Since its introduction in 2007, slang such as "binge-worthy" and "Netflastinate" (procrastinating by watching Netflix) is also reshaping how we talk and think about our viewing process.
Internet speeds have also made advancements over the last decade, so words like "buffering" are irrelevant to many on-demand consumers.
Fast-forwarding to present day, Netflix is far from the only available video streaming service. It faces serious competition from long-time rivals (Hulu), online giants (Amazon Prime Video), newcomers (Disney+), and other Netflix alternatives. The services that stand out offer platforms that are easy for even a new cord-cutter to use, while more and more streaming companies are also creating award-winning original content to distinguish themselves from the pack.
Picking an on-demand streaming service as your main source of entertainment is one of the least expensive options available. Monthly prices start as low as $5 a month, and some services still offer free content. In comparison, most Live TV Streaming Services can charge around $55 or more, and cable TV service can easily top $200 when you include monthly fees. We evaluated many of the most popular services to come up with our unbiased rating of the Best On-Demand Streaming Services of 2020. Read on to find out how they compare and decide which one is right for you.
The Best Streaming Services:
The Best Streaming Services in 2020
Cutting cables in droves seems to be very popular nowadays and a lot of companies are putting out their online streaming options to compete. Marathon watching TV is the new most popular leisure activity with more and more video streaming services emerging on the market each year. In the beginning of the cord cutting era the choice was simple – Netflix.
Today, there are different kinds of both devices and streaming services appealing to different audiences depending on their background – cord-cutters, cord- shavers or even new crop of cord-nevers.
Since it’s not always easy to decide what streaming service suits you best, we’ve compiled a list of the top video streaming deals this week, to help you with your decision making and narrow down your search. Read our blog review below to find your video streaming deal.
Thanks to this online streaming service, we now have entertainment options that don’t require us to show up at a precise, predetermined time, with a parka over our pajamas, to eat overpriced popcorn while we sit next to sniffling strangers. Because of Netflix, we can watch the latest movies, TV shows and creative, original content at 2 a.m. in the comfort of our favorite chair while balancing a beverage, plate of donuts and a cat in our lap. This subscription-based service offers a truly affordable way to enjoy new releases, classic movies and thought-provoking documentaries at prices that will make movie tickets and cable service look like luxury items.
Netflix can be watched on phones, tablets, computers and television sets. Delivered over the Internet, a host of media players accommodate Netflix including Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, Nvidia Shield, Google TV and gaming consoles such as Xbox, Nintendo, PS4 and Wii. If you’ve purchased a newer, smart TV recently, like those made by Vizio, Philips, LG, Samsung or Sharp, Netflix is already on your TV, just waiting for you to enter your Netflix login information.
An Amazon Prime membership comes with plenty of perks, such as free two-day delivery on Amazon orders and access to member-exclusive deals. One of the best parts of Prime membership, though, is access to its on-demand streaming service for no additional cost. If you aren’t a Prime member, you can subscribe to just Prime Video. Read our Amazon Prime video review to find out more.
Amazon Prime Video is Amazon’s video streaming service (you may remember it once being called something like “Amazon Prime Instant Video”). All of the more than 150 million Amazon Prime members around the world get access to a library of ad-free on-demand content, including movies, TV series, and a lineup of Prime original series, all included with a standard Prime membership. If you aren’t a Prime member, you can also buy or rent content from Amazon on a pay-per-title basis, or subscribe to the stand-alone Prime Video membership for access to just the streaming service. The platform also has a handful of ad-supported channels that are free to watch, though you’ll have to sit through periodic commercial breaks throughout your show.
Ranked #2 in Best On-Demand Streaming Services of 2020
Amazon Prime Video has been a favorite in the cord cutting community for a long time. It’s easy to see why, with its expansive content library, low monthly cost, strong feature set, and attractive add-on options. In our rating of the Best On-Demand Streaming Services of 2020, Amazon Prime Video comes in at No. 2.
A large, diverse content offering is Prime Video’s biggest benefit, with classic and current movies, popular TV series, Prime original content, and more filling out an expansive library. The user interface is great for finding content related to your interests, with categories dedicated to networks, genres, and recommendations.
One unique feature of Amazon Prime Video is that its library contains both content included with Prime and content you’ll have to purchase or rent separately. This means it’s easy to find and pay for content not included with your subscription while keeping all your content in one place. However, if you aren’t looking to buy or rent content on a pay-per-title basis, it can get annoying to have all available titles mixed together on one platform.
The user interface has a few tools to help with this. First, it has some categories that contain only those titles included with a Prime subscription. If you’re looking for a no-additional-cost movie night, as one example, you can head to “Movies Included with Prime.” In addition, on the title card for each piece of content, a little Prime logo can be found. When you click into a show or movie’s page, you’ll see a message that says “Watch Now with Amazon Prime.” Some devices also allow you to filter content using “Refine” and “Ways to Watch” so you can remove non-Prime titles from view.
If you want access to popular channels with content not included in your subscription, subscribers can add on channels like Cinemax, PBS, Sundance Now, Starz, and more at additional cost.
Prime Video is ad-free, and you can download most content to watch on the go. Streaming video quality ranges from standard definition to ultra HD and HDR, depending on the content and your device. A small assortment of channels are free with ads, streaming movies and TV shows with commercials.
At $8.99 per month for the stand-alone subscription, Amazon Prime Video has plenty of content and features for an affordable price.
+ MONTHLY FEES: $8.99/mo.
+ MULTIPLE STREAMS: 3 Screens
+ AD-FREE: YES
+ FREE TRIAL: YES
Although Amazon Prime Video can be treated as a stand-alone subscription, for just a few more dollars per month (and less than $1 more per month if you pay annually), you can get access to all the features of Amazon Prime. These include, among other things, free two-day shipping and access to Prime member-only deals. None of its subscriptions are ad-supported, so you won’t need to pay more to avoid sitting through commercials.
While Prime Video has a pretty solid content library in its own right, if you want even more options, you can add on subscriptions to other networks and services at an additional cost. For example, if you want to watch “Outlander,” you can get the Starz add-on for $8.99 per month.
Amazon Prime Video has a 30-day free trial, so you can give it a try before committing to a membership. Like many free trials, you’ll need a credit card on file in order to sign up, so keep track of those 30 days as you decide whether to hang on to the subscription.
Students can get access to a six-month free trial with Prime Student, after which students will be able to subscribe to the full-featured Amazon Prime at a 50% discount.
Amazon Prime Video allows you to stream on up to three devices at a time, so you can set the kids up with “Tumble Leaf” while you watch “Fleabag” and still have a stream left over. For even more simultaneous streams, you can download titles on the Prime Video mobile app and watch using a Fire tablet, an iOS device, or an Android device.