For the past few years, the entertainment industry has been undergoing rapid changes as the era of streaming began. People got used to being able to access everything from the comfort of their own homes. Starting from music, audiobooks, news and even blockbuster films. TV networks, production companies and media giants have to adjust to these changes and at the same time, fight over market share. Each of them wants to prove that they’re the one where your money should go to each month. That’s why today we’ll try to answer the ever-roaming question: Which is the best streaming service?
The Era of Streaming
Streaming has taken the world by storm with the emergence of platforms such as Netflix, Spotify and Prime Video. People have become accustomed to a wide selection of movies and TV shows, as well as the ability to listen to their favorite artists endlessly without having to buy an actual copy of their albums. This has caused production and distribution companies to massively create their own streaming platforms designed to maintain their position in the market and appeal to fans of such services.
Unfortunately, since streaming usually operates on a monthly fee basis, most users can’t afford to use a zillion of them at once. Even when we add together the cost of 3 such platforms, a rather hefty bill accumulates, let alone when we are talking about 5 or 10.
Entertainment companies have to work really hard to offer their users a service good enough to stand out from the competition. This means that both the content on them and their price must be so attractive that someone would want to choose them over other offerings.
Top 5 Streaming Services
Today we will introduce you to 5 streaming services that we believe are the best on the market. These platforms stand out both for the quality of the proposed content and good value for money, which makes it worth investing money in them every month.
Netflix is a platform that many people now have a love/hate relationship with. At first, we all adored it, then we all got sick of it, and now, all in all, we don’t really know what we should think about it. That doesn’t change the fact, however, that it is still the largest service of its kind in the world, with 238.39 million active subscribers. And while we should indeed admit that a lot has changed since Netflix first came on the market, it is still a company worth recommending. If we ignore the ever-changing pricing policies and the violent fight against account-sharing practices, we find that there are plenty of good series and movies out there to make up for the rest of the stress. After all, what sets Netflix apart from its competitors is the number of releases it puts out each year. Of course, not every item will appeal to everyone. That is pretty much impossible. However, the platform certainly has SOMETHING for everyone. Netflix Originals currently include series like Stranger Things, Sex Education, movies like The Irishman, and hundreds of addictive true-crime series that are perfect for an evening marathon.
And while we can’t say it’s the best streaming platform, it’s certainly in our top 5. So if you still have doubts about whether Netflix is worth the price, here are the current subscription plans that are available:
- Basic with Ads – $6,99
- Basic – $9,99
- Standard – $15,49
- Premium – $19,99
- Selection: 4/5
- Pricing: 3/5
See also: Best Shows Currently on Netflix
Disney is one of the most powerful players in the entertainment world and has been for years. The company owns National Geographic, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios, which means it holds the rights to some of the biggest movie franchises in the history of cinema. Thus, when it announced its intention to enter the streaming space, other players in the market trembled in fear. Disney’s extensive content library could have potentially leveled all other offerings and eliminated the competition overnight. And while that’s not exactly what happened in 2019, when the service rolled out in the United States and Canada, the launch definitely had a huge impact on the streaming industry.
In our opinion, Disney+ is a great option for all Marvel, Star Wars or Pixar fanatics. The movies, series, and original productions that can be found there are unavailable anywhere else and provide a huge treat for all diehard fans of these iconic universes. For example, it features recent releases such as Ahsoka, the second season of Loki, as well as Secret Invasion. And if that still doesn’t convince you, the platform also has a great selection of all kinds of films and TV shows. In fact, the only thing we could fault Disney for is the lack of a large library of documentaries and a relatively low number of releases compared to its competitors. However, this does not change the fact that it is a great streaming platform.
Here is the current cost of a Disney+ subscription:
- Disney Plus with ads – $8/month
- Disney Plus ad-free – $11/month
- Disney Plus ad-free – $110/year
- Selection: 4.5/5
- Pricing: 3/5
Spotify is the only music entry on our list, but it is for a specific reason, namely – it is by far the best platform of its kind on the market.
There are some things that don’t change, and this is exactly the case with the leadership position Spotify took in 2006, when it became the forerunner of all audio streaming services. Unlike Netflix, it did not succumb to market pressure and did not experience a slump due to the emergence of competition. Neither Tidal, nor Apple Music, nor Amazon Music has dethroned Spotify as the king of subscription-based music streaming services. The reason for this is its massive music library, extensive partnerships with artists and early entry into the land of podcasting, which is growing in popularity every year. In fact, Spotify was quick to make up its mind and sign exclusive deals with artists such as Joe Rogan, Alex Cooper (of Call Her Daddy), and Emma Chamberlain, three of the world’s biggest podcasters. This kind of thinking is exactly what keeps Spotify one step ahead of the competition.
On top of that, what makes Spotify one of the best streaming platforms in general, is that it doesn’t mess with its pricing policy a lot. The Swedes stick to proven business models and avoid upsetting their subscribers. As a result, both they and their users benefit, while the available plans look like this:
- Individual – 1 account for $9,99/month
- Duo – 2 accounts for $12,99/month
- Family – 6 accounts for $15,99/month
- Student – 1 accounts for $4,99/month
- Selection: 5/5
- Pricing: 4.5/5
HBO’s streaming platform has experienced (and continues to experience) arguably the biggest revolutions on our list. From its inception until now, it has already scored at least two rebrands and countless changes in pricing policy. This year it came out in its latest version i.e. as MAX, which doesn’t change the fact that many users are already tired of this constant stirring and have migrated back to Netflix or Disney+. Nevertheless, Warner, which is the parent company of HBO, clearly knows how to deal with such fluctuations in the market and has made bold investments in some of the world’s best-known IPs in order to keep its subscriber base. In fact, when HBO Max entered the market, the company held reunions of Harry Potter and Friends. Now, on the other hand, as MAX emerges, we have, for example, a sequel to Sex in the City – And Just Like That. The developers of this service definitely know how to hit the hearts of people who have been waiting for years to find out what happened next in Carrie Bradeshaw’s life.
However, this doesn’t mean that if you’re not a huge fan of any of the well-known movies and series, then MAX isn’t for you. The platform also has a lot of high-quality content to offer, such as Euphoria, House of Dragon, Reality and many others. Still, when it comes to the selection available, it’s still one of the worse positions on our list. It lacks a lot in the comedy and docu-movie categories. In addition, with the current plans, you have to pay more if you want access to 4K quality, which makes this major streaming service compare poorly with the competition.
Here are the current subscription plans:
- With Ads – $9.99/month or $99.99/year
- Ad-Free – $15.99/month or $149.99/year
- Ultimate Ad-Free – $19.99/month or $199.99/year
We should note that Max is not yet available everywhere. This year HBO plans to release the new platform across North America, next year across the rest of the continents. Until then, all of its series and movies are available on HBO Max.
- Selection: 3.5/5
- Pricing: 3/5
See also: Best Movies to Watch on HBO Max
Amazon Prime Video
To finish the list, we left our favorite – Amazon Prime Video.
As you may have guessed, it is an on-demand streaming service owned by Amazon, which theoretically appeared on the market as early as 2006, but has only seen its heyday in recent years. However, not to sugarcoat things, let’s start by saying that when it comes to the choice of options available, Amazon is still developing. Although Amazon Studios already has produced some really interesting films like Air, Manchester by the Sea and Beatiful Boy, and shows like The Rings of Power, their library is still too small to convince the average viewer. You might be asking yourself, then, why this is the best position on our list.
Well, the answer is simple.
Amazon Prime Video is part of the Prime membership, which provides access to a number of other amenities associated with Amazon’s services. We are talking, for example, about free same-day delivery, access to Twitch, special discounts and much more. This makes Jeff Bezos’ platform an absolute hit in terms of cost-effectiveness, and all competitors are far from beating it. Sure, its offerings may not be incredibly impressive yet, but they are interesting enough to want to be a subscriber. Especially if it comes with so many more benefits!
The current pricing of Amazon Prime is as follows:
- $14.99 per month
- $139 per year
Or If you’re a student:
- $7.49 per month
- $69 per year
It is also possible to pay only for Prime Video, which costs $8.99 per month, but this is certainly the least affordable option.
- Selection: 3.5/5
- Pricing: 5/5
The Final Verdict
Overall, we conclude that given the current market situation, our top choice is Amazon Prime Video. It may not be the platform with the widest selection, but it is certainly satisfactory. It features plenty of great on-demand movies, classic TV shows, original productions, and much more. And all this at a price that will give you access to so much more. If we had to pick our second favorite, however, it would be Disney+, which delivers a very good price-value ratio for the number and quality of options available.
Can You Access Streaming Services for Free?
Although most of the platforms on our list received a good rating for pricing, we know that paying for streaming services on a monthly basis is likely to be a sizable expense that many people would rather avoid.
By using CashYea, you can gain free access to Netflix, Spotify, Max, and many others with very little effort. All you have to do is create an account, perform a few simple tasks, and collect enough Gems to exchange them for free items, including Spotify and Prime Video accounts, or valuable gift cards to online stores like Apple or Nintendo.