There’s no longer an easy answer for single best streaming service as plenty of cord-cutting options are available today. Many services even cater to different specialized demands. We look at a few popular services like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hotstar and Hulu and what they offer in terms of content to help you make an informed decision.
Amazon Prime vs Netflix vs Hulu vs Hotstar
All of these video streaming services accommodate a huge library of content from major studios and networks. Let’s discuss them individually.
- Amazon Prime Video
TV streaming services have continued to grow in recent years at an exponential rate. In fact, more people are now moving on to cord cutting streaming options.
1] Amazon Prime Video
If you’ve subscribed to Amazon Prime video, you can rent or purchase just about any TV show or a movie made available to stream on the platform. In addition to Amazon originals, there’s a vast library with a brilliant selection of handpicked movies from across several genres and languages. It also hosts some of the original shows such as Hanna, Homecoming, The Widow, and more. The two services i.e., Amazon Prime video and Netflix are identical in many ways but differ from each other in terms of access. For example, if you have subscribed to Amazon Prime (access to Amazon Music and premium delivery services) then, you get access to Amazon’s streaming service as a standard.
Coming to its cost, a subscription to Amazon Prime will cost you $10.99 per month. This is just below Netflix’s basic plan. So, if your budget is tight, we recommend you go with Amazon Prime video streaming service.
Netflix, by and large, is viewed as the standard-bearer of streaming. It also currently offers the most high-quality movies of any streaming service, outsmarting its competitors such as Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and even HBO. Like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix supports offline downloads, as well as 4K streaming which is a plus point. However, in comparison to Amazon Prime and Hulu, Netflix proves to be a bit expensive. The Standard tier costs a subscriber around $12.99 per month (up from $10.99) but unlocks HD content and supports streaming up to 2 devices simultaneously.
The top tier plan costs $15.99 (up from $13.99). It gives access to 4K content and you can download it on a variety of devices (from your PC to gaming consoles). So, if you don’t mind paying a bit extra to get ultimate 4K video streaming experience, give Netflix a try! Both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video come with a free 30-day trial, so before you enroll for a monthly subscription, get the best of the free world.
If you are looking for a service that is a few dollars less expensive, Hulu clearly emerges as a worthwhile alternative. It comes in two flavors:
- Standard on-demand streaming service
- Hulu with Live TV
Unfortunately, the latter is limited to the US region. Surprisingly, we found Hulu features a vast array of anime on demand. So, if your child likes watching Naruto, you can go with Hulu as it has a strong selection for kids’ programming. Having said that, the main issue with Hulu is that it makes users to first get past the paywall. As such, if you have selected a series, you have to pay in full first. You cannot cancel your subscription after an episode if you don’t like it! Is this good business?? Maybe not! Some even call it extortion.
Plus, if you’re used to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, the sight of ad breaks every now and then during a TV show can kill your interest. Sadly, such intermittent breaks occur during the same times as they would on broadcast TV, and typically last between 90 and 120 seconds each.
Fortunately, for films, you see a pre-roll of commercials instead of interruptions – but you can’t escape the horror of it. Pricing of Hulu appears competitive and this is where Hulu gets an upper hand over its competitors. Hulu Commercial-free plan costs around $11.99 per month. Also, the user interface of Netflix and Hulu is simple which makes it easier for their users to navigate through the vast forest of online streaming content by organizing it into multiple categories. Amazon Prime video, on the other hand, has a more scattered interface.
The competition to Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu from the regional king of the streaming scene – Hotstar cannot go unnoticed. The streaming service altogether takes a different approach by distributing TV shows based on the channels (remember the popular HBO show series of Game of Thrones, and Star World for How I Met Your Mother). Also, it follows a cable TV streaming style of delivering content. So, you get more channels and thus additional packages of shows.
Best Streaming Services for streaming online content
Final words – If you are left to make a choice between Netflix and Amazon Prime video, remember one thing – Although, Amazon Prime Video outnumbers Netflix in sheer quantity, Netflix is the best bet in terms of ease of use and viewing experience.
What has been your experience?