January 23, 2020

Battle of the Streaming Services: Which deserves your money?

 By Madelynn Bland —

It’s official. Cable and satellite subscriptions are becoming outdated and newer ways to access TV are gaining numbers.

There has been a sharp spike in the popularity of video streaming subscriptions, especially for students. Rather than paying about $100 or more a month for TV subscriptions, everyone is jumping ship to streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.

However, there’s much debate surrounding which streaming service is most worth your money. While there are some people who can afford a subscription to all of them, most people have the tough decision of picking a favorite to use. 

“These services reflect our changing media landscape. Streaming services are perfect for students: they have the agency and access to the media they want, often without commercials, that they desire,” Siobham Smith-Jones, a communications professor at the University of Louisville, said.

The Louisville Cardinal recently ran a Twitter poll to see which streaming service was the current star among students. The favorite: Netflix, followed by Disney+ and Hulu.

Netflix

Netflix made it to the top of the list with 66.1 percent of the votes. Despite being one of the first popular streaming services, Netflix has kept fresh content, nostalgic favorites and award-winning hits on its platform.

The popularity of many of the Netflix originals is enough alone to entice some people.

However, as more and more television brands are introducing their own streaming services, shows and movies are being removed. But never fear, Netflix has produced hits such as “Stranger Things” and “House of Cards.” A few even received Oscar nominations for this year’s Academy Awards. According to the New York Times, 24 of their original movies were on the 2020 ballot like “Marriage Story” and “The Irishman.” 

Disney+

Since its launch in November, Disney+ has quickly become a fan favorite especially for students as much of the content is nostalgic.

Besides childhood favorites, fans of the old animation style get to see old classic movies that have been locked away in the infamous Disney vault.

Also on the platform is all of the TV shows like “Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Hannah Montana” and “That’s So Raven” which have been dearly missed by many college-aged kids. Disney+ is the only streaming service offering access to all of the Star Wars and Marvel movies, including spin-offs such as the popular “The Mandalorian,” which is a huge deal-maker for some people.  

Hulu & Prime Video

Hulu and Prime Video are other good options and may be the most cost-efficient for students. Arguably, Hulu has the best deal for college students.

On their website, the video subscription company is partnering with Spotify to allow students to combine Spotify Premium, Hulu and Showtime for just $4.99 a month. With Hulu, you also get access to award-winning Hulu Originals like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Act.”

Prime Video is another good contender, and is included with all Amazon Prime subscriptions. Therefore, if you have access to a Prime subscription, this streaming service comes at no additional cost. Along with titles like Oscar nominated “Lady Bird,” it also offers award-winning originals like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Late Night.”

Both of these streaming services seem to be the best for budget-savvy students because they are combined with additional services. 

Really, the streaming service chosen is down to individual preferences. What may meet the needs of one person might lack in the eyes of another.

The best research would be to take advantage of the free-trials of these services to truly see what would be the best option. However, Smith-Jones advises to be careful with subscribing to too many. “Just a word of caution: those subscriptions services can all add up.”

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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