Top Pick: Hulu | $6/Month After Free 1-Month Trial
People really love their streaming apps. When we asked our readers what their favorites were, we knew we’d get some excellent responses. Sure enough, we saw passionate cases for just about every app for can imagine from Netflix to PBS. One thing that’s immediately clear is that there’s no single best option. Our readers were entirely split. Some would make a case for why something like Netflix shouldn’t make the cut, but someone else would put up a very convincing defense that reminded us why it continues to be such a streaming juggernaut.
On a personal level, I’m torn. I appreciate that Amazon Prime at the very least gives me the option to rent just about any movie, making it invaluable. But HBO Max has the entire Criterion Collection, which is really just pandering to me specifically. Hulu is also handy for watching TV shows, so it really just depends on whether or not I’m in a TV or movie mood. Of course, my real go-to for years was the WWE Network, which is shutting down entirely soon and getting folded into Peacock. So hey, maybe my answer is Peacock!
But enough about me! We’ve put together some of our thoughtful reader responses, which make a strong case for plenty of services. If you’re looking for one app to rule them all, here are some of the ones that should be on your radar.
Hulu | $6/Month After a Free 1-Month Trial
For TV, right now I have to go with Hulu. They get new episodes the fastest, and they have a lot of my “comfort food” shows I can watch any time, like Archer, American Dad, The Venture Brothers, and Futurama. HBO Max is right on its heels, though, since South Park jumped ship and they’ve got all the DC stuff. - Optimus_Mike
I think Hulu is the best because of how versatile it is. You can go on demand only with ads for $6/month or go balls to the wall with Live TV and ad-free on demand for some stupid amount of money I don’t know because I’m not subscribed to that level. If you pay attention around Thanksgiving, you can get the ad supported option for $2/month instead of $6, making it an ideal complement to your other streaming services you’re already subscribed to. - tag007
Amazon Prime Video | $13/month After a Free 1-Month Trial
Why? Because its practically free since you are going to pay for that prime subscription anyways. No, its not the best selection. But its still a pretty huge catalogue and they are constantly adding more, including big budget movies and shows.
If we take money out of consideration it becomes a bit tougher to choose. I think as time goes on Disney and HBO are likely to come out on top. - Been there, done that, didn’t die.
Having had Netflix and Prime, I would say Prime is the better of the two. Netflix adds a lot of content, but not a lot of it is worth watching. And the good stuff that they produce they leave at cliff hangers then kill off with no explanation.
Prime has a decent mix of old and new stuff. The stuff they produce might end the season with unanswered questions, but not on cliff hangers—so if it doesn’t come back, you aren’t left feeling like you wasted your time watching the last few episodes. And when they bring in something they produced overseas, they include an english language translation. Additionally, you get access to free channels like IMDB. You might have to put up with commercials, but there is also some decent content in those channels as well. - Bill
HBO Max | $15/Month
YouTubeTV for live TV. Best channel package for the price. HBO Max for whatever we call that kind of streaming service. Original HBO content has always been excellent and the Max original content is improving. Their library of films and TV series is loaded with good stuff. - xaa922
I’ll reluctantly nominate HBO Max. I don’t love the price or the relative scarcity of higher-format content, but it just has so much content I really want to have.
But we subscribe to all of Amazon, Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu too. For now, at least, that is where I am drawing the line. - BrianTH
Apple TV+ | $5/Month After a Free 7-Day Trial
Any service that has Ted Lasso and For All Mankind (hands down the best shows on TV) gets my vote, but of all the streaming services we use (Hulu, Disney, BritBox, Acorn, CBS) this is the only one I’d really miss if I had to cancel. Add to that the price ($5 normally, but we also use the Apple One bundle), and I really cannot see any competition. - islesfan
Netflix | $9/Month
I’m going with Netflix because I strive to watch new things, and they have so much (and so frequent) original programming that I rarely have issues finding something to watch. Yes, there’s a lot of clutter, but there’s so much good stuff (170 Emmy noms last year alone) that any complaints about “mediocre” or “bad” content is outweighed by the quality content. That’s not even to mention their abundance of foreign films, shows and anime.
Some other services may have a bigger “Hollywood” catalogue and a few originals (you know, if you want to wait a year between seasons of, for example, The Mandalorian) but if, like me, you don’t want to watch the same movies/shows you’ve already seen, but instead want a pretty decent steady release schedule featuring new content, Netflix is where it’s at. It may help me personally since to “binge” a season of something may take several days as I don’t watch TV for 10 hours a day but rather maybe will watch 2-3 episodes at night.
Of course, they do have a habit of canceling things sooner than I’d like (cough Santa Clarita Diet).
I only keep Netflix, Prime, and Hulu. All the others I’ll subscribe, binge and cancel until something new comes out. - EvilMonkey72
I hate to say, but it’s still Netflix. Main reason for me is that they actually pay content creators good money to make original stuff, and the original stuff is actually good. My complaint with Netflix is that they cancel the good stuff way too soon (Mindhunter!), but it’s not enough to push them out of the top spot. - DeWayneV8