Entertainment

Navigating the World of Streaming Services: Which Subscription Is Right for You?

how to choose the streaming services that are right for you
Written by geekapproved.net

 

In recent years, technology development has brought a lot of changes to the entertainment industry. One of which has to be the development of streaming devices. There are vast numbers of choices for streaming and with it comes the confusion on how to choose the streaming services that are right for you and hence the question prevails: how to choose the right streaming service. Over the past years, most of the streaming platforms have raised the price of their streaming services. At the same time, there are a lot of membership deals or ad-supported subscriptions. Surveys now convey that cost and content are the biggest worries for consumers. So if you’re one of those consumers with a new goal to get a grip on your streaming budget, we’re here to help how to choose the streaming services that are right for you.

 

While the Streaming Services were hit by Puberty

 

The origin of streaming goes back to 2019 (almost 6 years ago!). The major babies back then were Apple TV+ and Disney+. These babies would go back and forth with each other. Most platforms were offering low-cost and most content, a feast for the consumers just to sample their streaming services to counter the question of how to choose the right streaming service. However, it looks like it worked since many of those consumers have seemed to stay with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu.

 

However, these days streaming services seem to be going through puberty as they place difficulty on the consumers. Things have gotten complicated and nasty. Nielsen, a TV ratings company made a recent report which paints a picture of a booming streaming landscape. In just three years, the number of streaming services exploded from 51 in 2020 to a whopping 90 in 2023. However, this abundance of choice seems to be a double-edged sword. While viewers have access to a mind-boggling 2.7 million programs as of June 2023 (according to another Nielsen analysis), this very excess can be paralyzing. A concerning 20% of viewers reported frequently giving up their search for something to watch, feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options available.

 

To tackle this mess, consumers have gone to strategic ways. They are trying to make strategies to find how to choose the streaming services that are right for you to let them out of this hedge maze.

 

What is the Strategy?

Thanks to the availability of thousands of streaming platforms, it has become increasingly difficult to determine which one is the right path to follow. Fear not! Here’s how to choose the right streaming service: 

 

Content is King (and Queen): 

Genre Preferences: List down your preferred categories of shows or movies: comedy, drama, action, documentaries, etc. Create ten shows or movies that can’t be missed. Are there specific streaming platforms where you watch unique shows and movies that you can’t imagine your life without? Search the available library of each platform and assess whether it fits the type of shows and/or movies that you would like to watch.

 

Consider the Household:

Number of Users and Profiles: A few, dozens, hundreds – no, thousands, and tens of thousands of people will be using the service. Are there times when you need two or more different profiles to set different view preferences? Some services provide more profiles than others, targeting families or those who have access to a single account.

 

Budgeting for Entertainment:

Subscription Costs: Consumption of streaming services mixed with different price carries. Look at the difference in prices per month and take into account whether any yearly packages cost less per month. Maybe consider getting it as part of a package with other services (Internet, phone) for possible discounts. Such platforms may offer a one-month free trial of their services to attract potential users.

 

Device Compatibility:

Stream your content securely: The streaming service should function smoothly on your target devices such as televisions, smartphones, tablets, video game consoles, etc. Enter compatibility with your smart TV model or casting alternative on the web. Another important factor could also be download limits as well as offline viewing options if any are provided.

 

Look Beyond the Library:

Additional Features: Think about all the aspects that can contribute to the visual perception of information. It also could have higher bandwidth capabilities, 4K streaming capability, HDR (High Dynamic Range) for better picture quality, or the ability to stream to multiple devices at once. Features such as the option to download for offline use or blocking options for a kid might be relevant depending on the case.

 

Here are a few bonus Tips from us:

Take Advantage of Free Trials: Almost all the platforms come with free trials to enable users to see what is in store for them and how the application is designed.

Read Reviews and Recommendations: People’s feedback and suggestions also play a significant role because they can reveal the pros and cons of a given platform to potential users.

Don’t Be Afraid to Switch: Subscribing to streaming services does not mean making a vow you will be faithful to a particular platform regardless of its performance. In case you are not satisfied with the full version after the trial period, you have other alternatives.

 

What are the Streamers you should subscribe to?

With such a plethora of streaming services out there, it becomes increasingly unclear how to choose the streaming services that are right for you. Each of them is designed for a completely different audience and may cost even substantially different. Here’s a breakdown of the key types of streamers: 

1. Megaproviders: The Titans of Entertainment

These are the household names of streaming, boasting billions for catalog size, and billions more for commissions on professionally-made content. Consider the modern online streaming giants such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. They are associated with a great number of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and even stand-up comedy shows. It provides users with unique offerings, high-production-value content, and the convenience of being able to watch an entire series all at once. But their benefits are usually accompanied by very high costs.

2. Midlevel Streamers: The Value Players

Affordable Choice: Apart from targeting the low end of the market or top place-based stations, midlevel streamers can provide viewers with a diverse range of content and opt for the more cost-effective options. Streaming services like Apple TV+, Peacock (NBCUniversal), as well as Paramount+ may not be as large as the megaproviders, but they offer good content for reasonable prices. A lot of them concentrate on the first-ever content and work together with accredited studios MVAs and actors. These services could be of many benefits to persons who care about the selection that they get but they cannot afford to purchase the high-end services.

3. Niche Favorites: A Banquet Atmosphere

Niche streamers focus on a particular theme, genre, subject, or any topic that a large mass of people would find interesting to find a strong base of supporters. In its simple language and similar to the thinking of certain Hollywood movies, for horror fans there is Shudder. Those seeking to design their workout routines may gravitate towards Peloton or obé Fitness. Bookworms will appreciate CuriosityStream as a resource for exploring a vast array of documentaries. All of these platforms provide an audience of like-minded enthusiasts who are in search of specific content that resonates with their beliefs. Fees may differ by niche but in general, are cheaper than megaproviders’ ones, and include a more specialized choice.

4. Free Platforms and FAST Channels: Entertainment on A Budget

Free online streaming services and Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV channels allow viewers to watch content in the absence of subscription costs. Services such as Pluto TV, Tubi, and YouTube TV include movies, TV shows, and even their original content with the support of commercial breaks. The choice is not as great as in paid services, but they provide quite a lot of materials for viewing, and some of them even include live TV streams. These options are ideal for the audience that has limited finances or for those who wish to expand their streaming services with free content.

 

The main MVP of streaming devices:

Ever since the rise of streaming services, there is no shortage of options that include the best one you could sign up for. Here’s a breakdown of some major streaming platforms, considering how to choose the right streaming service: 

  1. Netflix: 4.3 out of 5
  2. Hulu: 4.2 out of 5
  3. Disney+: 4.0 out of 5
  4. Amazon Prime Video: 4.0 out of 5
  5. Peacock (NBCUniversal): 3.5 out of 5
  6. Apple TV+: 3.8 out of 5
  7. Paramount+: 4.0 out of 5

1. Netflix: 

Rating: 4.3/5.0

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The pioneer in streaming it has licensed content in addition to original television series such as Stranger Things and The Crown With the increase in subscription prices in the recent past, the service is mid-range. There is a vast choice of movies, which includes ‘must-watch’ films, various types of independent movies, and some of the latest productions.

Affordability: Depend on subscription type (Basic: ~$15.49 per month, Advanced: ~$19.99 per month).

Content Quality: High, exporting roughly 50 percent of their original programming and securing the rights to import international content at a reasonable rate. 

Movie Library: Very diversified, it contains many albums belonging to different genres and released in different years.

2. Disney+:

Rating: 4.0/5.0

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Catering to Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic enthusiasts, Disney+ is a great platform for movies and Top Shelf television episodes, shows like The Mandalorian and WandaVision, Subscription fees are not very steep. The on-demand movie selection is dominated by Disney products, which is not very diverse when it comes to excluding Disney productions.

Affordability: ~$7.99/month (an ads-enabled version will be launched soon).

Content Quality: Very high, with a preference for programs with content that will suit family audiences and with good production standards. 

Movie Library: While good for Disney-owned properties, they are not great for other projects.

3. Hulu: 

 

Rating: 4.2/5.0

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As the streaming service owned by Disney, Hulu provides network series, and original products composed of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Only Murders in the Building” as well as famous films. Pricing is also established depending on whether the customer opts for the ad-supported or ad-free service. Movies available for the viewers are the newest ones, the old well-known masterpieces, and not only the films produced by famous studios or directors.

Affordability: Starts at ~$6.99/month (with ads), ~$12.99/month (ad-free).

Content Quality: Many of them are network Shows, Original Films, and Shows and movies. 

Movie Library: A good variety, with particular emphasis on the new books and hits.

4. Amazon Prime Video: 

Rating: 4.0/5.0

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Amazon’s Prime Video service is also available with the main subscription and has a decent library of original programs, including “The Boys” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” along with other licensed TV shows and films. The selection of movies isn’t as large as some of its competitors, however, the range of genres and movie release dates is fair. The best part is that if you’re an Amazon Prime user, then you get the bonus of affordable prices for those items as well.

Affordability: Available only through an Amazon Prime subscription at ($139 per year approximately).

Content Quality: Some are very different and some originals receive more critical acclaim than others. 

Movie Library: Satisfactory, which could use the variety of genres and time of publication.

5. Peacock (NBCUniversal): 

Rating: 3.5/5

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The basic version of this platform is free but comes with advertisements, whereas the paid version includes a combination of current NBCUniversal shows, originals such as Bel-Air, a dramatized version of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and some films. In the basic version, users have access to only a limited number of Books and Magazines, as well as Ads; in the paid version, there are more options, and Ads are not shown.

Affordability: Free with ads – a paid subscription costs around $4. 99/month (premium).

Content Quality: Mixed, mostly licensed with Some Originals with a Strong Focus on NBCUniversal content. 

Movie Library: Basic platform, more functionality available with the paid version.

6. Apple TV+: 

Rating: 3.8/5.0

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The streaming app is Apple’s most expensive; it includes critically acclaimed original programming such as “Ted Lasso” and “Severance;” it has fewer movies than its rivals. There aren’t any ads, but the subscription fee is relatively high.

Affordability: ~$4. 99/month. 

Content Quality: That’s high, with an emphasis on original films, pronouncedly acclaimed by viewers and critics alike.

Movie Library: Quite a handful, although Apple productions form the bulk of them.

7. Paramount+: 

Rating: 4.0/5.0

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First launched in 2014 some of Paramount+ originals include Star Trek: Discovery, 1883, MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. Accessing movies, there are some titles from Paramount Pictures and movies of different genres are selected. Pricing comes a little below when compared to the upper price range products. 

Affordability: ~$4.99/month (with ads), ~$9.99/month (ad-free).

Content Quality: Diverse with an emphasis on the ex-Metacritic division and some of the original shows. 

Movie Library: Reasonable, leaning more towards Paramount Pictures works and featured genres.

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