What Are The Best Streaming Services?

Caleb Conklin, Reporter

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Nowadays, if you want to watch a show or a movie, you’re more likely to use one of the many streaming services available than you are to watch it on cable. Many of you likely have one or more of these services, but what if you don’t? What services should you get, and what services should you avoid? Today, I’ll try and help you reach a decision.

Probably the most popular streaming service is Netflix. Practically everyone has Netflix, and for a good reason. They have a killer lineup of movies and tv shows, in addition to their fantastic original content, exclusive to Netflix. Some of my favorite shows of all time are Netflix Originals, like Black Mirror and Bojack Horseman, and that’s just in addition to the ocean of existing content on there. I’ve watched so many things on Netflix, and I honestly think that everybody should have a subscription to Netflix, just because it has so much variety, that there’s something for everybody to watch.

If you ever find yourself wanting to watch a TV show, and it’s not on Netflix, it’s more than likely on Hulu. Hulu is another popular service, with a fantastic selection of TV shows, and a sub-par selection of movies. I use Hulu all the time, and one thing that consistently gets on my nerves is the app’s user interface. For one thing, the menus are slow and often in a vertical list, which is annoying, as that means you’re only seeing 5 or 6 things at a time. This is bad compared to Netflix where they actually use the full screen, and show you up to 20 things at a time. On your phone, the video player gets really annoying. It has this feature where if you swipe anywhere on the screen it will skip forwards or backwards, which is irritating as if you have a hair or a crumb on your phone, swiping it off your screen will skip through the movie. These aren’t deal breakers at all, and much easier to swallow when you realize how much cheaper Hulu is than Netflix. Netflix is $13 a month, but Hulu is a mere $6 dollars a month, and even sometimes goes on sale for $12 for a year! That’s a fantastic deal! So, If you’re serious about TV shows, Hulu is a fantastic choice, and would get my full recommendation, but if you’re only going to watch movies, I can’t really recommend it to you.

Amazon is a familiar name to just about everyone, but people don’t talk about their streaming service, Amazon Prime Video. For good reason too, Prime Video is really bad. For one, it has a terrible selection that is basically just Netflix and Hulu’s table scraps. I scrolled through the app for fifteen minutes, and I could count the amount of shows and movies that I wanted to watch on one hand. It seems they’ll just let anyone on there, as there’s copious amounts of random YouTube videos and awful quality movies that fill the service, and even if you decide to watch one of their poor excuses for content, their video player is so clunky that I wouldn’t even bother. The only way I could recommend this service is if you already have Amazon Prime, as it comes free. Otherwise, don’t bother.

A recent addition to the streaming service lineup is Disney+, made by Disney. This service left me feeling very conflicted. On one hand, the user interface is beautiful and the app is a joy to use on any device, but on the other hand, the content on this app is targeted towards specific people, without much variety. As implied, this service features nothing but content made or owned by the Walt Disney Corporation. This includes every Disney production, every Marvel production, every Star Wars production, and a small picking of Fox productions. The lack of Fox content is upsetting to me, as I was looking forward to that. Like I said, some of their stuff is there, like The Simpsons and Home Alone, but their full library seems to be scattered elsewhere. Though I assume when the licenses with the other services expire, they’ll move to Disney+. For the rest of the content, there isn’t much variety. You have to be a huge fan of Marvel, Disney, or Star Wars to get your full use out of this service, and that’s the problem. It is at least a good value, being only $6 a month.  I get that they have a huge library already, but I think they need to license some popular stuff from other companies, and get a bigger variety of content before I can fully recommend it.

If you own an iPhone, you’ve likely seen advertising for Apple’s new streaming service, AppleTV+. Well, I tried it and it’s honestly awful. When it launched in November of last year, AppleTV+ only had nine titles on it. That’s abysmal. Now, a lot of these shows do seem to be genuinely good and high quality, but I don’t know how Apple thought it was okay to release a streaming service in 2019 that doesn’t even have ten titles on it. I’ve heard of quality over quantity, but this is just taking it too far. 

So, in conclusion, if you could only get two services, I would recommend getting Netflix and Hulu, as their pure amount of high quality content is enough to entertain you for years.