Streaming services have changed the way people consume entertainment. You can owe this to both the advancements in technology and the changing schedules of people. There is no reason to keep a cable guide around anymore. Whether you want to watch a movie or you want to catch your favorite show, you can do all of that at your whim and fancy. Streaming services have become such an important part of our daily lives today that terms like Netflix & Chill, binge watching, and the likes, are becoming a part of our lingo. 2016 is a going to be another successful year in the history of streaming services, as more cable subscribers cut cords and join the ever-growing consumer base. Here are some of the top contenders that will snag you from a cable company.
Everyone knows about YouTube. At least, everyone with an internet connection does. Now, owned by Google, YouTube is a great place to find any and every kind of video content (except for porn). With the increasing popularity of the media, the fame of the content creators on YouTube has also touched new heights. You can find some really cool channels on YouTube on the subject of your choice that post regular content for you to enjoy. There is no libraries for movies or television shows. In other words, it is not a great place for finding traditional television content.
If that is what you are looking for, then you can subscribe to YouTube Red. With this premium service, you can rent or even buy movies starting from less than a dollar to $19.99.
Of course, it is on the top and we all know why. Have you seen a Netflix page? It is so easy to navigate. Have you seen the options there? They are so many that it is almost impossible to make a choice. The movie collection, in particular, is amazing. At $9, this is really a bargain for what is on offer. Apart from its availability on virtually any device you can think of, the Netflix interface is also very intuitive. This makes the navigation really easy. There are a lot of television shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, among others that have premiered on Netflix exclusively. So, with Netflix, you do not only get to watch a variety of content, but high quality original shows as well.
This is another top player in the streaming wars. The service has been around since 2007, and was free to its subscribers in the beginning. Given that Hulu is a product of the combined efforts of Fox, Disney-ABC, and NBC Universal, there is no dearth of content on the platform. However, as the service has expanded its offerings, it has also introduced a premium service called Hulu Plus, with a subscription fee of $7.99.
If you are opting for a streaming service primarily for watching television shows, then Hulu Plus is all you need. There is none better. Though the movie library is nothing to brag about, the extensive collection of TV shows and the speed with which they are updated, makes it a really good choice for TV show fans.
Amazon Prime Instant Video
This is another great platform for movies and TV shows, particularly because of its original and exclusive content. Thanks to the brand Amazon attached to it, Prime Instant Video has reserved its position as one of the top streaming services for the year. It has entered into deals with many content providers and have expanded its library to almost equal Netflix in a relatively short period of time.
Amazon Prime Instant Video is available in both annual and monthly subscription packages. What is important to note is that while the yearly subscription will cost you $99 (or $8.25 per month), the monthly subscription costs a little higher at $10.99 per month. There is a 30-day free subscription for users to test the service as well.
One of the most recent entrants into the world of streaming is Sling TV. Introduced only in 2015, Sling TV offers its viewers a formidable combination. It promises live content streaming, just like a cable connection, with all the flexibility that online streaming offers. Not only this, it also has sports channels in its programming lineup. This is something that no other streaming service has been able to offer to its subscribers.
Sling TV is priced pretty high for a streaming service, with the monthly rental clocking in at $20. But if you look at it as a replacement for cable, then you have a pretty sweet deal where you get 200 channels in 18 languages at one-fourth the price. Moreover, you do not have to get into any kind of contracts or credit checks. There will be no installation charges either.
Since it is a new service, it is not that easy to avail on all devices. In fact, as of now, iOS devices, Xbox One, and a couple of others are the only few that are Sling TV compatible.
This brings us to the most expensive streaming service, offered by another industry giant, Sony. Yes, we are talking about Playstation Vue. This is the closest you can get to enjoying cable-like services without actually signing a contract. There are almost 90 channels that are broadcasted live on Playstation Vue. These include sports, weather, news, and even some local channels.
With Playstation Vue, Sony has also broken into the market for streaming services and consumers will have to shell out quite a lot for the brand. There are three packages on offer that are called Access, Core and Elite. The most basic package, Access, starts at $50. No question, Vue offers great programming options, but the price will definitely be a hurdle in Sony’s attempt to take on this market.
Another important factor to note is the limited access of Sony Playstation Vue. The service is not available nationally yet, and there are only a handful of cities like New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, etc., where people can order the Vue services.