With the recent release of Disney+, and HBO MAX soon to arrive, the streaming service market has expanded to include many different services offering their own distinct content. Keeping track of each service’s perks is confusing, so this is your guide to each service, including their content, the cost(s), and other pertinent information.
Netflix, which was the first popular streaming service, was launched in 2007. Over the years, they expanded and began developing their own original, high quality movies and TV shows, like Stranger Things, Daredevil, and House of Cards. Nowadays, there are thousands of movies and TV shows available to watch from every genre. While this number seems very daunting, Netflix has an algorithm that learns viewer’s habits in order to recommend shows viewers would most likely enjoy. Compared to other streaming services, they have the best selection of standup comedy specials, including exclusive specials of comedians like Dave Chapelle, Chris Rock, and Hasan Minhaj. This content is able to be streamed and downloaded on many different smart devices, including TVs, computers, and phones. They have 3 pricing options, all of which include ad-free viewing:
Basic: $8.99 per month ($107.88 annually), only able to use one screen at a time at a standard definition.
Standard: $12.99 per month ($155.88 annually), can use up to two screens at a time; high definition.
Premium: $15.99 per month ($191.88 annually), 4K Ultra HD Content, can use up to 4 devices at a time
Amazon Prime Video:
Amazon Prime Video was launched in 2011, providing a wide array of movies and TV shows. They have come out with many original, critically acclaimed TV shows and movies, such as The Boys, The Man in the High Castle, and Manchester by the Sea. All of their content is offered in HD, 4K, or HDR. Amazon Prime Video comes alongside Amazon Prime, which offers its own perks like free shipping, shopping deals, and music streaming. However, a lot of content on Prime Video isn’t free, and customers have rent or purchase the product, while other streaming services offer only free content when the membership is paid. This means that movies like Toy Story 4, Aquaman, and Rick and Morty all have to be rented for an additional cost, and are not covered by the monthly membership fee. Payment options include:
$13 a month
$113 a year
$59 a year for college students
HBO is an interesting case, as they technically have 3 different streaming platforms: HBO GO, HBO NOW, and HBO Max. At the moment, only HBO GO and HBO NOW are available, and HBO Max will be released in May 2020. HBO GO is a free service to those who have a TV subscription to HBO. It includes all content on HBO, including all of their hit original shows, including Barry, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Game of Thrones, as well as some content from other places like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Friends, and South Park. All of these shows are accessible through the HBO GO app and website. HBO NOW is basically a paid version of HBO GO, available to those who do not have a TV subscription to HBO. The service includes all of the same content that is on HBO GO. HBO MAX is a step up from HBO NOW, as it will include content from even more companies, like Warner Bros., Looney Tunes, Cartoon Network and more. Additionally, HBO NOW subscribers will be given access automatically to HBO MAX, and the future of HBO NOW is uncertain. The pricing plans are:
Free alongside HBO TV subscription
$14.99 per month
Nothing is officially confirmed, but will be most likely similarly priced to HBO NOW, or a small step up.
Apple TV launched on November 1st this year. Apple TV has its own app, although those owning devices not affiliated with apple must purchase a Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, or an Apple TV. The service offers exclusive content from critically acclaimed filmmakers like Steven Spielber and JJ Abrams. There will be also be content created by the tech giant, such as The Morning Show, which will star celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Jason Momoa. In 2020, it was announced that Prince Henry and Oprah will release a docu-series on mental health exclusively on Apple-TV. Other channels on the platform besides Apple TV are ABC News, CBS All Access, and HBO. The service costs:
$4.99 a month in pounds/dollars, however there is a year long trial for anyone who buys an apple product and/or a week long free trial
The newest of the streaming services mentioned, Disney+ was released on the twelfth of November. The platform has content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios, 20th Century Fox, and National Geographic. Disney+ will host the entire Disney film library, so consumers will have access to classics like Cinderella and newer content like The Mandalorian. Disney episodes will be released weekly, as opposed to having consumers wait until a season’s conclusion to access the episodes. Disney+ will be available for streaming via web browsers and an app, which can be purchased on a myriad of devices (it’s not exclusive to one company). The platform is committed to making its content available to users with hearing and visual disabilities; support on the app includes closed captioning, descriptive audio, and audio navigation assistance. Seven user profiles are permitted to exist on one account, and content may be streamed on four devices at once. There are also unlimited downloads for offline viewing. Content may be streamed in 4K Ultra HD in Dolby Vision and HDR10, with Dolby Atmos sound on supported devices. Payment is:
$12.99 per month, consumers have access to Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu (with ads)