Television was once considered something new and novel. Choices, for many years, were mainly limited to three main networks plus a few local channels here and there. Today, the options with TV alone are astounding if you include cable. The same evolution has happened with streaming.
Once a novel concept primarily relegated to Netflix, it’s now full of an abundance of streaming service possibilities. Yes, it’s great to have a lot of options, but it can be a bit overwhelming at times, too. Read on for a sampling of some of the top streaming services to get a better idea of which one(s) you may actually want – and enjoy!
Netflix is worth considering because of its steady stream of award-winning original shows, specials, and movies. The selection of retro goodies isn’t as big anymore in recent years since many of the original sources have reclaimed their rights. However, you’ll still get fun throwback gems like Seinfeld and Frasier. Overall, Netflix is a mixed bag of content, some good, some more on the so-so side, but it’s a decent mix, though.
Cost: Plans range from $9 to $18 per month.
Amazon Prime Video
You won’t get as many originals with Amazon Prime Video compared to what’s offered by Netflix. Still, the ones presented – Homecoming, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Transparent, Invincible, etc. – are generally well-reviewed and received. Thursday Night Football is also simulcast, so that’s a perk to consider if you’re an NFL fan. The collection of retro fare from the ’70s and ’80s is nothing to sneeze at either.
Cost: Options range from $9 per month to $119 per year with an Amazon Prime subscription.
This is one of the fastest-rising streaming services in terms of how popular it has become since its debut in late 2019. The main reason for all the attention is because of the massive Disney library available to subscribers. In addition to slew of Disney classics, it includes related Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar content and lots of other view-worthy treats.
Cost: $8 for a monthly subscription and $80 for the entire year. A Hulu and ESPN+ bundle option is also available.
Now part of Disney’s massive umbrella, Hulu is a streaming service you may want if you intend to cut the cord and rely solely on content delivered this way. In addition to a decent selection of primetime goodies from ABC, NBC, Fox, FX, and Freeform, subscribers get some first-run feature films plus notable originals like Nine Perfect Strangers, Only Murders in the Building, and Ramy.
Cost: $7 per month with ads and $13 without them. Couple your subscription with live TV and the cost is $64 per month ($71 with no ads). A Disney+ and ESPN+ bundle is also available.
Formerly CBS All Access, Paramount+ still gives you a lot of CBS-related content that includes hits like NCIS and Young Sheldon along with many other notable eye network properties such as 60 Minutes. The icing on the cake with this one includes a smattering of NFL games plus titles from the MGM and Paramount libraries and content from MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, V-H1, and Comedy Central.
Cost: $5 per month, or $10 if you prefer to go sans-ads. If you bundle with Showtime, the monthly rate is $12.
All Warner Bros. theatrical movie releases are shown on the same day of release on this platform and remain in place for 30 days. This is one of the main reasons why HBO Max has garnered so much attention recently in the streaming world. You’ll also be treated to thousands of hours of classic movies like Casablanca and the Wizard of Oz along with equally impressive original content plus plenty of superhero fun.
Cost: Free if you have HBO Now, otherwise $15 per month.
Still feeling a bit indecisive? The good news is many streaming services offer free, no-obligation trial periods. Therefore, if you’re really not sure if you want to commit to a service, you’ll likely have a chance to try things out for a week or so before having to make a final decision.