Streaming movies and television shows on computers and mobile devices are taking over from more traditional viewing methods among younger audiences. It is a way of watching that millennials, in particular, see as the norm and this has led to an explosion in the number of streaming sites. Here we will compare the big three.
This is the first name that many people think of when it comes to the most popular streaming services. A basic monthly subscription to Netflix costs just $8.99 and that provides access to both classic movies and television shows from the past and brand new content created exclusively by and for Netflix.
This includes major hit shows like Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black and equally popular movies such as To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. If you want to watch this stuff in HD, the subscription is a little higher at $12.99 per month, but still manageable for most people.
The biggest downside to Netflix is that some of its more popular shows – Friends, for example – are licensed rather than owned by the service and can be lost when the companies that own them set up rival streaming services.
Amazon’s streaming service has emerged as the biggest competitor to Netflix and like that it mixes classic movies and television with new content made exclusively for it.
That side of Prime is starting to take off, with both The Boys and The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel winning rave reviews and awards, but one major advantage that Prime has over rivals is that it also has live sports. The English Premier League is available on this platform, alongside ATP tennis and the NFL.
Admittedly the content library is still smaller than that of Netflix, but it is growing, and the low monthly price of $8.99 means it is easily among the top video streaming services.
Hulu tends to be less celebrated than its two big rivals, but is actually available at the cheapest price of $6 per month if you don’t mind adverts, although It is worth paying $12 to avoid them.
The main thing that Hulu has over the other two sites is that it owns the rights to stream big-name shows like South Park, Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons, as well as Comedy Central, FOX and NBC content. Its attempts at original programming have not fared as well as Prime or Netflix however and are not of the same quality.
Hulu is accessible on all of the same Android, Apple and Windows devices as its rivals, but it is the only one of the three main streaming sites that can be viewed on the Nintendo Switch.
These are definitely the big three sites for streaming movies and television right now and all have their advantages and disadvantages. If you like sports as well as entertainment, Amazon Prime will be the best choice; if not, it will be Netflix.