Tackling the Streaming World

Reviewing and comparing the three main competitors

David Bryant

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Tackling the Streaming World

A rising trend in the past five years has Americans favoring streaming services opposed to traditional television. The streaming option holds many advantages, most notably  the relative freedom to watch any show, any time. The three major streaming services are Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, each providing different TV catalogues and unique features for consumers.

 

Netflix:

Netflix is the primary and most popular streaming service. Netflix offers various television shows, including Breaking Bad, Dexter, and Gossip Girl. In addition to hosting network television shows, Netflix produces original content, a major appeal of the streaming service. Netflix provides a clean user interface, with its black and red background dimly illuminating content like a personal movie theater. Besides allowing shows to being divided in a clean category based interface, Netflix compiles recommendations to the viewer based on their unique viewing habits. Netflix offers three differently priced packages  that vary in regards to screen quality and the number of viewers allowed to watch at once. The options consist of the basic $7.99 per month, without HD viewing and only allows one viewer to watch at a time, the standard $10.99 per month, with HD and only allows two viewers at once, and also the premium for $13.99 per month, which offers ultra-HD and allows up to four viewers at once.

 

Hulu

Unlike Netflix, Hulu focuses on providing  popular shows quickly, so viewers can access them conveniently and for TV-binge purposes. Popular shows offered on Hulu include “Dr. Who,” “Modern Family” and “Supernatural.” Although Hulu focuses on network television shows, the company produces  a few  original shows, such as “Harlots,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Mindy Project.” Hulu interface hosts a grid of different shows with rows for recommendations and new releases. Hulu offers two main price options based on number of commercials, both giving users  a free first month trial. The cheaper option is $5.99 per month, with limited commercials, but jumps to $7.99 a month after a year of subscription. The steeper price option is $11.99 per month, eliminating  commercials. For a more untraditional route, Hulu offers T.V. with their shows at the price of $39.99 per month. Hulu is good for penny pinchers and binge watchers wanting to find previous T.V. shows all in one place shortly after release.

 

Amazon Video:

Amazon Video proves somewhat different compared to the more traditional services like Netflix and Hulu, as its main focus is its partnership with Amazon Prime, which gives 2 day shipping to all items purchased through Amazon. Some of the popular shows on Amazon Video include  “Sons of Anarchy,” “Downton Abbey,” and “Sherlock.” Amazon also offers originals, including Transparent, Man in the High Castle and Bosch. Although their original content is less popular, it’s not a knock to their quality. Amazon Video has a nice sleek interface that’s  easy to navigate, which provides  recommendations along with other categories of movies in a clean grid format. Amazon video has one price point, at  $99 per year, which may seem pricey at first glance but ultimately rounds to approximately $8.25 every month. Despite the seemingly  steep price point, Amazon really focuses on pushing the addition of Amazon Prime for its various practical uses, which makes it a good deal. Amazon video is great for viewers who are avid Amazon shoppers, but also want to indulge in a little television.

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