In the battle of the streaming services, who will win?
Streaming content is the new norm for many people, with some not even owning cable anymore. Even the cost of multiple streaming services combined isn’t as much as what some people pay alone for their cable.
I personally have a ridiculous number of subscriptions to streaming services, which have come in handy for writing this article, but with so many out there many people don’t even know where to begin. Even with my number of subscriptions, I still don’t even have all of the big streaming services.
As a college student, money can be tight, and not everyone can have a million streaming services like me. So here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular streaming services by cost, content and longevity.
The OG popular streaming service is always reliable for a movie night in alone or to find something everyone likes for a group watch party.
There was a bit of a drought in the past when it came to content, but overall so far for the last couple of months Netflix has been good with popping out new shows and movies. A lot of people sometimes feel like they’ve watched everything the streaming service has to offer, and with constant new additions and subtractions from the platform monthly, some fans aren’t as happy as they used to be.
"Friends" has already left the streaming service, and it has been rumored for a long time that "The Office" is next. This leaves subscribers on edge, not liking the disappearance of their favorite go-to shows. They have also begun the habitat of cancelling shows that have a big following, also upsetting fans.
No matter what, Netflix will possibly always have some of the best and most popular original content. So, I think if they keep adding old classics and pumping out good Netflix Originals, they should be fine in the long run.
Price wise, Netflix has their most popular basic plan, which is $8.99 a month, which is a bit more than some of the other streaming services, but it’s argued to be worth it with for the amount of original content.
After Netflix, Hulu is probably the second most popular streaming service college students. I would also consider it an OG streaming service, with it having been around for over ten years.
When it comes to content, I personally discover more movies that I like and watch more current shows that air on TV on Hulu. Hulu has the great advantage over Netflix with getting episodes for shows that air weekly on TV gradually as they premiere.
People who binge might not prefer this, but it beats having to wait until the next season is finished airing on TV to watch it on Netflix. It also helps with the prevention of spoilers, which I absolutely hate, since you can watch the episodes sooner rather than later.
The service is also pretty good at releasing new movies at a reasonable time too. I don’t know if any service can really top Netflix’s original content for their price, but Hulu has come out with some of my favorite shows of the past year like "The Act," "Pen 15" and the newest season of "The Handmaid’s Tale."
As long as they stay as consistent as they did last year with the original content, I think it will still remain a fan favorite.
Hulu is $5.99 for a standard plan, and there is also the option to add on to each plan they offer with channels like HBO and Starz. Many people in college also have Spotify for students, which is only $4.99 a month. It’s a two for the price of one deal that the others really can’t top.
Everyone was full of excitement last year when Disney finally released their streaming service Disney+, well everyone except the competitors.
Many people jumped on board and got the brand-new service, where you can watch all your favorite old Disney shows and movies. Disney now has pretty much taken over, owning the rights to Marvel, Star Wars and everything in between.
Of course, having all of the Disney content in one spot is pretty cool and a great way to promote their productions, but they did make people believe that the streaming service was going to be the only place where you could find these productions.
So far, other streaming services still have Disney movies and shows on their platforms. Other than some shows for children, "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" and the much-anticipated start of the series "The Mandalorian" Disney+ has not put out new content.
They can only get by on old content for so long, and with Disney and Disney owned shows and movies being on other streaming services, Disney+ won’t stay a top contender for long, especially with college students.
Streamers can save 25% on Disney+, getting the bundle including Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99 a month, or the standard Disney+ subscription for $6.99 a month. They present a good deal, but we’ll see how long it stays valuable.
For $6.49 per month, students can use the glorious service known as Amazon Prime. Prime shipping is unreal, but Prime video isn’t bad either.
Prime Video offers good original content, with the success of the "The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show" and "Savage X Fenty" being shown on Amazon Video. They also have recent and classic movies and shows.
I think when it comes to longevity, due to Amazon Video coming with the Amazon Prime membership, it’s sure to stick around.
Last but not least, we have HBO and its many streaming services.
HBO has HBO NOW, which you can purchase without a cable TV package, and HBO GO that is included with HBO itself. They even plan on releasing a new streaming service called HBO Max which will launch later this year.
HBO NOW is great if your parents have HBO included in their cable plan, especially since HBO NOW is $14.99 a month.
That doesn’t really fit into a typical college students’ budget, but the price is worth it if you really like HBO shows. “Game of Thrones” and “Ballers” may be gone, but HBO still has some great shows and in the past year have out popular programs like “Euphoria” and the second season of “Big Little Lies.”
I’ve loved HBO for a while now and don’t see that changing anytime soon, with them staying consistent with the quality of their productions.
And the winner is…
The best streaming service to have as a college student is Hulu. Personally, I don’t think you can beat the Spotify Premium and Hulu combo.
If you have the extra cash to splurge and get multiple subscriptions, I’d also highly recommend Netflix, which I would put at a very close second. Amazon Prime is also an amazing subscription and it comes with Prime Video which has good content, so if you can, I’d take advantage of that as well.