Battle of the Streaming Services


Zaynab Rehman

So many streaming services to choose from, but only one will reign supreme.

There was a time when Netflix had Friends, The Office, and The Clone Wars. Throw in a few blockbuster franchises like The Matrix and Indiana Jones, and it became harder to argue that Netflix wasn’t the best streaming service. A couple years down the line, new services like HBO Max, Peacock, and Disney Plus claimed the shows they produced from Netflix, weakening its monopoly. Add Hulu, Paramount Plus, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV+ to the mix, and it is even harder to decide which service, or bundle of services, will fit one’s needs accordingly.

Each streaming service has its own unique quality (Netflix’s Emmys, Disney Plus’ Star Wars and Marvel content, Peacock’s free plan, etc.) that may appeal to an individual. Aside from the special features, services differ in the ratio of movies to shows. While services like HBO Max and Amazon Prime have 5 or 6 movies for every show, Hulu trends in the opposite direction with .6 movies for every show. Netflix has the best balance with a 2 to 1 movie to show ratio. 

Platforms like Hulu and HBO Max both have paid ad-supported plans and premium plans, free of advertisements. While streaming services such as Netflix and Disney Plus offer one ad-free plan, the premium plans for Hulu and HBO Max are more expensive. On the other hand, Peacock has branched out by offering a free plan with limited access and ads, a premium plan with ads, and a premium plan without ads. Other companies give consumers a taste of their product as part of other transactions. For example, Apple implemented a policy that allows a user to receive a free trial for Apple TV Plus by purchasing their products.

Barring nostalgia and specific cinematic interests, Netflix still remains the premier option when it comes to streaming entertainment. Although it may not have the most titles, it has produced high-quality original content, like The Crown or Don’t Look Up. Every week, Netflix brings in loads of new titles for subscribers to enjoy, preventing the issue of stagnant content.  Netflix boasts impressive amounts of foreign films as well, making it the most well-rounded streaming service. There are cheaper services available, but they are either ad-supported or possess less versatile libraries than Netflix. 

Despite the increasing competition in the streaming service industry, Netflix continues to stand out as the top option. Perhaps it will be dethroned by another superpower in the upcoming years. Until then, Netflix remains supreme.