There are a lot of internet-based streaming services popping up every day. Recently we got Disney+, one of the popular streaming services from Disney. This new subscription service is getting one million subscribers per day. Disney+ attracted new subscribers with its original content and shows. Disney+ Streaming service managed to get subscribers from other popular services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.
These streaming services allow you to access news, movies, TV shows, live sports, and music as per your requirements. However, the ever-increasing number of streaming services in the industry also makes it a bit difficult to pick the best one from the lot. Besides, the media landscape is changing rapidly as well, which leads to more confusion in deciding which streaming service to choose.
To make things a little simpler, we have compiled a guide to the best streaming services available right now.
Comparison Between Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube TV, and Hulu
Here is a quick look at the major players in the industry, which you may want to keep an eye on moving forward. The comparison table would give you a brief idea of how these streaming services compete against each other. You can read on for a detailed review of each of the streaming services below.
|Streaming Service||Disney+||Netflix||Amazon Prime||YouTube TV||Hulu|
|Monthly Subscription Fee||Starts at $6.99||Starts at $8.99||$8.99||$49.99||Starts at $5.99|
|Free Trial Offer||7 days||30 days||30 days||7 – 30 days||30 days|
|Simultaneous Streams||4||1 – 4||3||3||2|
|Support Live TV||NO||NO||NO||YES||YES|
|Compatible Devices||PS4, Xbox One, Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Smart TVs, Fire Tablets, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox, Edge||PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Smart TVs Android, iOS, Windows||PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Smart TVs Android, iOS, Windows||Xbox, Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Smart TVs Android, iOS, Windows||Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Smart TVs Android, iOS, Windows|
|Best For||Family Entertainment||Original Content||Original Content||General Audience||TV Shows|
Best Original Content as of 2019: The Mandalorian, Noelle
Disney+ is one of the newest participants in the streaming services industry. It is owned by The Walt Disney Company, which aims at primarily delivering movies and TV shows produced by their own studios. As of now, Disney+ features content from its main subsidiaries. This includes National Geographic, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, etc.
The streaming service looks promising with its current lineup of original movies and TV series. But for most users, the best of those are yet to come. It is to be noted that Disney+ focuses only on family-oriented entertainment. Disney Plus streaming service does not include any TV-MA-rated or R-rated content.
The Disney+ app and website are easy to use and navigate. The genre listings make it simple to stream a particular movie or TV show. In case you are not able to stream the content, you can check the listing page for the schedules as well.
The content library of Disney+ does not look as comprehensive as that offered by other major service providers. However, Disney+ service features some amazing movies and kid-friendly shows. Moreover, there are many impressive shows in production by Walt Disney Studios and their subsidiaries. I know you are excited! Yep, these shows would be available exclusively on Disney+ in the next year.
Pricing: Disney+ is available at $6.99 per month. You can also upgrade to their upper tier for $12.99 per month, bundling it with ESPN+ and Hulu. They offer a 7-day trial as well to check out their catalog of TV shows and movies.
- Amazing content
- 4K quality
- Competitive pricing
- No R-rated content
- Long wait for original content
Best Original Content as of 2019: Mindhunter, Stranger Things
Netflix would definitely be the first name that comes to everyone’s mind when they think of streaming services. The subscription-based streaming service is owned by Netflix Inc., headquartered in Los Gatos, California.
The company was founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in the year 1997. The streaming service quickly surfaced as a game-changer in the home entertainment industry. As of the first quarter of 2019, Netflix had more than 150 million subscribers worldwide.
Netflix offers a remarkably huge library of TV series and movies, which includes many of its in-house productions. It also allows you to stream content in 4K UHD quality on compatible Smart TVs, browsers, and tablets.
The Netflix app and website are simple to navigate as well. You can easily browse through the available content using your preferred device. NetFlix also allows you to download content. This makes your life easy and you can watch your favorite TV shows and movies even when you are offline.
The only worrying thing is that with everyone launching their own streaming platforms these days. A few of the popular shows on Netflix, such as The Office and Friends, would be moving to the other services in the upcoming months. However, there are many great shows in production currently, which would soon be available on Netflix.
Pricing: Netflix is available in three tiers: Basic, Standard, and Premium, which are priced at $8.99, $12.99, and $15.99 per month respectively. They offer a 1-month trial period for all new subscribers as well.
- Original movies and TV series
- Multi-device support
- Affordable pricing
- Massive content library
- May require high-speed internet to stream seamlessly
Amazon Prime Video
Best Original Content as of 2019: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Man in the High Castle
Amazon Prime Video, or simply Prime Video, is the video-on-demand service by Amazon.com, Inc. The streaming service offers TV shows and movies on rent or for purchase, alongside the original content produced by Amazon Studios. Prime Video also features content from other production houses, such as HBO.
However, that is available only in the US currently. Amazon Prime Video works quite similar to Netflix on many levels. However, Prime failed to grab much popularity in its earlier years. Yet as of now, the streaming service has gained more than 75 million subscribers worldwide.
The main thing that differentiates Prime Video from other VOD services is that the streaming service can be bundled with Amazon Prime. That means you can get access to Amazon Music and premium Amazon delivery services under one umbrella.
Besides, Amazon also has its own proprietary streaming stick (see best channel list), Amazon Fire TV stick. The Fire TV with built-in Alexa is available for a discounted price for Prime Video subscribers. The only drawback of the streaming service is that the app and website interface can be quite confusing. Sometimes you have to struggle a bit to navigate and find the content you want to watch.
Pricing: Amazon Prime Video is available for $8.99 per month. If you want Prime Video + Amazon Prime shopping subscription, it can be availed at $12.99 per month. Amazon Prime Video also offers a 1-month trial period to check out their offerings.
- Amazon originals
- Kid-friendly content
- Great collection of movies
- Reasonable pricing
- App interface is not that intuitive as other streaming services
Best Original Content as of 2019: YouTube TV does not offer any original content
YouTube TV is the over-the-top video streaming service by YouTube, a subsidiary of Google. It offers video-on-demand services, live TV, as well as cloud-based DVR services from more than 70 US television networks.
The list of major TV networks that you can stream through YouTube TV includes ABC, NBC, Fox, FX, Fox News, CBS, AMC, CNN, Discovery, TBS, and ESPN. In addition, they also allow you to record your favorite shows so that you can binge-watch them later.
The streaming service aims at offering only the best quality content to its subscribers. That is why the pricing of YouTube TV is a bit higher than other OTT and VOD services. Regardless, you get access to a massive collection of television shows from different networks as well as live TV content via YouTube TV.
YouTube TV also allows up to 3 simultaneous streams and can be set up on 6 different accounts. This makes YouTube TV, a viable solution to share the service with your family members. There are no contracts either, which means that you can cancel the subscription whenever you want.
Pricing: YouTube TV is available at $49.99 per month and it offers a free trial for 7 to 30 days. However, you should check the currently running free trial offers by YouTube TV prior to signing up for the service.
- Live TV content
- YouTube Red series
- Easy to set up and use
- Priced much higher when compared to other streaming services
Also read: Best iPhone Apps for YouTube Music Streaming
Best Original Content as of 2019: The Handmaid’s Tale, Marvel’s Runaways
Hulu is a streaming service jointly owned by The Walt Disney Company and Comcast. At present, Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International holds one-third of the stake in Hulu. As you know, they fully control the subscription-based video service.
The streaming service offers many popular shows from major TV networks, such as FOX, NBC, and Comedy Central. Hulu Streaming service also has a great catalog of original content as well, which includes Veronica Mars, Catch-22, Difficult People, and Ramy. They also have a good collection of kid-friendly content and documentaries.
Hulu comes in two main forms: with and without live TV. This can be a great deal to watch your favorite TV shows and movies alongside having the ability to access live TV content on the go. However, bundling Hulu subscription with live TV is available only in the US at the moment.
As for the app and website interface of Hulu, they are designed to be very simple. This makes Hulu, easy to browse through the library to find the show that you want to watch. You can also see highlighted shows on the home page of the app/website based on your previous visits.
Pricing: Hulu is available in four different tiers. Their Basic subscription costs $5.99 per month. The Premium subscription costs $11.99 per month, Basic + Live TV subscription costs $44.99 per month. Also, their Premium + Live TV subscription is priced at $50.99 per month. They also offer a 1-month trial as that offered by Netflix and Prime Video. Hulu is the only streaming service that is available on Nintendo Switch.
- Affordable starting price
- Great collection of TV shows
- Original content
- All subscriptions have commercials
- Limited to one stream at a time
It feels quite strange to think of a time when there were no streaming services available. We had to stick to a specific time to watch our favorite shows and movies on TV. Additionally, it was also required to pay a lump sum amount to subscribe to a bundled pack of channels, most of which we never watched. Thanks to the technological advancements in the home entertainment industry and faster internet connectivity, we are not bound to those constraints anymore.
Streaming services have given us a way to watch what we want when we want, and from wherever we want. Although they emerged as an alternative to DVDs and digital downloads, streaming services soon changed the entire home entertainment scenario. It allowed users to “cut the cord” and be free of the traditional monthly cable TV subscriptions.
What’s more, it even allowed users to watch their favorite TV shows and movies on the go. There is no worrying about the device’s memory limits either. Streaming services provide content over the internet instantly, which does not consume device memory in the way digital downloads do. In a nutshell, streaming services allow us to watch TV content as per our schedule and without having to pay a hefty sum for our entertainment needs.