Streaming services have revolutionized the way we consume media content. Whether it’s watching our favourite movies or TV shows, streaming has become an integral part of our daily entertainment routine. With so many streaming services available, choosing the right one can be a daunting task, especially for a first-timer.
This article aims to provide you with an overview of the most popular streaming services, their features, and what sets them apart from each other.
Netflix is considered the pioneer in the streaming industry with its launch in 2007. Today, it boasts a staggering 203.7 million subscribers across the globe. Netflix offers a wide range of original content, movies, documentaries, and TV shows across various genres.
Netflix’s most significant selling point is its large, original library. Its Live-action, anime, and children’s content keep viewers hooked. Netflix offers three subscription tiers: Basic, Standard, and Premium, priced at $8.99, $13.99, and $17.99 per month, respectively. Subscribers can create up to five profiles per account, allowing for multiple viewers to access the same account. Netflix content can be streamed across multiple devices, including Smart TV, laptops, tablets, and phones, eliminating the need for physical discs.
What sets Netflix apart?
Netflix is known for its original content such as Stranger Things, Cobra Kai, and The Witcher. This has disrupted the traditional syndication process, and Netflix no longer relies solely on sharing content with other TV networks or media companies. This has given them more control over how and when their programming is released.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is a relatively late entrant to the streaming game, launching in 2011. Unlike Netflix, Amazon Prime combined streaming with the shipping of physical products, making it more attractive to e-commerce customers. It now has over 150 million Amazon Prime members globally.
Amazon Prime Video offers both third-party content and its original content. But what sets Amazon Prime Video apart are its ‘Add-on Channels,’ which let subscribers access additional content from third-party providers such as HBO, STARZ, and others for an extra monthly fee. Amazon Prime Video charges a flat rate of $8.99 per month or $119 per year which provides subscribers with access to Prime delivery amongst other things. Amazon’s Family Library feature also enables family members in the same household to share their selected content with each other. Amazon Prime Video is compatible with a wide range of devices, such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones and allows up to three simultaneous streams.
What sets Amazon Prime Video apart?
Amazon Prime Video’s Add-On Channels option, making it possible for subscribers to bundle in premium channels within their Prime subscription, is a significant benefit. Live sports rights such as the US Open tennis tournament and Premier League football rights, also highlights it as a platform offering more than just streaming services.
Disney+ launched in 2019 and had the backing of one of the biggest names in the entertainment game. It features a large library of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars titles with new content being added continuously.
Disney+ has a fantastic collection of animated and live-action blockbusters. The app is somewhat limited with its simultaneous streaming, allowing a maximum of four streams. However, it provides unlimited downloads on up to ten devices per account. Disney+ also supports playback on compatible devices in 4K Ultra High Definition.
What sets Disney+ apart?
Disney+ has an excellent collection of family-friendly content from all aspects of the Disney brand — Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Moreover, with the acquisition of 20th Century Fox, the Disney library of content continues to expand.
Hulu is a lesser-known streaming giant, with 40 million subscribers in America. It offers a wide range of content from movies, TV shows to live TV for users to enjoy.
Hulu’s most significant selling point is its extensive library of up-to-date TV episodes the next day after they’ve premiered on regular cable or network TV stations. Hulu offers two subscription options: Hulu and Hulu + Live TV. Hulu starts at $5.99 per month, while Hulu + Live TV costs $64.99 per month, providing access to over 70 live TV channels. However, the latter option still displays ads. Hulu also offers a library of originals, exclusives, documentaries, and films. Users can download and stream Hulu on multiple devices, such as TVs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
What sets Hulu apart?
Hulu provides access to network television shows that are not available on other streaming services. It also offers a Live TV option, as well as the ability to access popular cable channels.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: How much does it cost to stream on each platform?
Netflix: Basic, Standard, and Premium, priced at $8.99, $13.99, and $17.99 per month, respectively.
Amazon Prime Video: $8.99 per month or $119 per year, with the option to add on third-party ‘Add-on Channels.’
Disney+: $8 per month or $80 a year.
Hulu: Starts at $5.99 per month, while Hulu + Live TV costs $64.99 per month, providing access to over 70 live TV channels.
Question: What devices support these services?
Answer: All of these streaming services are compatible with Smart TVs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Specific streaming devices available in the market include Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Roku, which support these services.
Question: Are these streaming services ad-free?
Answer: No. Hulu offers a more ad-heavy service, while Netflix and Disney+ are virtually ad-free. Amazon Prime Video has some ads on movies or shows that require an additional subscription.
Question: Can you download content for offline viewing?
Answer: Yes, all the services mentioned allow users to download content on multiple devices for offline viewing.
Streaming services have changed the way we consume and enjoy media content. The landscape continues to expand, with more and more new services joining every year. The streaming space is competitive, and service providers must continue to innovate while providing affordable and comprehensive content for their subscribers’ consumption. By understanding these services’ essential features, users can make informed decisions when choosing the streaming service that best fits their entertainment needs.