Industry’s 5 Best Video Streaming Services
Not long ago, the schedule of favorite dramas, movies and serials was dictated by broadcasters. Today, we have all the provisions to watch our favorite shows on a multitude of devices. This can be attributed to a huge range of video streaming services. With the rise of internet and personal digital assistants such as smartphones and tablets, we are no longer confined to a single room. We can watch our favorite shows anytime and anywhere. That being said, television is here to stay. No doubt, the future of TV is a talking point. But as of today, television is the second screen of the home.
I often keep getting questions such as:
- Should I buy movies through my TV provider?
- Should I stream movies online?
- Should I watch TV on a smartphone or a desktop?
- How much should I pay for TV?
There are no easy answers to the above mentioned questions. Video streaming services industry is an ever-evolving industry. Thanks to the myriad services, answers are subjective and open to interpretation. For instance, if you want only musical content, you need not pay a penny. Vevo streaming service is the best streaming service for musical content. It can be accessed for zilch. If you want only comedy content, you should opt for Funny or Die streaming service. Whether you watch video content on smartphones or desktops is completely left to your discretion.
Here is a brief on the 5 best video streaming services you should know:
Netflix started its journey in 1997 as a DVD subscription service. Known for its rivalry with Blockbuster, Netflix today accounts for as much as 33% of North Americans downstream data. When Blockbuster eventually filed for bankruptcy, Netflix continued its miraculous journey. Today, it outperforms each and every cable and TV network in the United States of America. Another interesting fact about Netflix is that it really cares about improving its system of personalized recommendations to customers. And to ensure minimum discrepancies in the recommendations suggested, Netflix spends nearly $150 million a year.
Netflix has more than 85 million subscribers. This number is bigger than the entire population of Germany. What’s more interesting is the fact that nearly 50 million are from the US and the remaining 35 million subscribers can be attributed to other countries. Netflix continues to be the BIG daddy of all video streaming services. Right from streaming TV show and movies to comedy specials, Netflix streams every genre of content. And yes, Netflix runs on Amazon Web Services. Surprised? A single account in Netflix can have as many as five different profiles. In other words, using your account, all your family members and loved ones can enjoy the performance and quality of videos.
Amazon Prime Instant Video
Amazon Prime Instant Video has the worldly demeanor of a credible video streaming service that has a veritable collection of movies and original programs which ricochet with family audiences. Access to this video streaming service costs you $99 per year. This is where its charm gets deceptive. There is only annual subscription but no monthly subscription. Amazon Prime compensates for this by providing a free kindle book every month to all its registered subscribers. And yes, its content is structured around a conscious collection of comedy and catalog of classics. However, its ala carte service is expensive. While the content is wide and genuine, brand new-videos are a rarity.
The least intuitive way of accessing Amazon Prime Instant Video is via your desktop browser. There are other avenues such as dedicated Amazon Video apps for Android and iOS. While the apps may not be aesthetically pleasing, they are completely operational. Amazon Prime Instant Video rests on solid foundations and that is its massive collection of 18000 movies and 4500 TV shows.
One thing which distinguishes between Amazon Prime and Netflix is the presence of a provision to download content for watching offline. This is a huge setback for Netflix as ‘Watch Offline’ is Amazon’s symbolic gesture of enchanting audiences.
Hulu is another popular streaming service that lets you watch both new and old episodes of thes best TV shows. The basic plan starts from $7.99 per month. Unlike Amazon Prime Instant Video, Hulu doesn’t break the bank. As Hulu is not a live steaming service, you will be able to watch all the videos a day after they air on television. While its affordable pricing is a disarming feature, you should endure advertisements. To avoid advertisements, you need to fork over $11.99 per month. The best thing about this video streaming service is that it is contract free. As a consequence, the question of long-term commitment is nowhere in the air. Apart from accessing Hulu on tablets, smart TVs and computers, try accessing it on gaming consoles. Enjoy countless hours of video on demand (VOD) content.
Hulu is absolutely worth your investment. It features content of FOX, NBC, ABC, National Geographic, BET, ABC Family etc. Almost every second month Hulu keeps partnering with new content providers to ensure continual stream of lively content.
Have a craving for yesteryear cheesy action? Nothing beats Crackle in its amazing collection of classics. Its services can be availed for free. This Sony-owned platform features around 40-50 TV series and the resolution of the videos is fairly 480p. This is not that bad. However, if you are viewing videos on a HD screen, this low resolution problem is pronounced. Crackle keeps rotating its list of movies. In other words, it keeps certain movies for a particular time frame only. While this isn’t the best of ideal situations, nothing much can be complained about a free video streaming service.
And yes, Crackle has a fair amount of commercials but believe me, they are worth the trouble. A 20-minute video generally contains three advertisements. This is perfectly tolerable. If you place your mouse cursor on the video player, you will be able to see a few grey dots. Grey dots indicate advertisements. As far as my video buffering experience is concerned, I faced zero hiccups and zilch stalls. Crackle’s free movie Android app is super simple to use. Crackle has got a few social sharing options. You can share your favorite videos over social networks and email.
Sling TV is a new entrant. Ever since its debut in 2015, this internet streaming service lets you watch live TV without any contract. The basic plan starts from $20 per month. This basic plan covers more than 30 international channels including CNN, ESPN, AMC, etc. You don’t require any cable or satellite subscription to watch Sling TV. You just require internet access. Neither are there any introductory charges nor are there any hidden costs. You just need to commit 1 month at a time. Absence of long-term contracts is endearing and the streaming quality is always 1080p. Unless your internet connection is terrible, live video streaming remains effective.
You can enjoy your favorite shows on both Apple and Android smartphones, laptops, desktops and smart TVs. Other options include Google Chromecast, gaming consoles such as Xbox One etc. Moreover, Sling TV offers a free 7-day trial feature. Do try this out and test its features.
The above mentioned list of the best video streaming services has been obtained after meticulous research and personal experiences.All the aforementioned video streaming services are highly recommended by our team and our delighted customers. Before recommending any service, we take painstaking efforts to test and review.
If you have any doubts or concerns, feel free to drop a line or two in the comments section. I shall reply in a day or two. Keep watching this space for insights on video marketing strategy and live video streaming. My best wishes are with you and your video channel. Cheers!
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