Streaming movies and TV shows from the internet has caught on fast. There’s no shortage of content to stream these days, and there are tons of different services out there vying for your attention. But with so many services out there offering up am ever-evolving slew of programming, how do you know which one to subscribe to?
This article is intended to be a concise comparison of some of the top streaming services available. Below, you’ll find them stacked against each other and compared in the areas of content selection
Netflix doesn’t specify the number of movies and shows available in their library beyond just saying that it numbers in the thousands, which is vague, but nonetheless accurate. Netflix has the most robust content library of any streaming service out there. The selection leans more toward feature-length movies, but its collection of TV shows is constantly growing and improving. Netflix even offers its own highly successful TV shows, including Orange Is the New Black, and House of Cards. 2015 promises even more from Netflix, with successful productions of Bloodline and Daredevil.
Amazon Prime Instant Video
Amazon’s streaming site started off as a pay-per-view service, but as it gained traction, it expanded to include subscription-based on-demand video streaming to Amazon Prime subscribers. The library used to be small in comparison to that of Netflix, but recently Amazon has been using its industry clout to sign partnerships with companies like Epix and Warner Bros. The content library has ballooned as a result and includes Amazon Studio exclusives like Alpha House and Transparent.
Hulu has a modest selection of movies, but no other streaming service can hold a candle to its library of TV shows. Netflix and Amazon tend to get TV shows after the season ends, or after they’ve gone off the air completely – but Hulu, in addition to having a long list of older shows and programs, posts new episodes of shows currently playing on cable just days (and sometimes hours) after they air. The only downside is that even though you pay for Hulu Plus, you’ll still be forced to sit through ads.
Originally for cord-cutters looking to gain access to ESPN without paying a cable subscription, Sling now has over 200 channels in 18 languages and is continually adding more. ESPN alone might be enough for sport fans to ditch their cable subscription. You can upgrade your subscription to include HBO Live to stream Game of Thrones.
YouTube hosts just about everything that isn’t porn. You can find everything on here from small children pondering existentialism while loopy on nitrous oxide, to Joe Rogan’s reaction to two women eating each other’s excrement out of a cup. Sure, there’s a lot of junk and downright weird stuff on here, but the site also boasts a healthy library of both free and pay-per-view movies.
Google Play has a good selection of new releases. They’re also pretty good with current TV shows. Their on-demand format is similar to Vudu or iTunes, and at this point, Google Play is a great supplement to sites like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.
iTunes has a solid collection of both movies and TV shows. You’ll find a good number of new releases in the store as well as a sizable library of older flicks and series that are no longer on the air.
Vudu has content comparable to what you’ll find on the YouTube or iTunes video marketplace. It’s a hodgepodge of movies and TV shows, but overall the content veers toward more feature-length movies. Walmart does a good job of offering new releases at around the same time that they come out on DVD. Vudu will also host any Ultra Violet digital copies that may be available with the movies you buy with a free digital locker service.
The Internet has made the world a much smaller place, and the fact that you can stream Bollywood movies and TV shows right to your computer anywhere in the world proves it. There’s a limited amount of content available to watch on Spuul for free with ads. However, you’ll get access to the full catalog without ads
Do you prefer your TV shows to come with a fancy accent? Then Acorn TV, a streaming service devoted entirely to British dramas, comedies, mysteries and documentaries, is for you. You won’t find more well-known British TV shows like Doctor Who and Downton Abbey on here, but there’s plenty for you to discover so you can call yourself a true British TV buff, such as Upstairs Downstairs, Midsomer Murders and Peep Show.