With COVID-19 looking to stay around for a little while longer, you’ll probably be looking for some good ways to pass the time from the safety of your own home. While the increasingly bloated streaming service space can be a mess to traverse, here’s a guide to find out which subscriptions are right for you to stay entertained in the months ahead.
Netflix — Original Content
What else is there to say about Netflix? The streaming giant offers a growing library of original content and old favorites, and it seems like almost everybody has access to it. The problem with Netflix, though, is that many top shows like “The Office” will be leaving the platform in 2021.
That’s where Netflix’s strength comes in: its original content. Netflix has been producing more now than ever, as they’ve been predicted to top $17 billion spent on Netflix original shows and films in 2020. If you want the gold standard catalog of originals you can’t find anywhere else, look no further than Netflix.
Hulu — Live TV
While Hulu’s basic selection of shows and movies is nothing to scoff at — exclusive streaming rights to 2019 critically acclaimed films "Parasite" and "Portrait of a Lady on Fire," along with a TV partnership with FX — the thing that sets Hulu apart is its live TV option.
For $54.99 a month, you can get all the channels that cable TV can offer you as well as instant access to all new episodes to all your favorite shows. If you’re looking to use streaming to cut the cord, Hulu is the place to be.
Amazon Prime — Prime Video
Prime Video is a respectable service in its own right, it has plenty of great shows to choose from and its movie catalog is actually pretty impressive. They’re upping their original content to rival Netflix as well, with successful shows like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “The Boys" bringing in high viewership, as well as committing to bigger projects such as the upcoming “The Lord of the Rings” series.
Couple those projects with the fact that you get all the perks of the expansive Amazon Prime service, and you’ve got yourself one loaded package deal.
HBO Max — Movies
The newest streaming service on the block is HBO Max, a marriage of the wide array of titles under the Time Warner umbrella. While it's still finding its footing after last week’s launch, it’s easily one of the more impressive services on this list. Alongside the entire catalog of HBO’s fan-favorite shows, HBO Max boasts an extensive library of movies, including the Studio Ghibli catalog and classic films curated by Turner Classic Movies.
The main downside to HBO Max is the premium content results in a price tag set at $14.99 a month. Despite that price, this is the most underrated streaming service of the bunch.
Disney+ — Disney Fans
If you don’t like Disney, don’t get Disney+. It’s as simple as that. Disney offers its entire catalog of TV shows and blockbuster movies on a service that is surprisingly cheap ($6.99 a month), but that’s all that Disney+ will offer you.
Keep an eye on them as they venture into the original content space. They’ve already had tremendous success with “The Mandalorian” and could be looking at a major hit with their upcoming TV show based on the bestselling “Percy Jackson” book series.
Apple TV+ — Long Term Potential
Don’t get Apple TV+ in its current state. To watch it, you have to purchase an Apple TV, a bigger investment than its competitors require. Apple’s celebrity-studded originals show extreme potential for growth in the future but right now, there’s not enough content or features to justify getting it over anything else on this list.