What is the Best Streaming Service?

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Hailey Myers, Writer

Everyone used to get their entertainment from cable, Netflix or the occasional Hulu for TV and movies. Now, in 2022, there are almost 50 streaming services to chose from. 

Netflix used to have everything, “The Office”, “Gossip Girl”, “The Notebook”, and many Disney movies. Now, these shows have moved over to their own platforms, such as HBO Max, Disney Plus, and Peacock. As these shows have gone away, Netflix has also raised its prices. The cheapest subscription costs $9.99 per month, and the most expensive costs $19.99 per month. 

To get all the most popular streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Discovery Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV Plus, and Peacock, the cheapest monthly payment is $58.92. Now, most people don’t purchase each one of these. Some may just want one, but the problem is that all the most popular shows are spread across so many services, it’s hard to just pick one to subscribe to. Along with the cost of cable or another subscription such as YouTube TV or Hulu with Live TV, monthly payments can add up very quickly just for streaming. 

So, what is the best service? Well, that really depends on what you enjoy watching. If you enjoy lifestyle shows, Discovery Plus maybe your best option. If you enjoy more fictional or drama shows, Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Max would be good for you. If you don’t watch shows besides TV, then you don’t need any services, just something to watch live TV. 

If you are looking for the maximum amount of entertainment, Amazon Prime has the biggest library, but some you need to pay for, with a library of over 26,000 TV shows and movies. Following Amazon is Netflix, with 15,000 TV shows and movies to watch. Following n descending order, Hulu, HBO Max, Discovery Plus, Peacock, Disney Plus, and Apple TV Plus. Apple TV Plus coming in last with only close to 100 shows and movies.

 

DETAILS

Now for the details, what does each service provide, and what are their prices?

Netflix: There are three different subscriptions to purchase from Netflix; $9.99/month for standard definition streaming, $15.49/month for high-definition streaming, including being able to watch on two devices at once, and $19.99/month for up to 4k definition, along with being able to stream on four devices at the same time. 

With the purchase of the base subscription, you get access to the second-biggest streaming service library, with no ads and no extra costs. Everything besides the subscription is free, unlike Amazon Prime Video.

The biggest con about Netflix is that it is losing content frequently, The Netflix three years ago is completely different from what you would see today. But, they are putting out new movies every single week, so there is always something new to watch, even if some are going away.

 

Hulu: Hulu has two different subscription prices, $6.99/month ad-supported, and $12.99/month ad-free.

Compared to the library Netflix has, Hulu is pretty small but bigger than some other services. They have some popular showings such as Pam & Tommy, Dollface, Grown-ish, Rick and Morty, and Top Chef. 

 

HBO Max: HBO Max also has two subscriptions, $9.99/month ad-supported, and $14.99/month ad-free. 

HBO Max has a similar size library to Hulu, with around 3,000 shows and movies to browse. Some of the most popular shows and movies include Euphoria, Lord of the Rings, Friends, Sesame Street, along with the DC Universe, and Warner Bros Pictures.

One of the benefits you get with HBO Max is that movies come onto the app 45 days after the premier. So, if you don’t have to rush to the theaters to see movies, you can wait only a month and a half to see these new movies.

 

Disney Plus: There is only one subscription for Disney Plus, which is $7.99/month ad-free. This allows for seven different profiles to be created on one account, and four devices can be streaming it at one time. 

You can watch Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic on Disney Plus. If you have kids or just enjoy any of these movies and series, Disney Plus is perfect. It is cheap, has all the content it can, and will always have the same content. 

 

Amazon Prime Video: If you already have an Amazon Prime subscription, Amazon Prime Video is included in that purchase, for $13.99/month, If you just want Prime Video, the subscription is $8.99/month. 

Amazon Prime has the biggest library of all the biggest streaming services and totals up to more than all of them combined. With that said, not all of Amazon Prime’s library is free. Many shows and movies require an additional payment. All Amazon-produced movies and shows are free, as well as some non-Amazon-produced, but more of the bigger hits will cost an additional payment. This can be either a rental or purchase, the rental lasting 48-hours after starting. 

 

Discovery Plus: Discovery plus, again, has two subscriptions to choose from, $4.99/month ad-supported, and $6.99/month ad-free. 

Upon hearing Discovery Plus, you may think of all nature channels, but there is actually a huge selection to select from. Shows from channels like the Discovery Channel, Food Network, TLC, HGTV, magnolia, Travel Channel, BBC, and Lifetime are all on Discovery Plus.

 

Apple TV Plus: Well, Apple TV Plus is a bit of a disappointment. There is only one subscription, $4.99/month ad-free, but very little content to decide from. There are only about 100 shows and movies on Apple TV Plus, and you have to pay to watch these as well. So, there isn’t anything very special here. 

 

Peacock: Peacock has three different subscriptions, but one is free. The other two are $4.99/month ad-supported and $9.99/month ad-free. The catch about the free service is that it has a limited library, to what is only 1,300. 

Peacock has two of the biggest comedy shows, The Office and Parks & Recreation. Peacock contains content from NBC as well, as NBC is its parent company.

 

THE BEST STREAMING SERVICE LIST

  1. In the first place is Netflix. Netflix has a large library that all comes free with any subscription you chose. Even if it doesn’t have all the good old shows, new content is always being put out and will keep you entertained.
  2. The second best streaming service to have is Amazon Prime Video. It has the largest library, and it comes free with the Amazon Prime subscription that many people already have.
  3. The third spot goes to HBO Max. It has lots of variety and a decent-sized library to select from. It also has some pretty popular shows and movies that many people know and enjoy.
  4. In fourth place is Disney Plus. You can never go wrong with a Disney movie, and they never get old. It’s cheap and has all the Disney content you could wish for. 
  5. Following Disney Plus is Hulu. It doesn’t have anything special but will keep you entertained. It has a decent-sized library, comparing similarly to HBO Max, but doesn’t have the popularity. 
  6. Peacock comes in sixth place, partially because it offers a free option. The other subscriptions are fairly cheap, and it has very well-known shows and movies.
  7. I am putting Discovery Plus in seventh place, solely because the content isn’t what I pick to watch. If you enjoy lifestyle or cooking, this is the one for you. It is one of the cheapest on the list, whether you choose the ad-supported or ad-free option.
  8. Apple TV will take the last place. It doesn’t have much to offer and has very little content. You also have to pay for everything on the app, besides already paying the $4.99/month fee.