff to a watchlist, then you may find this area becomes a little busy over time. Starz orders its watchlist based on when you added something (most recent additions are listed first) and there’s no way to rearrange the order. For example, it cannot be changed to alphabetically.
Another issue is that there is no separation of content with movies and shows all listed together. Again, not an issue if only adding or or two titles, but it might be if you have a lot bookmarked for later and no way to choose how they are sorted.
One more strange thing is that the watchlist also includes an Other Titles To Add To Your Watchlist section. While this is not necessarily strange in itself, was was strange is that the section often suggested titles that were already in our watchlist.
Starz does also offer the option to download videos but only on mobile devices.
In general, Starz is pretty strict when it comes to downloads. While the service doesn’t limit how many videos a subscriber can download, the app only keeps downloads for a maximum of two weeks. At which point, they are automatically deleted.
Speaking of the mobile app, it does come with some additional settings that are not found in the TV apps, including the ability to restrict playback to just Wi-Fi or choose between medium and high video quality.
Here’s a closer look at the mobile app.
Lastly, and even though Starz is an ad-free service, it does tend to show previews of other movies and series before the movie or episode you are watching begins. These are very short and come with the added ability to add the previewed title to your watchlist.
The Starz library is both a weakness and a strength. To explain the weakness point, Starz isn’t packed full of content. With a far smaller and more curated library, some will feel that a Starz subscription is a weaker product than a subscription to many other services.
In terms of being a strength, Starz’s smaller and more curated library is generally full of quality content, and that an important distinction.
If you find the Netflixes, Hulus, and Maxes of this world to be so packed with content that it is hard to find something to watch, Starz is likely to be a welcome change.
Examples of Starz Originals and top titles:
- American Gods
- Ash vs Evil Dead
- Black Sails
- Party Down
- The Serpent Queen
- Shining Vale
In addition to its own original content, Starz also tends to offer a good variety of newer movies.
New and popular movies available on Starz:
- Alice, Darling
- Clerks 3
- Ghostbusters: Afterlife
- Prey For The Devil
- Spider-Man: No Way Home
- The System
- The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent
- Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Naturally, the selection of third-party content will vary over time so some, possible even all, of the movies listed above might not be available when signing up.
Starz live TV
Starz does technically offer live TV, but compared to other services, it is a very limited experience.
Firstly, Starz only offers access to the standard Starz live channel. For anyone that subscribes to a live TV plan that includes Starz, the channel they get access to is the same one that’s included with a Starz standalone subscription.
What is probably more important to note is that Starz doesn’t currently offer access to this live channel through any of its apps, including smart TV apps. Instead, subscribers have to head over to the Starz website, sign in, and then click on Schedule followed by Watch Live to access the live channel.
With most of the content shown on the channel also available on demand, as well as the limited level of app support for watching live, it is probably best to think of Starz as a service that doesn’t offer any live element, even though it does.
A standalone Starz subscription costs $9.99 a month and it’s difficult to discuss the value without comparing Starz to other subscription services. And that’s where Starz runs into some major issues for us.
Starz cost compared to other services:
It is not that Starz doesn’t offer good value for the money, it is just $9.99 feels a little expensive in this day and age of streaming.
Making the value issue worse is the lack of plan options. Unlike Disney Plus, Hulu, Max, Netflix, Paramount Plus, and many other services, Starz doesn’t offer any ad-supported subscription options.
Although this is good news from the experience perspective, it does limit the subscriber base, and at a time when there are too many more options to choose from.
For example, the cheapest Starz plan is more expensive than the cheapest plans from Discovery+, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Paramount+, and Peacock. Is it necessarily $10 better spent than any of those services? Not in our opinion.
Of course, if you are a big fan of Starz’s original content, then the value on offer is going to be much higher.
Is Starz worth it?
It’s hard to recommend Starz over some other streaming services and this is where Starz runs into a major hurdle in our opinion. It just doesn’t offer enough content to justify spending $10 per month, and especially at a time when there’s so much competition.
If Starz was to offer an ad-supported plan, that might change things. As it stands, however, $10 feels like a lot for Starz, and certainly on a permanent basis.
That said, if you can secure a promotional price when signing up, and you almost always can, that does make Starz a better option and worthy of a subscription. At least, for as long as the promotional price is in effect.
A Starz subscription costs $9.99 per month and it is nearly always possible to get a cheaper promotional price when signing up. While Starz does also offer an annual plan, it is not always available.
Yes, but not always. Starz does offer a free trial but not at the same time it is running a promotion. It is, however, often possible to get a Starz free trial through third-party providers like Prime Video Channels and YouTube Primetime Channels.
No, Starz is a completely ad-free streaming service and there is no option to sign up for an ad-supported plan. Subscribers may see a quick preview of a different Starz title before watching but these are not considered ads.
Subscribers can watch Starz on up to 4 devices at the same time. This limitation is irrespective of the device, so it is possible to watch on four living room devices or four mobile devices at the same time.
Yes, you can download movies and episodes on Starz. However, downloads are only available on mobile devices and are automatically deleted after 2 weeks. Starz will also delete any titles that are out of their licensing window.