Coming to a living room near you!
The days of appointment TV and catching movie showtimes have competition in the form of streaming. Since the mid-2000, streaming video has become the premier form of visual media. From the rise of YouTube and Netflix to the recent creations of Disney+ and HBO Max, people have increasingly embraced the world of streaming media.
As broadband connectivity continued to expand and improve, watching your favorite films and shows have become easier than ever. All you need is a decent internet connection, and any device that supports video streaming (computers, smart phones, smart tvs, tablets, game consoles, or streaming devices like the Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire Stick).
Although as time has passed, more companies and studios have seen the advantages of a streaming services and started recollecting the shows and movies they had once licensed out to other streaming services. With new deals, new partnerships, and growing libraries, the choices can come down to what you’re willing to pay to watch. Fortunately, not all of the services require a paid subscription, and we’ll walk you through a number of services and their current subscription rates. Most of, if not all, of these streaming services offer free trials for potential clients to test out their content, so if you’re not sure you’re ready to commit to a subscription, you can still go for a test drive to help inform your decision.
- Netflix – Still one of the most popular streaming sites available, Netflix may not have the extensive library it once had, but it has made up for this with their own growing number of original movies and series. Subscription prices range from $8.99 to $15.99, depending on what features and formats you prefer.
- Hulu – Originally conceived as a joint venture that allowed customers to watch recently-aired episodes of popular tv shows, it has now morphed into that and much more. Now with original content, as well as recent episodes and even full seasons of a large number of tv series, Hulu is a great place to keep up with many of your favorite shows at a reasonable price. Subscriptions start at $5.99 a month to watch their content with ads. The next tier at $11.99 removes ads. Hulu also has subscription plans to allow for live television streaming along with their on-demand content at $54.99 (Hulu with ads) and $60.99 (Hulu without ads).
- HBO Max – One of the biggest premium networks in American television, HBO first jumped into on-demand content with their service, HBO On Demand. After creating HBO Go, a streaming service for customers with an HBO subscription, HBO Now was introduced. HBO Now customers only needed their subscription to the service itself and not the channel. Their newest venture is HBO Max, a new version of HBO Now at no extra cost, with a library of HBOs long library of award-winning shows and films, along with content from other networks and studios outside of the main HBO core content. HBO Max’s subscription cost $14.99 a month.
- Amazon Prime Video – Amazon, the online shopping store that once began as little more than an online-bookseller, has been in the streaming game since 2005 with its Amazon Unbox service. Over the years, Amazon has become a powerhouse digital and streaming library now know as Amazon Prime Video or simply, Prime Video. With a vast array of digital films and series that can purchased without a subscription, Prime Video also has its own streaming service which grants access to Amazon’s own original content. Along with that, other films and shows under their Amazon Prime banner can also be streamed without having to purchase them individually. Access to Amazon Prime Video’s digital library is initially free to access. Films and shows can be purchased digitally. Amazon Prime Video’s original content is only available with the a subscription. If you’re already a member of Amazon Prime, then you should have access instantly. If not, you can subscribe to their streaming service alone for $8.99 a month.
- Disney+ – Disney is a new entrant into the subscription service streaming world, but they came with a lot of content. With nearly nearly a century’s worth of films, tv series, and cartoon shorts in its “vault”, Disney is pacing their releases, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a metric ton of content currently available. A Disney+ subscription is currently priced at $6.99 a month.
- Shudder – Are you a fan of horror movies? Then Shudder may be just what you need. With an extensive library of horror films, cult classics, and foreign horror films, Shudder is a streaming service for the movie-goer that loves to sit on the edge of their seat. Shudder subscriptions are priced at $5.99 a month. An annual subscription is also available at $56.99 ($4.75 a month).
- Showtime – Similar to HBO, Showtime is a premium streaming service with its own growing list of award-winning series. A subscription with Showtime goes for $10.99 a month.
- Apple TV+ – After years dominating many areas of the tech industry, Apple finally took the plunge into streaming by releasing its own paid service. The subscription for Apple+ goes for $4.99 a month.
- Starz – Starz is another premium streaming service along the lines of HBO and Showtime with a library filled with movies and original content. Subscription price goes for $8.99 a month.
- CBS All Access – CBS took advantage of their library containing over seventy years of programming by starting their own streaming service. CBS All Access costs $5.99 a month with limited ads. An ad-free option is also available at $9.99.
- Peacock – Peacock is a subscription service focused on programs aired on NBC as well as other content owned or licensed from a third party to NBCUniversal. Peacock has a large library accessible in their initial free tier of the subscription. Access to other content, such as content made exclusively for the service, is only done with the paid tier service which currently is priced at $4.99 a month. There is also an ad-free tier which costs $9.99 a month.
- Pluto TV – A free streaming television service that allows viewers to watch a plethora of channels. Though the content contains ads and is not on-demand with what you can watch at any given time on a channel, the price tag makes a test run more than worth it.
- The CW – The CW is a broadcast channel created as a joining of the two channels, the WB and UPN. Their own streaming service is different from Peacock and CBS All Access in that the service is completely free and there is no sign-up needed. Simply download the app on your favorite device and start watching. Their library is limited to their currently airing series, which air the most recent five episodes along with ads.