Netflix is no longer chill: Should you be rethinking your streaming service choices?


Kaelyn Savard

With the number of streaming services increasing by the minute, its hard to know which one is the best for your needs, so in order to make the best decision and to get the most out of your monthly spending, here is a complete breakdown of all existing streaming services from Netflix to HBO Max.

Jonah Billings, Writer

When it comes to choosing how to watch your favorite shows and movies online, you can choose to be one of two types of people. You can be the extravagant spender who dishes out hefty sums of money each month to a multitude of streaming services, or you can be the penny-pincher who creates an army of fake identities, each with their own free trial you will inevitably forget to cancel when the seven day period ends. 

With so many different companies vying for your attention when it comes to your entertainment needs, trying to get the shows you want while being smart with your money can be tough. The average American spends well over 30,000 dollars in their lifetime on streaming services, much of that money being wasted on subscriptions they don’t even use. Many viewers are also simply paying for the wrong service when another has content more suited for them. If one of the people I described above sounds like you, don’t fret. Read on for a definitive picture of the wide world of streaming services and what it can offer you.


Pricing: $8.99/month for Basic, $13.99/month for Standard, $17.99/month for Premium

Library Rating: B

Original Content Rating: B

The Rundown: When most people think about streaming services, the first thing that comes to mind is Netflix. This entertainment juggernaut has become one of the most recognizable brands in the world, and for good reason, boasting over 5,000 movies and TV shows on the platform and counting! While Netflix has become a bit of a laughing stock due to the lack of quality in its library, it still has plenty to offer, with original shows like Stranger Things, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Umbrella Academy and many others earning praise from critics and fans alike. If you are looking for a wide selection of content and a variety of exciting originals, staying with the tried-and-true Netflix may be exactly what you need. However, fans with more specific preferences will have better luck somewhere else.


Pricing: $7.99/month or $79.99/year

Library Rating: A

Original Content Rating: A

The Rundown: Disney+ is the Disney fan’s dream. The release of this relatively young streaming service in late 2019 effectively marked the end of the hated Disney vault, with most of Disney’s old films and cartoons finally being released to the public for good. In addition to a library that not only includes the classics but also the entire Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic catalogs, Disney+ has also impressed viewers with original content. The Mandalorian has become a global sensation, meanwhile, Marvel and Star Wars fans have much to look forward to in the upcoming years, with an almost comically large number of original series set to be released on the platform. All in all, Disney+ has the ability to satisfy both the hardcore fan and the casual weekend binge-watcher, and if you fall into either of those categories, this service is definitely worth a try.     


Pricing: $5.99/month or $59.99/year for Hulu, $11.99/month for Hulu Ad-Free, $64.99/month for Hulu + Live TV, $70.99/month for Hulu Ad-Free + Live TV

Library Rating: B

Original Content Rating: C

The Rundown: Hulu is the perfect option for those of you who are tired of cable but still love good old-fashioned TV. With a relatively limited library of movies and a small selection of quality originals, Hulu has turned its focus to TV, featuring next-day access to many prime-time shows and ways for subscribers to watch live TV and sports. Because it is Disney-owned, Hulu is also available in a discounted bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+. It also allows you to add on HBO Max, so if you’re a fan of both, it’s worth looking into.  

Amazon Prime Video

Pricing: $8.99 per month or free with Prime, most movies and shows cost extra

Library Rating: A

Original Content Rating: C

The Rundown: While at first glance you may be deterred by the hefty price tag on Amazon Prime Video, most people find a subscription option worth their money. Prime Video has what Netflix and other companies lack: an incredibly extensive library. If you can’t find a movie on another service, it’s generally safe to say it will be available on Prime Video. Even better, this platform is completely free for those of you with Amazon Prime memberships, with thousands of titles available at no cost, including some solid originals. Many titles that are near impossible to find anywhere else are available for rental at an additional cost. Prime Video is perfect for those of you with specific tastes that can’t be satisfied by other service’s limited libraries. 

Apple TV+

Pricing: $4.99/month

Library Rating: D

Original Content Rating: B

The Rundown: Apple TV+ is perfect for those of you who value quality original content over anything else. Not to be confused with regular Apple TV, which serves as a gateway to other streaming services, Apple TV+ features a variety of fresh originals as well as a modest selection of licensed shows and movies. Notable standouts include The Morning Show, a drama starring big names such as Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell, and M. Night Shyamalan’s horror series, Servant. Apple TV+ won’t deliver the massive libraries of blockbuster entertainment that some fans crave, but it is a relatively cheap way to access a growing selection of exciting original content that might be worth a shot.


Pricing: About two-thirds of all content is free. $4.99/month for Peacock Premium, which unlocks the rest of the catalog. $9.99/month for Peacock Premium Plus, which lets you go ad-free.

Library Rating: A

Original Content Rating: C

The Rundown: If you find yourself constantly tuned in to NBC, Peacock is the service for you. It features all of NBC’s best programs from over the years, including Modern Family, Law and Order, Parks and Rec and, of course, The Office. It also features a promising variety of new original content, with plans to keep expanding its selection. Best of all, you can watch over half of Peacock’s library free of charge, with the ability to access the rest of the catalog and get rid of ads through a tiered subscription system. Peacock is a perfect option for NBC junkies, comedy lovers or those who just want a solid library at a great price.  


Pricing: $5.99/month or $59.99/year for standard plan, $9.99/month or $99.99 for Ad-Free

Library Rating: B

Original Content Rating: C

The Rundown: Created in answer to NBC’s Peacock, Paramount+ is the home of all things CBS. A revamped version of CBS All Access, this service features a live feed of your local CBS station and next-day access to many prime-time shows. The new rebranding has also brought forth a variety of content from other cable networks, as well as a massive catalog of movies from Paramount and MGM. It’s a worthwhile investment for CBS regulars, as well as cinephiles who want a massive library of great movies.

HBO Max / HBO Now

Pricing: $14.99/month

Library Rating: B

Original Content Rating: A

The Rundown: HBO now offers two ways to access its extensive library- but users beware, it’s a bit of a scam. HBO Now, available since 2015, offers you the grand expanse of past HBO content. Then, in 2020, HBO Max came along featuring everything included in HBO Now- in addition to a massive new collection of popular movies, shows and originals not accessible to Now subscribers. The kicker? These two services are the exact same price, and if you subscribe to one you get immediate access to the other free of charge. You can technically pay for both, but please don’t. For most customers, HBO Max is the best move- more content, same price and access to HBO Now if you just really hate Big Bang Theory.

With all this being said, keep in mind that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to picking the right streaming service. It all depends on what you enjoy watching, and how much you are willing to pay for it. There are also so many more services that we didn’t cover in this article, each with a unique library catering to a different type of viewer. The next time you log on to whatever service you are currently using, keep in mind that there are indeed other options, one of which might be just right for you.

All content letter grades were compiled through a survey distributed to The Foothill Dragon Press staff.

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