Choosing the Right Streaming Service
A decade ago, Netflix seemed to have the monopoly on streaming services. Chances are whatever series or movie someone wanted to see, it was on Netflix. The library was huge and there didn’t seem to be any other competitors.
Sure, Hulu existed but their content revolved current TV shows and programs, updating the episode list after episodes were released.
Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to know which TV show is on what service. Not only are certain services starting to fight each other about certain programs, but each streaming service is putting out more and more of its own content each year.
When Orange is the New Black and House of Cards launched on Netflix in 2013, they were seen as outliers. These were some of the first series that a streaming service had made exclusively and overall, they were both highly successful.
Nowadays, it’s impossible to keep up with the original series and movies that are being put out. You blink too fast and suddenly ten more have been uploaded.
If you’re someone that simply throws up your hands and says “I’ll just get it all”, you should check out streaming devices and certain apps you can install. If you’re a frequent traveler, you should look into a VPN to get the most out of your content.
So with so many streaming services coming out, what is the best option for you? We’ll go through the top names to try and help you decide.
No better place than to start with the OG of streaming services. Despite Netflix’s library shrinking and the service putting more of an emphasis on original content, they still reign supreme in many people’s eyes.
Netflix is still quite affordable, with the basic plan (and most popular) being $12.99. It will allow you to watch Netflix on two screens at once with full HD as well. If you want to go bigger, you can get the premium plan, that offers you streaming for four screens at once in HD and UHD.
Netflix is still the best option for families, with plenty of kid’s shows and movies available through their platform as well as excellent parental controls.
And that original content? A lot of it is pretty good: Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, Black Mirror and plenty more.
Amazon Prime Video
Not only can you order a kayak or AAA batteries to your doorstep, but Amazon is also bringing you some amazing content for your homer entertainment.
Those who are already Amazon Prime members get the service included with their membership, which is $99, or those without Prime can pay $8.99 a month for just the video services.
Just like Netflix, Prime offers lots of original programming such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Man in the High Castle. They also announced they are planning a Lord of the Rings show, set to be one of the most expensive shows of all time that is said to rival Game of Thrones in terms of scale.
The service also offers a rental service in case a movie is not available on their platform.
While often included in many cable packages, those wishing to just pay the fee will have to cough up about $15 a month in order to enjoy HBO’s top programs.
Many agree that HBO Go is top heavy when it comes to their shows, with big time names like Game of Thrones, Westworld, Big Little Lies, Ballers and the world’s newest obsession, Chernobyl.
The service also offers plenty of movies including many new releases that can instantly come to your home theater.
HBO Go does have a solid library of children’s content, like Sesame Street, but definitely trends to the adult side of streaming services.
Hulu is the first of these streaming services that combines live TV with streaming, including many live sports. Pricing depends on if you want live TV or not, with it being $44.99 with live TV and after a February price drop, just $5.99 per month for their streaming.
The downside of Hulu is the service does not offer nearly as many movies as the other services, but they are slowly catching up. Hulu has long specialized in TV shows but look to expand their brand by becoming a more complete package.
The Wild Cards
Get ready to adjust everything, because three new big streaming services are launching within the next year.
Apple is jumping into the game as is Disney. NBC plans to launch their own streaming service as well. If you’re a Marvel fan, it’ll be hard to pass up Disney’s service as they plan to offer multiple series based within the MCU.
No big news has been announced with Apple’s future streaming service, but with a September launch upcoming more and more details should emerge soon.
NBC’s streaming service is set to launch next year and will cost consumers $12 per month, with more ads sprinkled than other services.
Whatever you plan on getting, whether it be one or multiple, just know that you will have content for years to come.