With the pandemic in full effect you’re probably spending more time than ever at home. You need an escape. Below is a list of each video-streaming service, what each has to offer, and the respective benefits
(prices below are as of April 2020)
HBO: $14.99 USD per month
This is for the person who aspires to be more than what they currently are in life. It is the Rolex, the Rolls Royce, and the Six Flags Preferred Parking of subscription services.
HBO excels in providing premium movies that just came out of theaters. The shows are legendary, but with Netflix catching up and Amazon Prime putting out less pretentious garbage, the quality of binge-worthy television has become less differentiated across subscription services. So, now HBO really shines when it come full-length feature films.
Verdict: If you don’t like movies, don’t get HBO. It’s that simple.
One of the best parts about HBO is that its retained its reputation of being THE “premium subscription service”. It’s the most expensive, it’s the longest-running, and it used to have HBO boxing.
So, if you pick HBO and you tell your friends what you subscribe to, it’ll best to say, “I have HBO. It’s all I really need.” This will assure them that you know quality when you see it — and you don’t waste time with The Marvel Universe. Hopefully if your friends lack enough confidence, they’ll be saying, “Damn, I need it too.”
Amazon Prime Video: $8.99 USD per month
What we thought would be the Weenie Hut Jr. of subscription services is slowly starting to be worth your time.
Amazon Prime has a lot of earlier seasons for old TV shows. But it’s starting to put out quality such as The Man in the High Castle (which actually got an Emmy for the Title Design, who knew?) and the one with John Krasinski. I don’t know what that show is about but I saw his face on a billboard which has to count for something.
I labeled this service at $8.99 per month because technically you can subscribe to the video service as a standalone from the larger “Prime” subscription. However, Prime costs $12.99 a month, so you’d be a fool to just pick the video option…unless you really love The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Netflix: $12.99 USD per month
In 2016 this was is the Toyota Corolla, the Fitbit, and the Trader Joe’s wine of the streaming world. It was seen as something with enough content and enough quality to be worth your everyone’s money. But it was respected enough were you didn’t feel embarrassed for choosing it over HBO.
However, in 2019 and beyond, Netflix has solidified itself as the cocaine of the streaming industry. You need it. They know you need it. And you’re going to break into your family’s homes to either pay for it or get their password.
There’s good TV, decent movies, and hit-or-miss standup specials. But there’s enough good stuff to make it worth $12.99.
Verdict: Get it.
Disney+: $6.99 USD per month
Outside of The Mandalorian there isn’t a ton of new content. Right now it’s not worth much, but eventually Disney will do what they do and find a way to force you to own it.
Verdict: I recommend subscribing for a month just to watch The Mandalorian. But in 2021 or whenever Disney extends the copyrights on all of their century-old content, they’ll find away to make you need it. Prepare yourselves.
Hulu with Ads: $5.99 per month
I don’t have much experience with Hulu, but I included this section to inform you that you’ve failed yourself if you accept ads for 50% off.
Hulu without Ads: $11.99
I don’t have much experience with Hulu, but I included this to tell you that you have to choose the ad-free option.
ESPN+: $4.99 per month
I actually have no idea what’s in this subscription either. I only have it so I don’t disappoint my father.
Overall verdict: each subscription service each offers its own flavor of entertainment. It just depends on what you’re into. Either way, any of these options is better than cable.
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