When it comes to streaming the industry’s major players, there’s none other than Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. All three require a service fee in order to watch some exclusive shows, and you might be wondering which one is the most worth it. Each platform has its own unique shows and features, but which one could give you the best value for your dollar?
We will dive into each streaming service to see which one might be the most worth it for you to invest in.
Founded in 2007, Hulu was once owned by all the big names in the television industry. This included Disney, Comcast, AOL, ABC, and even Facebook. What really launched Hulu off the ground and gave it an edge over Netflix was their adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s book The Handmaid’s Tale and Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. The Walt Disney Company now owns a majority of the stake in Hulu, which can give them an edge in the industry since Disney+ is more geared towards families and younger viewers.
Navigating Hulu isn’t too tricky. Their primary, popular titles are on their home screen. There is a section for you to “keep watching” your current selections and an area of “unwatched in my stuff” for films or shows you might like but don’t have the time to watch just yet.
Their TV content is similar to cable, where they drop episodes one at a time, not allowing a massive binge on some of their shows. They offer sections that include “Hulu Originals”, “Blockbuster Movies”, and a “Kids” section.
Hulu does have an app you can use to watch your favorite shoes on the go. The downside is currently they don’t allow downloading, so you can’t watch anything offline.
There is a variety of great original content that is on Hulu. The Act, Castle Rock, Catch-22, The Handmaid’s Tale, PEN15, and more are all available on the platform. Hulu is also strong in the cable television game. They stream a lot of the network tv episodes. Currently, they have shows from ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC. Who knows where some of these shows will go since CBS and NBC are launching their own streaming services and their content could be removed from the platform.
Pricing for Hulu has a few options. The ad-support version is $5.99 per month, and the ad-free version is $11.99 per month. You can get a bundle that includes Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ for $12.99 per month.
If you want a live tv option, Hulu does offer it. Hulu +Live TV is $54.99 per month, and you get 60 plus channels from all major networks, plus Hulu’s original content and a DVR option.
For most people, Netflix is the OG of streaming services. With Netflix, you can have your own profile that is catered to what you like to watch. Their home screen will show their most popular, or newer shows that they are trying to get watched. The downside to Netflix is all their movies will play a trailer if you hover on it and then launch the movie whether you want to watch it or not.
Netflix has a lot of sections to choose from. There is always a “Popular on Netflix” section, “My List” for things you may want to watch but don’t have time, and a “Stuff You Might Like” based off of what you watched. They also offer a “Kids” section, “TV Shows” ad “Movies” but recently they even gear their sections to more narrowed down fields like” Rom-Com” or “Anime”.
There is an app you can download for Netflix to watch anything on the go. They do allow you to download 100 videos for a limited time of offline viewing, but some titles aren’t available for download so keep that in mind.
Netflix original content is good. They have titles including Stranger Things, Always Be My Maybe, Bird Box, and The Umbrella Academy. Their licensed content is also pretty good. They have a search window to see if some of your favorites are on the platform. When it comes to cable television shows, their selection isn’t as good as Hulu’s, but their movies are pretty good.
If you’re an Adam Sandler fan, Netflix is the place to be. They have a plethora of exclusive content by the actor that you can’t see anywhere else. Here’s the other fun thing, you can still get DVD and Blu-Rays from the company as well for rental.
Netflix just recently raised its pricing again. Their basic plan is $8.99 per month, while their Standard plan that allows HD watching is $13.99 per month. If you want to take it up one more notch for the premium plan that includes ultra HD, then you’re looking at $17.99 per month.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime is more than just getting free shipping. With your prime membership, you get a slew of tv content. They offer television shows and movies on their platform, and if you don’t want to wait for the film to drop after their debate in theater, you can pay an additional price to get it immediately. Prime was late to the game for original content, but they are getting better at it.
For navigating the platform, the app is a lot cleaner than using a computer. They have a “Search”, “Home”, “Originals”, and “Movie” section. They have a load of different titles and even a “Watch Next” section. You can scroll over movies and see what the movie offers, which is great since it won’t automatically start the movie. Prime will start the latest season of a show, so make sure if you are first viewing it, to select the oldest season since it will just throw you into the show.
Amazon Prime does have an app for on the go watching. They allow you to download titles for offline viewing. The titles last 30 days in all, but once you start watching it, you have 48 hours until they disappear. 15 to 25 titles can be downloaded, and you can always buy titles to watch as well.
For content, Amazon is getting into original shows and movies. They offer Carnival Row, Fleabag, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Transparent among their shows. There is also an extensive array of licensed content.
If you only want Prime Video, you pay $8.99 per month. If you want all the luxury of Amazon Prime, including free shipping, music services, games of Twitch, and more, then the membership is $12.99 per month. Their members are a little different than Hulu and Netflix, with not a lot of static in the way of what you get for a price.
You can now determine for yourself which streaming platform offers the best services for you. Each has its own good and bad qualities, and each has its own array of great original content that you’re going to want to watch. They all come at a relatively low cost, especially when you consider how much cable cost.