By Izzie Thornley
After the last few years, pulling the plug on traditional T.V. services has become extremely common. In order to get the daily dose of needed entertainment, viewers originally turned to the king of streaming: Netflix. As time has progressed, similar streaming companies have begun to pop up and receive attention as well. Hoping to take Netflix’s throne, Hulu and Amazon Prime have both stepped up their games. But, the real question is, which program is superior?
Netflix is the original streaming source, but that isn’t the only “original” thing about it. Scrolling through your recommended feed, you will find an abundance of Netflix original shows to choose from. Netflix seems to excel in its self-made content unlike its competitors. Shows such as “Stranger Things” and “Orange is the New Black” were both nominated for multiple awards, and they are often at the top of the must-watch list. Not only does Netflix come up with its own plotlines, it also reunites fans with their old favorite characters by creating shows like “Fuller House” and “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.” On the downside, despite Netflix’s high ratings amongst consumers, it seems to delete popular shows quite often, leaving users stuck with a cliffhanger until the show magically appears six months after it vanished. Also, Netflix can only be watched on two screens at a time. At a cost of around $10.99 a month, Netflix is a great substitute for cable.
Created shortly after Netflix, Hulu is another alternative streaming source. Hulu contains almost all of the non-original shows that are on Netflix, but it has an extra element that its competitors lack: reality T.V. When ditching cable, two major concerns for many people are making sure they can still watch sports and guilty-pleasure reality shows. Thanks to Hulu, half of these concerns disappear. Having everything from “Toddlers and Tiaras” to “America’s Got Talent” to “Catfish,” Hulu brings a fierce competitive edge. Hulu is perfect for catching up on shows currently airing, too. Unlike Netflix and Prime, Hulu comes out with new ABC programs a day after they air. No other streaming service has a faster turn-around than this, which gives Hulu fanatics the priceless benefit of not having the latest episode of “Bachelorette” spoiled. In spite of its many benefits, one downfall might make up for all the positives: Hulu has commercials. Unfortunately, the only way around this is to pay extra for no ads mid-rose ceremony. Hulu is $7.99 a month (including commercials) and $11.99 a month (without commercials).
In 2011, Amazon launched its prime video company that costs $12.99 per month. Searching for a show on Amazon can be difficult. The feed of available videos includes limited numbers of shows free with Prime and numerous shows that cost extra. Prime is only good for two things: binge-watching every “Twilight” movie in existence while eating three gallons of ice cream and containing your little siblings by playing the oddly mesmerizing “Super Truck” episode. But wait, Amazon does have the award-winning show “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”. If you’re willing to spend roughly $156 a year for one good show, Amazon is your perfect pick. Just keep Amazon Prime simple: use it for free shipping.
Don’t waste your time deciding which streaming source to use; keep it easy. If you’re a reality T.V. junkie, stick with Hulu. If you prefer literally anything else from cheesy teenage romance movies to sci-fi shows, your greatest experience can be found with Netflix. Despite its competition, Netflix continues to reign supreme as the streaming king 11 years after its initial launch in 2007.