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Streaming Services You Can Give As Gifts (And How Much They Cost)

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With the cost of streaming services always seemingly on the rise, it may be worth considering gifting friends and family members with a subscription. Whether it is for the holidays, a birthday, or just because, a subscription can be a great way to give a gift while also lowering the cost of someone’s monthly outgoings. Not all streaming services offer the option to give a subscription, so here’s a look at which ones currently do, and how much a streaming gift subscription costs.

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Even though there are many benefits to streaming, the cost has quickly become a pain point for many homes. Not only have most streaming services increased their prices in the last year, but households are also finding out that they need to sign up to multiple services to get access to the content they want. Even if paying for a live TV package, there’s still a very good chance that a home will need to pay for additional standalone subscriptions to watch select live sports, events, and other exclusive content.

While live TV plans are the most expensive, they also happen to be the group of services that don’t offer any options to gift a subscription. When it comes to standalone subscription services, many do offer gift subscriptions. Typically, these gift subscriptions are annual plans that last a full 12 months, although some services provide the option of gifting a single month, or choosing exactly how many months they want to gift to someone.

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Streaming services you can gift to someone else:

ServiceLengthPrice
Acorn TV12 months$69.99
ALLBLK12 months$59.99
BritBox12 months$79.99
BroadwayHD12 months$129.99
Criterion Channel12 months$99.99
Crunchyroll12 months$79.99
Curiosity Stream12 months$69.99
DAZN12 months$149.99
Disney+12 months$79.99
ESPN+12 months$99.99
History Vault12 months$49.99
Hi-YAH!12 months$47.88
Lifetime Movie Club12 months$49.99
Mubi12 months$79.99
Prime Video (via Prime)12 months$139
Qello Concerts12 months$99.99
UP Faith & Family12 months$53.99

How to actually gift a streaming service

Providing a gift subscription is available with a specific streaming service, the actual act of gifting one is relatively easy, with most services also listing the option on the signup page. The giver just needs to add their email, the recipient’s email, a gift message, the delivery date, choose the duration of the subscription (if available), and pay.

Gift subscription example
Gift subscription example – Criterion Channel

Once the form is filled in and the gift subscription is paid for, there’s nothing left to do. The recipient will receive the gift subscription on the specified date via email. This is usually in the form of a digital code that they can then use as a payment method when signing up. there should be a redeem section where they can add the code to their existing subscription. For example, ESPN Plus gift subscription redemption codes can be entered on this page. Once entered, the new user will just to need to follow the on-screen instructions to finish redeeming the gift and setting up their account.

Gift subscription redeem example
Gift subscription redeem example – ESPN+

While gift certificates for new users might not require the recipient to add a payment method, as the payment has already been made, some services may still require one to be added. If no payment method is added, then the subscription will automatically come to an end once the prepaid period is over. At which point, they will need to either add a payment method or use another gift code to access the service again.

If the recipient is already a subscriber to a service then it is worth making sure that they can actually add a gift subscription to their account. For example, gifted Disney+ subscriptions can only be redeemed by new and returning users, and not existing subscribers. The only way around this limitation would be to cancel the existing subscription and sign up again for a completely new one using the redemption code and a different email address.

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Gift subscriptions vs gift cards

While most of the above services can be directly gifted to someone else, others can only be gifted through a gift card. Whether it is a physical or digital card, the value can be loaded to the person’s account and then used against the cost of a subscription. For example, although there’s currently no option to give Apple TV Plus to someone, it is possible to buy Apple gift cards and redeem them against the price of Apple TV+. The annual Apple TV Plus plan costs $79.99 per month, so buying and gifting $80 in Apple gift cards will ensure the recipient is able to sign up and pay for a full year of Apple’s streaming service.

It is worth noting that not all gift cards can be used to purchase streaming services, so it is important to confirm whether they can before purchasing. For example, gift cards purchased from the AMC Shop cannot be used to pay for an AMC Plus subscription. Likewise, gift cards purchased from the Showtime store cannot be used for a Showtime subscription, but Showtime gift cards purchased from retailers like Best Buy and Walmart can.

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Gift cardsPriceBuy
Apple TV+$25-100Apple
Hulu$25-$100Amazon
Best Buy
Netflix$25-$200Amazon
Netflix
Paramount Plus$25-$100Paramount+
Showtime$25-$50Best Buy
Walmart

Another thing to note about gifts cards is that an additional payment method might be required when signing up. If it is, the recipient will be charged once the gifted period comes to an end. For those that don’t want to continue paying for the service once the gift card runs out, they will need to cancel the subscription before the end of the gifted period. Of course, you could always just gift them another year of streaming, next year.

Gifting a streaming service summary

Many streaming services do offer an easy way to gift a subscription to someone else, and the process is not too different to signing up for a standard subscription. Once gifted, the recipient will receive a code and instructions on how to sign up for the service. Unless a payment method is added by the recipient, the subscription should naturally come to an end when the prepaid period runs out. If an additional payment method is added, they will need to manually cancel the subscription, if they don’t want to pay for the service after the gifted period.

While services like Apple TV Plus, Netflix, Hulu, Paramount Plus, and Showtime, don’t offer a direct gift subscription, it is possible to purchase gift cards instead. Whether digital or physical, these gift cards can be loaded to an account and used against the cost of a subscription.

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been editing and writing about technology and streaming for online publications since 2014, and believes the best streaming approach is to rotate between services as needed.

John's preferred live TV streaming service right now is YouTube TV although he does tend to switch live TV services multiple times each year to keep up to date with their changes. Outside of live TV, John also actively streams HBO Max (for the shows), Peacock (for Premier League), and Paramount Plus (for Champion's League). However, John is also currently subscribed to Apple TV+, Discovery+, Hulu, Starz, Showtime, and Shudder.

Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or say hi on Twitter

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