What Is the Best Streaming Service? An Analysis of Netflix,…


In the wake of Netflix increasing its monthly subscription prices and Hulu responding by lowering the cost of its standard plan, viewers might soon find themselves wondering which streaming service is truly worth their hard-earned money. In the age of cord cutting, which service makes sense for what people really want to watch? Is it Netflix and its growing library of compelling Originals? Is it Hulu, which offers a live TV option? Or is it Amazon, which has made a name for itself thanks to its award-winning prestige programming?

In an honest attempt to determine which service truly is best, we’ve compared Netflix, Hulu and Amazon head-to-head in 14 categories that cover everything from current programming and access to popular movies to the number of premium add-ons available and the ease of navigating each interface. Which service came out on top? Keep reading to find out.

Breadth of Library

 <p><em>Queer Eye, Marvel's Runaways, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel</em> </p> <p>

Queer Eye, Marvel’s Runaways, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

ORIGINALS

Netflix: It has been six years since Netflix debuted its first original series, the recently concluded political drama House of Cards. Since then the streaming giant has grown considerably, becoming a global enterprise producing so many original TV shows and films that it’s near impossible to keep track of them all, let alone watch each one. (And trust us, we’re trying.) That’s why it’s incredibly important to note that Netflix’s content strategy doesn’t just involve producing more original programs than anyone else, but producing a wide variety of content as well. Netflix is all about niche audiences, which means not every show it produces is or has to be for everyone. Netflix is successful for a number of reasons, but one of them is because it quite literally has something for every demographic. So even though Netflix’s catalogue of older, licensed shows has shrunk as a result of its pivot to original content (see below), it’s also giving us so much more in return.
Score: 10

Hulu: Hulu’s actually been pumping out original content longer than Netflix — its first scripted series, the mockumentary-style comedy Battleground, debuted a year before Frank Underwood walked into our lives and killed a dog. But Hulu’s original library is still much smaller, and unfortunately, it’s also mostly forgettable. With the exception of The Handmaid’s Tale, which took home the Emmy for Best Drama in 2017 and earned Elisabeth Moss an Emmy as Best Actress, there aren’t many Hulu originals worth writing home about. Sure, Marvel’s Runaways was a fun, teen-oriented addition to its line-up, and yes, Difficult People was a seriously underrated gem, but does anyone remember Shut Eye? Chance? Anything about The Path other than it starred Aaron Paul? Didn’t think so.
Score: 6

Amazon: Amazon originals have lagged behind Netflix and Hulu in terms of the average TV viewer’s awareness of them, but the company’s persistence is finally starting to pay off. The commercial success of the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning comedy series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a good sign for the streaming service, which was previously best known for being the home of Transparent, an award-winning series that ended in controversy after five seasons following sexual harassment allegations against star Jeffrey Tambor, who was fired from the show before its last season. ( Tambor denied the allegations.) But it’s also important to note that even if Amazon originals haven’t been as popular as those that hail from Netflix or Hulu, it’s often producing quality original series. Patriot is a great if sometimes confusing drama; Tig Notaro’s One Mississippi is a sorely missed comedy; and Bosch has been renewed through Season 6. Amazon is performing well in terms of its originals, it’s just a little difficult to see it sometimes.
Score: 7

Jump to: Originals, Throwback Shows, Current TV, Reality Shows, International Shows, Movies, Children’s Shows, Alternative Programming, Prestige Programming, Interface, Algorithm, Premium Add-Ons, Portability, Cost

THROWBACK SHOWS

Netflix: Watching your old favorite shows from yesteryear originally meant subscribing to Netflix’s DVD service, which was really cool in 2006 but unfortunately involved a lot of waiting, since you had to mail the DVDs back before receiving the next ones in your queue. Once the ability to stream came to the platform, binge-watching was taken to a whole new level; viewers could enjoy hours of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer instantly by simply pushing a button on a remote! However, once Netflix introduced original content into its business model in 2013, the size of its extensive library inevitably started to shrink. It costs a lot of money to produce hours of original TV shows and movies every year, so the catalogue of older shows Netflix has licensed is dwindling until one day, it seems, there won’t be a single piece of non-Netflix content on the service (except The Office and Friends, of course).
Score: 2

Hulu: Netflix’s loss is Hulu’s gain. The streaming service’s catalogue is currently bursting at the seams with all your favorite throwback shows, and there’s a wide variety to choose from too, which means there is something for every member of your family. In 2019, you can watch everything from Hill Street Blues and The Golden Girls to Smallville and Living Single on Hulu. And the library is still growing. Last year, for instance, ER and Everwood made their streaming debuts on Hulu after years of fans wondering what the hold up was, and the service has also scored Buffy, The X-Files, Dawson’s Creek and Friday Night Lights. So if you’re looking to relive the glory of some of your favorite shows — and who doesn’t want to be comforted by something they know they love every once in a while? — Hulu is the place to be.
Score: 10

Amazon: Amazon can boast that it’s home to recent fan-favorite shows like Pushing Daisies, Hannibal, Chuck, Teen Wolf and Psych, but its library of older programming isn’t terribly deep. You’ll be able to find some of the greats, like Cheers, on its service, but if the show aired prior to the early 2000s, you’re better off checking Hulu first.
Score: 4

Jump to: Originals, Throwback Shows, Current TV, Reality Shows, International Shows, Movies, Children’s Shows, Alternative Programming, Prestige Programming, Interface, Algorithm, Premium Add-Ons, Portability, Cost

CURRENT TV

Netflix: Netflix is pretty great at snagging the streaming rights to some of the biggest current shows, such as Riverdale, Grey’s Anatomy and The Walking Dead. However, U.S. fans have to wait months sometimes before the latest season becomes available. But because of the ubiquity of Netflix, it often feels as though you don’t miss out on the cultural conversation surrounding a show if you don’t watch it live. Instead, shows like YOU get a second life when they drop on Netflix as subscribers all wind up watching it at once.
Score: 7

Hulu: While Netflix only offers complete seasons and Amazon offers select current episodes for a price, Hulu’s ability to offer the latest episodes of currently airing shows is what truly sets it apart from the rest of the streaming field. Although it has become more common for viewers to wait for entire seasons to hit the internet before watching a show, there are still some people who prefer not to wait around. So if you happened to miss last night’s black-ish and forgot to DVR it, you can easily catch it on Hulu the next day. Hulu also offers live TV and DVR options, too, so if you really don’t want to wait around, you could even catch these shows the night of right on Hulu.
Score: 10

Amazon: Amazon definitely isn’t the top source for current TV. Most of the biggest shows are available on either Hulu or Netflix, with only a few, such as Mr. Robot, being exclusively available on Amazon. But one great thing about Amazon is that if you’re willing to shell out some cash, you can either purchase season passes or individual episodes of current series, which will become available to stream the day after they air.
Score: 4

Jump to: Originals, Throwback Shows, Current TV, Reality Shows, International Shows, Movies, Children’s Shows, Alternative Programming, Prestige Programming, Interface, Algorithm, Premium Add-Ons, Portability, Cost

REALITY SHOWS

Netflix: Although Netflix doesn’t have many of the biggest reality shows from linear networks, it has an impressive lineup of original reality series, international hits and underappreciated gems. The Great British Baking Show became an American hit due almost entirely to it being available on Netflix and Japan’s Terrace House has developed a cult following since it became a Netflix co-production. Nailed It!, Queer Eye and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo have all helped remind people that reality shows can still be feel-good, and we haven’t begun to dive into all the other home shows (Grand Designs, Stay Here), food shows (Chef’s Table; Salt Fat Acid Heat), dating shows (Back with the Ex) and pretty much every other type of reality show you can imagine that’s available on Netflix.
Score: 8

Hulu: Reality shows aren’t for everyone, but if you’re a fan of the trendiest and the trashiest, you really can’t do better than Hulu. Not only does it have old seasons of Real Housewives, Vanderpump Rules, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, 90 Day Fiancé and Jersey Shore, but Hulu also has Shark Tank, Guy’s Grocery Games, Beat Bobby Flay, Fixer Upper and the U.K. sensation Love Island. You can also catch recent episodes of The Bachelor and The Masked Singer, along with all the best clips from The Voice and America’s Got Talent neatly broken out for your convenience.
Score: 10

Amazon: While Amazon does offer a selection of reality shows, it doesn’t have a lot, and what it does have doesn’t reflect the genre’s full spectrum. But if you really want to watch Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, Mountain Men or pretty much anything Gordon Ramsay is in, then Amazon is the service for you. And if you still miss the OG Top Gear, you can catch the original team’s new car series The Grand Tour on Amazon. The service also gets a bonus point for having The Simple Life, which really feels out of left field for Amazon’s reality library.
Score: 3

Jump to: Originals, Throwback Shows, Current TV, Reality Shows, International Shows, Movies, Children’s Shows, Alternative Programming, Prestige Programming, Interface, Algorithm, Premium Add-Ons, Portability, Cost

INTERNATIONAL SHOWS

Netflix: If you’re really into international programming or find sitting down with the latest import from across the pond to be an ideal Friday night, a Netflix subscription is a pretty great investment. The service’s package of internationally-produced Originals is growing every day, from Brazil’s 3% and Germany’s Dark to Poland’s 1983 and Spain’s Elite. But Netflix is also currently home to a number of non-original international series too — though you should know they might be couched as Netflix Originals because Netflix holds the U.S. streaming rights. This is the case for shows like The Fall (U.K.), Bordertown (Finland) and Babylon Berlin (Germany), for instance. And, of course, there are still more international treasures that find their way to Netflix in the U.S. but get buried because Netflix’s algorithm pushes original content before all else.

Still, for the richness and depth of Netflix’s international library, there are some minor issues. For instance, Netflix’s method of dropping entire seasons at once means that fans of international shows often have to wait months for programs to reach the U.S. after they’ve aired overseas. This isn’t at all strange for the rest of the world, which often watches American programming on a delay, but for impatient Americans who want everything immediately (you know it’s true), it can be annoying.
Score: 9

Hulu: Hulu’s international library isn’t as deep as Netflix or Amazon’s when it comes to traditional dramas or comedies, but anime fans will be in heaven once they start scrolling through options. You can revisit old seasons of Ranma 1/2, Sailor Moon or Naruto, dive into Attack on Titan or Cowboy Bebop, and even catch recent episodes of Boruto. The service also offers up a number of K-Dramas, including Boys Over Flowers and While You Were Sleeping. And if you go digging through the comedy and drama options, you’re likely to find some gems, like the original version of The Bridge, two seasons of the Swedish version of Wallander, and the British sci-fi series Misfits. They also offer the Australian drama Dance Academy, which might be important to some people.
Score: 7

Amazon: Even without adding on a subscription to Acorn TV or BritBox, Amazon is still home to a lot of your favorite British programs. You’ll find everything from Doctor Who and Merlin to the shows that air(ed) linearly on PBS, including Downton Abbey, Poldark and Grantchester. Beyond the British Isles, though, Amazon holds the rights to some great foreign language programs, like the Icelandic crime drama Trapped. However, it’s not always easy to find these shows because of the service’s unhelpful interface and algorithm (see below). You often have to know exactly what you’re looking for, and that’s not really how people watch TV, especially when it comes to international programming they might not be familiar with. Of course, one of the upsides to Amazon is that if the show (or movie) in question isn’t included with a Prime membership, viewers might still be able to buy it from Amazon.
Score: 6

Jump to: Originals, Throwback Shows, Current TV, Reality Shows, International Shows, Movies, Children’s Shows, Alternative Programming, Prestige Programming, Interface, Algorithm, Premium Add-Ons, Portability, Cost

MOVIES

Netflix: Some cinephiles might say that the quality of Netflix’s movie library has declined a bit over the years as the money that previously went toward purchasing streaming rights was funneled into producing Netflix Originals. And they’re right. But until Disney pulls all of its content from Netflix in preparation for launching its own streaming service later this year, Netflix will still be the streaming home for a number of popular Disney-owned films, including Avengers: Infinity War and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Even so, Netflix still has a nice variety of non-Disney movies to choose from, whether you want an international thriller, a sci-fi adventure, an Oscar-winning film or a feel-good romantic comedy. And that doesn’t even cover the service’s growing library of original films, which includes the popular romantic comedies Set It Up and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, as well as the more recent film Bird Box.
Score: 8

Hulu: As Hulu grows, so too does its movie library. But it’s difficult to see what is available all at once since Hulu divides the movie page into categories — popular movies, cult films, family-friendly fare, Westerns, etc. — and for some reason doesn’t appear to offer an option to see them all on the same page. Still, the selection is decent. It’s not great, but it’s definitely more than acceptable. Basically, Hulu has some great films, but the movie library still isn’t as deep or as complete as it needs to be to compete with the other streaming services. Sometimes that is unavoidable, but it’s easy to see how someone might be a bit frustrated with Hulu when, say, they want to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy only to realize Hulu has The Two Towers and Return of the King but not The Fellowship of the Ring.
Score: 6

Amazon: You may be surprised to know that Amazon’s movie library is rather deep. And we aren’t talking about the movies you have to rent or buy, though that is a nice perk about the merchant site that is Amazon; no, we’re talking about what’s included with an Amazon Prime subscription. There are great ’90s classics, a lot of great romantic comedies, tons of older films and a bunch of recent blockbusters. It might not always be easy to find the movies in Amazon’s less-than-great interface (see below), but they’re definitely there and included with a Prime membership.
Score: 8

Jump to: Originals, Throwback Shows, Current TV, Reality Shows, International Shows, Movies, Children’s Shows, Alternative Programming, Prestige Programming, Interface, Algorithm, Premium Add-Ons, Portability, Cost

CHILDREN’S SHOWS

Netflix: Netflix definitely has some of the hottest children’s programming around, such as Puffin Rock, Sofia the First and My Little Pony, not to mention great educational series like Blue Planet and Planet Earth. For those with small toddlers or even babies, it also has a few clutch options, like Little Baby Bum and Mother Goose Club. Plus, it pumps out tons of awesome original programming too. And even with the impending Disney streaming service, Netflix still has a good amount of Disney movies (for now). On top of that, it gets Pixar movies, even if only for a short window of time. When it comes to shows, though, the download feature, unfortunately, isn’t available on many of the service’s most popular children’s programming, which can be incredibly inconvenient. But the ability to select the kids’ view is a fantastic feature that you can’t get anywhere else.
Score: 9

Hulu: There’s a solid selection available for older kids (We Bare Bears, Gravity Falls), adults who are kids at heart (Adventure Time) or adults who are looking for a dose of nostalgia (Rugrats, Doug, Sailor Moon), but Hulu doesn’t offer as much for the preschool set or nearly as much original children’s programming. There are a few things worth watching for the littlest little ones, like Sesame Street and Color Crew, and tweens will be happy to see live-action Disney shows like K.C. Undercover and Austin & Ally. However, unless you’re paying for the ad-free experience, you can expect young viewers to have intermittent freakouts whenever their show disappears in order for some adult to try and sell them stuff.
Score:
5

Amazon: What Amazon lacks in other areas, it more than makes up for with children’s programming. There are a ton of high-quality options, including Amazon Originals (Team Umizoomi, Creative Galaxy) as well as a huge selection of PBS Kids shows (Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Reading Rainbow). It is also the only streaming service to offer SpongeBob SquarePants, which is a pretty big deal. Plus, it has added some YouTube videos as series so you can watch your kids’ favorite nursery rhymes without having to suffer through ads. But while it does have some popular Nickelodeon shows, you often have to purchase later seasons, which can result in a dent in your bank account or having to see the same 12 episodes again and again until you’re nearly driven insane. However, Amazon does allow you to download episodes, which is a massive plus for flights or long car rides.

Score: 8

Jump to: Originals, Throwback Shows, Current TV, Reality Shows, International Shows, Movies, Children’s Shows, Alternative Programming, Prestige Programming, Interface, Algorithm, Premium Add-Ons, Portability, Cost

ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMMING

Netflix: When it comes to alternative programming, Netflix offers quite a lot. Most people are already familiar with the streamer’s large selection of popular stand-up specials, including Ellen DeGeneres’ first special since 2003, but Netflix’s library of alternative series reaches well beyond the mic. It also features everything from variety/talk shows (Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, The Break With Michelle Wolf) and must-see true crime series (Making a Murderer) to fascinating docuseries, both original (Dogs) and licensed (Blue Planet II, The Vietnam War). Hell, if you love game shows, Netflix also features a nice selection of past Jeopardy episodes.
Score: 8

Hulu: Hulu also has a selection of past Jeopardy episodes, some stand-up specials, and a respectable selection of documentaries and docuseries, both original (Batman & Bill) and licensed. But what Hulu has that Netflix doesn’t is access to current alternative programming. That means TV fans can watch recent episodes of game shows (Ellen’s Game of Games) and their favorite late night programs, like Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Score: 6

Amazon: An Amazon subscription opens viewers up to a range of exercise programs, news programs (PBS’s Frontline), and interesting documentaries and docuseries (The New Yorker Presents). It’s also a solid investment if you’re into more science-based, informational programs (How the Universe Works) or the types of shows you’d normally find on History. But even though the streaming service offers up old seasons of game shows, it still lags behind both Netflix and Hulu in terms of stand-up specials and late night. However, Amazon is breaking into the stand-up game, having recently announced that Jim Gaffigan’s Quality Time will be its first stand-up comedy special.
Score: 6

Jump to: Originals, Throwback Shows, Current TV, Reality Shows, International Shows, Movies, Children’s Shows, Alternative Programming, Prestige Programming, Interface, Algorithm, Premium Add-Ons, Portability, Cost

PRESTIGE PROGRAMMING

Netflix: Netflix made history in 2013 by becoming the first streaming service to receive Emmy nominations and also become the first to win (although no Netflix Original has won Best Comedy or Best Drama at the Emmys to this day). Since then, the service has continued to be a player in awards season, winning Golden Globes and recently scoring its first Academy Award Best Picture nomination. With Roma‘s 10 nominations this year, Netflix officially cemented itself as not only a place for prestige TV but also a major player in film too.
Score: 7

Hulu: While Netflix may have the honor of being the first streaming service to win an Emmy, it was Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale that made history as the first to win the coveted Best Drama award. However, outside The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu hasn’t really positioned itself as a go-to place for prestigious, awards-friendly content. It has scored a few Globe and Emmy noms and wins for other shows and films, but it’s definitely the last service you think of when you think of major awards contenders.
Score: 3

Amazon: While each service has their own awards season claim to fame, Amazon gets to brag that it was the first streaming service to score a Best Picture nod, for Manchester by the Sea in 2017. It has produced a few other critical darlings for film since then, although never to the same success, and have done quite well when it comes to prestige comedies, including Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which seems to be both a Globes and Emmys favorite.
Score: 9

User Experience

Jump to: Originals, Throwback Shows, Current TV, Reality Shows, International Shows, Movies, Children’s Shows, Alternative Programming, Prestige Programming, Interface, Algorithm, Premium Add-Ons, Portability, Cost

INTERFACE

Netflix: Netflix has been perfecting its interface for years, so it should come as no surprise that it’s pretty easy to navigate. The left-hand sidebar that features a menu with options to search, select between TV shows, movies, and My List is a great update to the interface and makes the user experience that much easier. Browsing is also a breeze because you just have to scroll down through personalized categories without having to navigate away from the main screen. The recommendations that are chosen by the service’s advanced algorithm also make sense based on past viewing habits, so you know why categories or shows are popping up. The font is even easy to read against the black background! Some people might not enjoy the trailers that start playing when you sign in or if you settle too long on a program while browsing, but there certainly are worse things. And even though it’s possible to lose an hour looking for something interesting to watch on Netflix, it’s not because the interface is inefficient, it’s because there are so many possibilities.
Score: 8

Hulu: Hulu’s interface is bright and clean and colorful, which might sound like a strange thing to find important in an interface, but when compared to Netflix’s darker black and red scheme or Amazon’s dark blue, the bright colors that greet you when you sign in to Hulu are inviting and cheerful. The show titles are also large enough as you scroll down that you don’t have to squint to read them. However, the menu across the top that allows users to navigate between different categories aren’t great or terribly specialized. And when you click into them, you don’t know if you’re going to find an easy-to-navigate alphabetical selection of TV shows and movies or a list that has seemingly been randomized by an invisible hand. The ability to browse by network is a great feature, but if you want to see those shows listed from A-Z and not just a selection that has been selected “for you,” it’s always the last option available. But although Hulu needs some work in terms of its navigation, it wins points for having an interface with the ability to switch to night mode, which helpfully eliminates the harsh brightness of your screen when the lights are low.
Score: 6

Amazon: Amazon’s interface seems to have been modeled on Netflix’s, but you know how when you make a copy of a copy, it’s not as sharp as the original? That’s what Amazon is. When you sign in, there are a number of categories that feature shows and movies displayed in rows, but the font isn’t as easy to read as Netflix. It feels too squished. You also don’t know why the shows or movies are being recommended to you. They’re just “recommended.” The best and easiest way to find something to watch on Amazon is already knowing what you want to watch and searching for it. There’s almost no reason to browse the interface.
Score: 3

Jump to: Originals, Throwback Shows, Current TV, Reality Shows, International Shows, Movies, Children’s Shows, Alternative Programming, Prestige Programming, Interface, Algorithm, Premium Add-Ons, Portability, Cost

ALGORITHM

Netflix: For a company that puts such stress on its algorithm, it still has a long way to go to fully live up to the hype. It’s helpful that Netflix automatically categorizes shows into super specific sub-genres, but the spotlighted lists on the home screen only scratch the surface of what’s available and don’t give you an option to see more titles under that category. Plus, these days the algorithm mainly feels like a way to self-promote more Netflix content and new releases rather than actually surfacing what’s most relevant to your particular interests. However, it does learn and adapt based on what you’ve binged, delivering a clearly curated experience.
Score: 7

Hulu: When you arrive on Hulu, you’re greeted mainly with its new releases and the most popular series available, and every time Hulu autoplays something like South Park after The Good Place, we have to question whether the company is even trying. However, the genre lists spotlighted on the homepage are actually decent ways to find new content to watch (especially the A-Z view), but nothing feels as personalized as it could or should be.
Score: 5

Amazon: You don’t often hear of people discovering (non-Amazon original) shows through the service directly because Amazon doesn’t have an algorithm in the same way as Hulu and Netflix. Sure, it has “Because You Watched,” but the recs don’t feel that customized to your viewing habits at all.
Score: 1

Jump to: Originals, Throwback Shows, Current TV, Reality Shows, International Shows, Movies, Children’s Shows, Alternative Programming, Prestige Programming, Interface, Algorithm, Premium Add-Ons, Portability, Cost

PREMIUM ADD-ONS

Netflix: If you’re still into DVDs for some reason, you can choose from one of Netflix’s three (!!!) DVD plans available. Three!
Score: 1

Hulu: Hulu offers Cinemax, HBO, Showtime, Starz and even Spotify add-on options. The cable add-ons are the same price as if you subscribed to them directly, so this just means you can watch Game of Thrones and The Handmaid’s Tale in one convenient place. Meanwhile, the Spotify-Hulu combo (which you have to sign up for through Spotify) will actually save you a few bucks, which is great news for those who love to stream music and TV.
Score: 8

Amazon: Amazon offers a ridiculous amount of add-on channels, including HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, CBS All Access and Shudder. Fans of international television will also be thrilled at the convenience of subscribing to channels like Britbox, Acorn and MHz through Amazon as well. When it comes to the ability to customize content — for a price, of course — there really isn’t a rival to Amazon.
Score: 10

Jump to: Originals, Throwback Shows, Current TV, Reality Shows, International Shows, Movies, Children’s Shows, Alternative Programming, Prestige Programming, Interface, Algorithm, Premium Add-Ons, Portability, Cost

PORTABILITY

Netflix: The ability to download episodes of your favorite shows from Netflix’s library gives it major points for portability. Although it can be a bit frustrating when the show you want isn’t available for download — not every show on the service is — a number of popular shows and Netflix Originals definitely are. And when you spend a lot of time flying or commuting, being able to download an episode and watch it anywhere is a godsend. The app is also pretty easy to navigate and operate in general.
Score: 8

Hulu: The Hulu mobile app is similar to the apps for whatever devices you use at home. But one of the great things about the Hulu app is that it offers users the ability to watch live TV on the go. Sure, you need to be subscribed to Hulu’s live TV option in order to use the feature, but it’s something that isn’t available on the other apps. Of course, as with any app, there are bound to be bugs and issues, and if you have the version of Hulu that includes commercials, it can be frustrating when those bugs affect the rewind/fast-forward functions. There are worse issues to have though.
Score: 7

Amazon: In addition to streaming everything available on Amazon Prime, Amazon’s phone and tablet apps also allow subscribers to download full episodes and movies, which means you can watch your favorite shows and films anywhere, anytime. The app also includes the X-Ray feature, which allows you to access IMDb information specifically related to the video you’re watching, which is great if you are someone who wants to show off at bar trivia or, you know, just likes learning new things about the programs you’re watching. And of course, if you’re in the U.S., the app also gives you access to the shows or movies you’ve purchased or rented, and even offers the ability to download them for offline viewing.
Score: 8

Jump to: Originals, Throwback Shows, Current TV, Reality Shows, International Shows, Movies, Children’s Shows, Alternative Programming, Prestige Programming, Interface, Algorithm, Premium Add-Ons, Portability, Cost

COST

Netflix: $8.99/month for the basic plan, $12.99/month for the standard plan (which includes two HD streams) or $15.99/month for the premium plan (which includes four Ultra HD streams and download capability). Netflix’s output of content is overwhelming and even though it’s dwindling, the library of historic shows is also still quite sizable, so this is a really fair price for everything that’s included.
Score: 8

Hulu: $5.99/month for a basic subscription, $11.99/month for an ad-free subscription or $44.99/month for Hulu with Live TV. Honestly, if you want to cut the cord but don’t completely want to give up access to live television (especially if you’re a sports fan), there really isn’t a more affordable option. And with the $9.99 bundle deals, you also have the option of adding on an enhanced cloud DVR and/or unlimited screens. Also, Hulu’s recent price drop makes it the cheapest option for a major streaming service on the market.
Score: 9

Amazon: $119/year for an annual Prime membership or $59/year for an annual Prime Student membership. Alternatively, $12.99/month for a monthly Prime membership or $6.49/month for a monthly Prime student membership. Seeing as this subscription fee not only includes access to Prime Video but all the other benefits of a Prime membership (including free one-day shipping in select areas and early access to Lightning Deals), it’s actually quite reasonable if you’re a big online shopper. Offering a student discount is also a fantastic bonus for young viewers, too.
Score: 7

Which streaming service is best?


NETFLIX

With a total of 100 points out of a possible 140 (based on our metrics), the most popular streaming service is also, statistically, the best streaming service. Thanks in part to its staggering output of original content, ever-expanding international library and great selection of children’s programming, Netflix has proven that it’s the leader of the streaming revolution for a reason. Although, based on these numbers, this might not be the case for long…

HULU

Only two points shy of Netflix’s winning score, Hulu‘s 98 points is a reminder that the service deserves a lot more credit that it often gets. The best place to catch both older shows and current series, Hulu could have easily overtaken Netflix if they had managed to produce more than one prestige hit over the past seven years.

AMAZON

Honestly, Amazon fared better than we expected. With 84 points, it wasn’t really in the running for the top spot, but there is no better service when it comes to premium add-ons or producing actual contenders for awards season. So if you’re an awards junkie or a rabid online shopper with a serious binge-watching habit, you can’t go wrong with an Amazon Prime subscription.

Zoomd Trends

admin

leave a comment

Create Account



Log In Your Account