As the curtains draw on 2023, we find ourselves in an era where traditional cable is no longer the entertainment kingpin it once was. Streaming services have not only entered the scene but they've taken the throne, offering a buffet of on-demand content that caters to our unique tastes and schedules.
In this digital age where choice is abundant and viewers are in control, navigating the plethora of streaming platforms can feel like an overwhelming task.
From cinematic giants to indie gems, classic sitcoms to boundary-pushing originals, each service promises a world of entertainment at your fingertips. But which ones truly deliver?
Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the best streaming services of 2023. We'll dive into each platform's strengths, offerings, and unique features to help you decide where to pledge your screen loyalty.
Whether you're a film fanatic, a series binge-watcher, or a sports enthusiast, there's a streaming kingdom waiting for your reign. Let's embark on this digital exploration together!
Binge-Worthy: The Definitive Guide to the Best Streaming Services of 2023
|Streaming Service||Description||Free Trial Availability|
|Max||Known for its extensive library of films and series, including exclusive content.||Free Episodes|
|Hulu||Offers a wide range of TV shows, movies, and original content. It also provides options for live TV.||Free Trial|
|Netflix||A pioneer in the streaming service industry, Netflix boasts a vast catalog of movies, series, documentaries, and Netflix originals.|
|Disney Plus||The go-to place for Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content. They also offer bundled services with ESPN and Hulu.|
|Sling TV||Ideal for cord-cutters, Sling TV offers a selection of live cable channels over the internet.||Free Trial|
|Peacock||NBCUniversal's streaming service providing a mix of current series, classic TV shows, movies, and original content.||Free Trial|
|Apple TV Plus||Features original content from Apple, including movies, series, and documentaries.||Free Trial|
|Prime Video||Amazon's streaming service that includes a mix of movies, TV shows, and Prime Originals.||Free Trial|
|Starz||Known for its popular original series and a good selection of films.||$3 Trial|
|ESPN Plus||A must-have for sports fans, offering a variety of live sports events, talk shows, and documentaries.|
|Paramount+||Offers content from CBS, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, and the Smithsonian Channel, plus movies from Paramount Pictures.||Free Trial|
Max is an American subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming service that replaced HBO Max in May 2023.
The platform bundles all of HBO's content together with additional movies and TV series, including new Max Originals. It offers over 35,000 hours of content, making it a rich source of entertainment for subscribers.
Max has three subscription tiers, starting at $9.99 a month (or $99.99 a year) for the ad-supported tier. However, some customers have expressed concerns about a drop in video quality and available streams since the rebrand from HBO Max.
The platform recently added seven AMC+ shows to its lineup for the next two months. In addition, it has become a home for highly-anticipated releases like the “Barbie” movie. Every month, Max updates its platform with new movies and TV shows, ensuring fresh content for its users. Read in-depth review + how to sign up for free trial
What's Included in Max
- Extensive content library, combining programming from HBO Max and Discovery
- First-run and library content from HBO and other Warner Bros.
- Simplified navigation in the new Max app
- Personalized and technically improved streaming service
- 6,500 hours of audio descriptive content for visually impaired users
Max Pricing Plans
|Plan||Price/Year||Concurrent Streams||Video Resolution||Offline Downloads||Sound Quality||Additional Features|
|Max With Ads||$9.99/month or $99.99/year||2||Full HD||No||5.1 surround sound||–|
|Max (higher tier)||$15.99/month (ad-free) or $19.99/month (ad-free, stream in 4k)||4||Up to 4K UHD||100||Dolby Atmos||Access to over 1,000 4K movies and TV show episodes|
The Pros and Cons of Max
- Extensive Content Library: Offers over 35,000 hours of content, including original series, films, documentaries, and specials.
- Access to Exclusive Shows: Hosts much-anticipated shows and exclusive releases.
- Regularly Updated Content: The platform is updated with new movies and TV shows every month, ensuring fresh content for its users.
- Multiple Subscription Tiers: Provides options for ad-supported and ad-free tiers to suit different budgets.
- User Experience: Some users have reported a drop in video quality and available streams since the rebrand from HBO Max.
- Pricing Structure: Despite the option for an ad-supported tier, some users may find the cost higher compared to other streaming services.
- Interface Issues: The recent rebranding and merger of content may have led to some user interface confusion.
Hulu is a popular streaming service that offers a broad range of TV shows, movies, exclusive Originals, and live sports. Users can access over 90 top channels with Hulu (With Ads) + Live TV, including favorite live sports, news, and events, along with the entire Hulu streaming library.
Hulu has a significant social media presence, with millions of followers on Facebook and Instagram. The platform is also available on Nintendo Switch, providing users access to its extensive streaming library. Some of the notable shows streaming on Hulu include “Only Murders in the Building,” “Reservation Dogs,” and “Justified: City Primeval.”
In summary, Hulu is a versatile streaming platform with a diverse content library, accessible on multiple devices and platforms. Read in-depth review
Hulu Pricing Plans
|Plan||Monthly Price||Features||Notable Channels|
|Hulu Basic||$7.99||Ad-supported access to all movies and shows||CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, FX, ESPN, AMC, Crunchyroll, Disney|
|Hulu + Live TV||$69.99||Includes live sports, breaking news, awards shows, daytime soaps, local teams, weather forecasts, entire Hulu streaming library, Disney+, and ESPN+||A&E, ABC, ABC News, ACC Network, Adult Swim, AMC (on-demand only), Animal Planet, BET, over 90 channels including ESPN, CNN, Bravo, Cartoon Network|
The Pros and Cons of Hulu
- Extensive content library: Hulu offers a broad range of TV shows, movies, and original content.
- Live TV option: Hulu + Live TV includes over 90 channels for news, sports, and entertainment.
- Multiple subscription options: Users can choose from basic, ad-free, and live TV plans based on their viewing preferences and budget.
- Bundling options: Hulu can be bundled with Disney+ and ESPN+ for additional content.
- User-friendly interface: The platform is easy to navigate, making it simple to find and stream content.
- Ads on the basic plan: The most affordable Hulu plan includes advertisements, which can be disruptive for some viewers.
- Limited availability: Hulu is primarily available only in the U.S. and Japan.
- Variable video quality: Some users have reported issues with video quality, particularly when streaming live TV.
- No offline viewing for basic plan: Only premium subscribers can download shows and movies for offline viewing.
- Cost: Hulu + Live TV is one of the more expensive streaming options when compared to competitors.
Netflix is a leading streaming service that offers a vast range of award-winning TV shows, movies, anime, documentaries, and more. It is accessible on numerous internet-connected devices and also has a mobile app for on-the-go viewing. One of the unique features of Netflix is Teleparty (formerly known as Netflix Party), which allows you to watch TV with your friends online by synchronizing video playback.
As of September 2023, there are several new releases on Netflix, including movies, TV shows, and original series. The platform continues to keep its content fresh and engaging by regularly updating its offerings. Netflix is also known for its globally acclaimed series and movies, making it a go-to platform for high-quality entertainment around the world.
In addition to its web platform, Netflix can be accessed through its apps on the App Store and Google Play. The company also maintains a YouTube channel where they share official trailers, teasers, and other relevant videos about their content. Read in-depth review + how to sign up for free trial
Netflix Pricing Plans
|Plan Name||Price per Month||Number of Screens||Video Quality||Additional Features|
|Standard||$14.99||2||Full HD||Ad-Free Streaming|
|Premium||$19.99||4||Ultra HD||Ad-Free Streaming|
Please note: The Basic plan has been discontinued as of 2023. The Standard and Premium plans offer ad-free streaming. The number of screens indicates how many devices can stream Netflix at the same time.
The Pros and Cons of Netflix
- Extensive Content Library: Netflix has a vast selection of movies, TV shows, documentaries, and original programming, catering to a wide range of tastes.
- High-Quality Originals: Known for its high-quality original content, including award-winning series and films.
- Ad-Free Viewing: All Netflix plans offer ad-free streaming, ensuring uninterrupted viewing.
- Accessibility: Netflix can be accessed on a wide variety of devices, including smart TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices, and computers.
- User-Friendly Interface: The platform's interface is easy to navigate, with categories, recommendations, and a search function that simplifies content discovery.
- Multiple Profiles: Allows the creation of up to five profiles per account, enabling personalized recommendations for different family members.
- Downloadable Content: Offers the option to download selected titles for offline viewing.
- Regular Updates: Netflix regularly updates its content library, adding new titles and removing others to keep the catalog fresh.
- Content Variations: The content available can vary significantly between regions due to licensing agreements.
- Discontinuation of Shows: Some shows and movies are removed from the platform due to license expiration, which can be disappointing for users.
- Cost: While Netflix offers a range of plans, the cost can be higher than other streaming services, particularly for the Premium plan.
- Autoplay Previews: The autoplay previews on the homepage can be annoying for some users, though this feature can be turned off.
- Data Consumption: Streaming on Netflix, particularly in high definition or ultra-high definition, can consume a significant amount of data.
- No Live TV: Unlike some other services, Netflix does not offer live TV broadcasts or sports.
- Delayed Releases: Some series episodes are released later on Netflix compared to traditional TV broadcasts.
4. Disney Plus
Disney Plus is an on-demand streaming service created by The Walt Disney Company. It serves as the streaming home for a wide array of content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. The platform offers new releases, classic favorites, and exclusive content.
Subscribers have access to thousands of movies and TV shows, including original series and films that are only available on Disney Plus. The platform's content library is regularly updated with new titles, drawing from its own deep reservoir of classics and from popular franchises like Star Wars and Marvel.
The Disney Plus platform is accessible across various devices, including smart TVs, mobile devices, game consoles, and computers. There are also apps available for download on platforms like Google Play, providing thousands of hours of entertainment from the various Disney franchises.
However, not all news about Disney Plus is positive. Recent reports suggest that the platform has made a disappointing update regarding the release of “Indiana Jones 5”. In addition, it seems that Disney Plus has recently abandoned three major shows amid a historic content purge. Furthermore, Disney has had to respond to some of its Spectrum cable channels going dark.
Overall, Disney Plus is a comprehensive streaming service offering a vast selection of content for all ages, although it has faced some challenges and criticism. Read in-depth review + how to sign up for free trial
Disney Plus Pricing Plans
|Plan Type||Price per Month||Price per Year||Ads||Features|
|Disney+ Basic||$7.99||N/A||With Ads||Full access to Disney+ content, but with advertisements|
|Disney+ Premium||$10.99||$109.99||No Ads||Full access to Disney+ content without advertisements and ability to download for offline viewing|
|Disney+ and Hulu bundle||$9.99||N/A||With Ads||Full access to both Disney+ and Hulu content with advertisements|
|Disney+ (UK)||£7.99||£79.90||With Ads||Full access to Disney+ content, but with advertisements|
|Disney+ (Europe)||€8.99||N/A||With Ads||Full access to Disney+ content, but with advertisements|
Please note that prices and features may vary by region and are subject to change. For the most accurate information, visit the Disney Plus official website.
The Pros and Cons of Disney Plus
- Extensive Library: Disney Plus offers a vast library of classic and new movies and TV shows. This includes access to every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie and show, every Star Wars movie and show, many Disney classics, and content from other properties owned by Disney like Pixar and National Geographic.
- Quality of Content: The platform features high-quality shows and movies, ensuring an enjoyable viewing experience for subscribers.
- Commercial-Free Viewing: Disney+ offers commercial-free viewing, providing an uninterrupted experience for viewers.
- Ultra-high-definition Viewing Experience: With up to 4K Ultra HD video playback in Dolby Vision ultra-vivid imaging, Disney+ ensures a superior viewing experience.
- Affordable Plans: At $7.99 or $10.99 a month, Disney Plus is considered a decent streaming deal. They also offer a bundle which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for $13.99 a month.
- Limited New Original Content: One of the criticisms of Disney Plus is that it doesn't have enough new original content, which can limit the appeal for some viewers.
- Content Split Across Platforms: Some of Disney's content is split across Hulu, which can be frustrating for those who want all of their content in one place.
- Episodic Release Schedule: Unlike some platforms that release whole seasons at once, Disney Plus often releases episodes weekly. This can be a disadvantage for those who prefer to binge-watch series.
- Expensive Premier Access: Some viewers have criticized the Premier Access model, where for a one-time fee, subscribers can watch newly released movies at home. Some find this additional cost too high.
- Limited to Family-Friendly Content: As part of the Disney brand, Disney Plus limits itself to family-friendly content. While this is a strength for families and those who enjoy such content, it can be a downside for viewers looking for more mature content.
5. Sling TV
Sling TV is an American streaming television service operated by Sling TV LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dish Network. The platform was unveiled on January 5, 2015, making it one of the first app-based TV services allowing users to stream live television and on-demand content over the internet.
The basic Sling TV packages are Sling Orange and Sling Blue, each priced at $40 per month. Customers can also choose to pay $55 per month to get both packages. Each package comes with its own unique set of channels and features. For those who want more variety, there are customizable channel packages available.
Sling TV also offers an array of on-demand titles, with over 120,000 movies and shows. Users can watch live shows wherever they are, making it a flexible choice for those constantly on the move.
Moreover, Sling TV is notable for streaming live sports, news, popular shows, and movies. As of 2023, it's a popular choice for streaming NFL games and college football, among other sports.
Despite being a stand-alone service, Sling TV is often compared with other streaming services like Hulu, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Stream. Each of these platforms has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice depends on the specific needs and preferences of the viewer. Read in-depth review
Sling TV Pricing Plans
|Plan Type||Price per Month||Channels||Features|
|Sling Orange||$40||Up to 32||Good for NCAA football and families|
|Sling Blue||$40||Up to 43||Offers more variety of channels|
|Sling Orange + Blue||$55||All from both plans||Combination of Sling Orange and Blue plans|
|Extras and DVR Plus bundle||$21||Varies||Includes seven popular extras and DVR Plus service|
Please note that prices and features may vary and are subject to change. For the most accurate information, visit the Sling TV official website.
The Pros and Cons of Sling TV
- Affordable Pricing: Sling TV's pricing is significantly cheaper than many top competitors, making it a cost-effective choice for those looking to cut the cord.
- Mix of Channels: The service provides a mix of news, sports, and entertainment networks, catering to a variety of viewing preferences.
- Flexible Packages: Sling offers Orange and Blue packages that can be subscribed to separately or combined, providing flexibility for viewers to choose what fits their needs best.
- Budget-friendly: Sling TV is often considered the best budget-friendly live TV streaming service, offering some popular channels at a lower cost than traditional cable.
- Limited Local Channels: One of the main disadvantages of Sling TV is its limited offering of local channels, which can be a major drawback for those who watch local news or sports.
- Fewer Channels Compared to Other Services: While Sling TV does offer a decent number of channels, it still has fewer options compared to other streaming services.
- Limited Cloud DVR: The cloud DVR feature of Sling TV is somewhat limited, particularly when compared to some competitors.
- Minimal Sports Channels: Although Sling TV does offer some sports channels, the selection is relatively minimal, especially for niche sports.
- Confusing Channel Bundles: Some users find the channel bundles confusing, which can make it harder to find and subscribe to the channels they want.
- Lack of Local Networks: Losing the ability to watch local networks can be a significant drawback for some viewers, and is often a reason why people stick with traditional cable or satellite services.
Peacock is an over-the-top video streaming service owned and operated by Peacock TV, LLC, a subsidiary of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. It offers a wide variety of content, including hit movies, TV shows, Originals, and current NBC & Bravo hits. Notably, it boasts the most live sports of any streaming service, including WWE.
Peacock offers two subscription plans: Premium (with ads) and Premium Plus (ad-free). The pricing for the service is competitive, comparable to other on-demand streaming services like Paramount+ and Discovery+. The ad-supported tier is priced at $4.99 a month, though it's reported to be increasing by $1 a month. This is a significantly lower price point compared to many other streaming services.
Peacock also has a mobile app available for download, offering users the flexibility of watching their favorite shows and movies on the go. As of 2023, the service continues to grow, attracting more subscribers with its diverse content offerings and competitive pricing. Read in-depth review + how to access free trial
Peacock Pricing Plans
|Plan Type||Price per Month||Price per Year||Features|
|Peacock Premium (with ads)||$5.99||$59.99||Access to everything the streaming service has to offer, includes ads|
|Peacock Premium Plus (ad-free)||$11.99||$119.99||Same as Premium but ad-free, allows download and offline watch, includes limited exclusions|
Please note that prices and features may vary and are subject to change. For the most accurate information, visit the Peacock TV official website.
The Pros and Cons of Peacock
- Access to Local NBC Affiliate for Plus Users: This feature allows Plus users to watch local NBC programming, which could be a big advantage for those who enjoy local news and shows.
- Huge Catalog of On-demand Shows and Movies: Peacock offers a vast selection of content, including popular NBC TV shows and many notable movies.
- Next-day Access to Some NBC and Bravo Shows: This feature allows users to catch up on their favorite NBC and Bravo shows the day after they air.
- Affordable Pricing: As one of the cheaper big media streamers, Peacock's pricing is a major advantage. The $5.99 a month Premium plan (with ads) is quite competitive.
- Live Sports: The premium option also includes access to live sports, making it a great choice for sports fans.
- No Free Plan: Peacock no longer offers a free plan, which could be a disadvantage for budget-conscious viewers.
- Limited Content Filtering Options: Peacock does not currently offer the option to filter content individually. This could make it harder for users to find specific types of content.
7. Apple TV Plus
Apple TV Plus is a subscription-based streaming service owned and operated by Apple Inc. Launched on November 1, 2019, it features a selection of original content, including series, films, and more. The cost for this service is $6.99 per month after a free seven-day trial.
Apple TV Plus is also included in the Apple One bundle, which includes up to five other Apple services. Additionally, if you purchase an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or AppleTV, you'll receive a year's subscription for free. Apple occasionally offers promotional deals, such as three months free for new or returning subscribers.
The service is known for its critically acclaimed original programming and live sports events. It is accessible through the Apple TV app, which is available on compatible devices. For the most accurate information, visit the official Apple TV Plus website. Read in-depth review + how to claim free trial
Apple TV Plus Pricing Plans
|Plan Type||Price per Month||Features|
|Standard Apple TV Plus||$6.99||Access to all original movies and shows, 7-day free trial|
|Apple One Individual tier||$16.95||Includes Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage|
|Apple TV Plus with MLS||$14.99||Access to all original content and Major League Soccer|
|Apple One Family plan||Varies||Expands all services to up to six family members|
|4K Streams||$19.99||High quality 4K streaming, includes offline viewing|
The Pros and Cons of Apple TV Plus
- Original Content: Apple TV Plus offers a selection of high-quality, original shows and movies that you can't find anywhere else. These include award-winning series like “Ted Lasso” and “The Morning Show.”
- Ad-Free: All content on Apple TV Plus is available ad-free, providing an uninterrupted viewing experience.
- Availability: The service is available in over 100 countries, making it accessible to a global audience.
- Device Compatibility: Apple TV Plus can be watched on a wide range of devices, not just Apple products. This includes selected Smart TVs, gaming consoles, and streaming devices.
- Family Sharing: With Family Sharing, up to six family members can share a single Apple TV Plus subscription.
- Limited Library: Compared to other streaming platforms, Apple TV Plus has a relatively small library of content. This is because it focuses primarily on original programming.
- No Bundled Option: Unlike some competitors, Apple TV Plus does not offer the option to bundle with other services (like news or music), unless you opt for the Apple One subscription.
- Lack of User Profiles: As of now, Apple TV Plus does not support user profiles, which can make it difficult for families or households who want to maintain separate watch lists and recommendations.
- No Live TV: Apple TV Plus does not offer live TV channels, which could be a disadvantage for those who enjoy live sports or news.
8. Prime Video
Prime Video, also known as Amazon Prime Video, is a subscription-based streaming service provided by Amazon. It offers on-demand access to a wide variety of content, including movies, TV shows, and sports. A notable feature of Prime Video is the exclusive Amazon Originals, such as “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings”, “The Boys”, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, and “Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan”.
Prime Video is accessible through various platforms, including its official website, Google Play Store, App Store, and even has a dedicated YouTube channel. It also provides recommendations tailored to your viewing preferences.
In addition to the subscription-based content, Prime Video also provides the option for movie rentals. The service is available globally and is included with an Amazon Prime subscription. However, it's worth noting that the availability of certain content may vary by region due to licensing agreements.
For the latest updates on new releases or upcoming shows, users can follow Prime Video's official Instagram account or check out resources like TV Insider. Read in-depth review
Prime Video Pricing Plans
|Plan Type||Cost||Key Features|
|Amazon Prime Membership (Monthly)||$14.99/month||– Access to Prime Video – Free Two-Day Delivery – Unlimited reading with Kindle Unlimited – Unlimited music streaming with Amazon Music|
|Amazon Prime Membership (Annual)||$139/year||– Access to Prime Video – Free Two-Day Delivery – Unlimited reading with Kindle Unlimited – Unlimited music streaming with Amazon Music|
|Prime Video Only||$8.99/month||– Access to Prime Video only|
|Amazon Channels for Prime Members||$4.99–$14.99/month||– Access to additional channels and content|
|Paramount+ Essentials Package||$4.99/month||– Does not include live channels or sports|
|Paramount+ Commercial-Free Package||$9.99/month||– Commercial-free viewing|
|CuriosityStream||Varies||– Access to a wide range of categories both live and on-demand|
|1080p Plan||$15.49/month||– High-quality video streaming|
|4K Plan||$19.99/month||– Ultra high-quality video streaming|
The Pros and Cons Prime Video
- Wide range of content: Prime Video offers a vast library of movies, TV shows, and Amazon Originals.
- Included with Amazon Prime: If you're already an Amazon Prime member, Prime Video comes at no additional cost.
- Offline viewing: Prime Video allows you to download content for offline viewing.
- Multiple devices: You can stream content on up to three devices at the same time.
- 4K and HDR support: Prime Video supports 4K Ultra HD and HDR streaming for selected titles.
- User-friendly interface: The service offers a clean, easy-to-navigate user interface.
- Variable content: The availability of certain shows and movies can vary by region due to licensing agreements.
- Additional costs: While Prime Video includes a lot of content in the subscription price, some movies and shows are only available for rent or purchase at an additional cost.
- Limited profiles: Prime Video doesn't offer as many user profiles as some of its competitors.
- Less personalized recommendations: Compared to some other streaming services, Prime Video's recommendation system is not as sophisticated.
- Fewer popular titles: Some users may find that Prime Video lacks some of the popular titles available on other streaming platforms.
Starz is a streaming service that offers a unique blend of original series, hit movies, and other extras. The platform focuses on providing diverse perspectives through bold storytelling. Starz is available for $8.99 per month and allows unlimited HD streaming and downloads. Users can stream content on up to four devices simultaneously.
The service features a mix of genres, including action, drama, romance, comedy, fantasy, science-fiction, and family content. Starz also operates a video-on-demand (VOD) television service called Starz On Demand, which is available at no additional charge to new and existing Starz subscribers.
Moreover, Starz content can also be accessed through Hulu, using Hulu credentials to create a STARZ App account and watch live and on-demand content. Some providers like DirecTV Stream offer Starz as a premium channel for an additional monthly cost. Read in-depth review + how to access free trial
Starz Pricing Plan
|Plan Type||Cost||Key Features|
|Monthly Subscription||$8.99/month||– Access to all Starz content – 4 simultaneous streams per account|
|Annual Subscription||$74.99/year||– Access to all Starz content – 4 simultaneous streams per account – Saves about $32 compared to monthly rate|
|Special Offer||$3/month for 3 months||– Access to all Starz content – 4 simultaneous streams per account|
|Price Drop for Annual Subscription||$69.99/year||– Access to all Starz content – 4 simultaneous streams per account – Lower price for annual subscription|
Please note that prices and plans may vary and are subject to change. For the most accurate information, visit the official Starz website.
The Pros & Cons of Starz
- Wide Range of Content: Starz offers a vast library of movies, TV shows, and original series.
- Multiple Devices: You can stream content on up to four devices at the same time.
- Offline Viewing: Starz allows you to download content for offline viewing.
- User-friendly Interface: The service offers a clean, easy-to-navigate user interface.
- No Ads: Starz provides an ad-free viewing experience.
- Limited Original Content: Compared to other streaming services, Starz has a smaller number of original series.
- Variable Content: The availability of certain shows and movies can vary by region due to licensing agreements.
- Less Personalized Recommendations: Compared to some other streaming services, Starz's recommendation system is not as sophisticated.
- Fewer Popular Titles: Some users may find that Starz lacks some of the popular titles available on other streaming platforms.
- Additional Costs: While Starz includes a lot of content in the subscription price, some movies and shows are only available for rent or purchase at an additional cost.
10. ESPN Plus
ESPN+ is a subscription-based streaming service that offers live sports, exclusive original shows, and other content for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. It provides access to a wide range of sports coverage, including live games and events. The service allows you to cancel anytime, offering flexibility to its subscribers.
ESPN+ can be accessed through the ESPN app, providing users with the convenience of watching their favorite sports and shows on the go. Additionally, ESPN+ content can also be streamed through the Hulu app, expanding the options for viewers to access the service.
There's also an option to bundle ESPN+ with Disney+ and Hulu, providing a comprehensive entertainment package. While ESPN+ doesn't appear to offer a standalone free trial as of 2023, there might be opportunities to try the service as part of the Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ bundle.
The service is seen as valuable for sports enthusiasts due to its extensive coverage and accessibility. However, the availability of ESPN+ may vary depending on your cable provider, as indicated by recent issues with Spectrum.
In summary, ESPN+ is a versatile streaming service catering primarily to sports fans, offering a variety of live games, exclusive shows, and other sports-related content. Read in-depth review + best bundle
ESPN Plus Pricing Plans
|Plan Type||Cost||Key Features|
|Monthly Subscription||$9.99/month||– Access to exclusive live sports – ESPN+ Originals – UFC fights and PPV events|
|Annual Subscription||$99.99/year||– Access to exclusive live sports – ESPN+ Originals – UFC fights and PPV events – Saves about 17% compared to monthly rate|
|Disney Bundle (ESPN Plus with Disney Plus and Hulu)||Varies based on bundle||– All features of ESPN+ – Access to Disney+ and Hulu content|
Please note that prices and plans may vary and are subject to change. For the most accurate information, visit the official ESPN Plus website.
The Pros and Cons of ESPN Plus
- Affordable: ESPN Plus is a low-cost alternative for sports streaming.
- Wide Range of Content: It offers live game coverage, on-demand series and documentaries, exclusive latest news articles on lots of sports.
- Live Sports: ESPN Plus provides access to a wide selection of live sports from MLB, MLS, NHL, and more.
- UFC Pay-Per-View: UFC pay-per-view events are available at an extra cost.
- Original Content: ESPN Plus has a growing library of original content.
- Limited Access to Certain Sports: ESPN Plus doesn't offer NBA or many NFL games.
- Regional Restrictions: Some content may be limited based on the user's location.
- Limited Popular ESPN Shows: Not all popular ESPN shows are available on ESPN Plus.
Paramount+ is an American subscription video on-demand and live streaming service owned by Paramount Global. The platform offers two main subscription tiers: Paramount+ Essential at $5.99 per month, and Paramount+ with SHOWTIME® at $11.99 per month.
The service provides a wide range of content, including movies, TV shows, live sports, breaking news, and exclusive original series. Paramount+ is also the new streaming home of SHOWTIME, offering an even more expansive library of content.
One of the key features of Paramount+ is its original programming. For instance, it's the exclusive platform for all episodes of “Star Trek: Lower Decks”, with season 3 available for streaming and season 4 premiering on September 7th.
In terms of recent news, William Friedkin's last film, “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial”, is set to premiere on Paramount+ in international markets where the platform is available.
However, despite its offerings, Paramount+ seems to be facing challenges in realizing profits, as highlighted by a recent article.
Paramount+ Pricing Plans
|Plan Type||Cost||Key Features|
|Essential Plan (Monthly)||$5.99/month||– Over 40,000 episodes and movies with limited commercial interruptions – Ad-supported content|
|Essential Plan (Annual)||$59.99/year||– Over 40,000 episodes and movies with limited commercial interruptions – Ad-supported content – Save over 16% compared to monthly rate|
|Premium Plan (Monthly) with Showtime||$11.99/month||– All features of Essential plan – Ad-free content – Access to Showtime|
|Premium Plan (Annual) with Showtime||$119.99/year||– All features of Essential plan – Ad-free content – Access to Showtime – Save compared to monthly rate|
Please note that prices and plans may vary and are subject to change. For the most accurate information, visit the official Paramount+ website.
The Pros and Cons of Paramount+
- Budget-Friendly: Paramount+ offers affordable plans, with the low-cost Essential Plan starting at $5.99 per month.
- Variety of Content: It has a decent library that includes great originals, popular TV shows, classic TV series, and a deep library of TV shows and movies.
- Live Sports and Channels: Paramount+ features some live channels including sports. CBS on Paramount+ comes with NFL games.
- Unique Blend of Content: This platform provides a unique blend of on-demand and live content.
- Interface: The user interface is straightforward and operates smoothly across multiple devices.
- Limited Originals: Compared to competitors like Netflix, Paramount+ has a smaller lineup of original series.
- Unskippable Ads: Even with a subscription, users have to deal with unskippable ads.
- Not a Must-Have: Despite its offerings, some reviews suggest it's not quite enough to make it a must-have streaming service.
The Pricing, Number of Devices, and Free Trial Availability of the Best Streaming Platforms
|Streaming Service||Price (With Ads)||Price (Without Ads)||Number of Devices||Free Trial Availability|
|Max||$9.99/month or $99.99/year||$15.99/month or $149.99/year||3||Free Episodes|
|Hulu||$7.99/month or $79.99/year||$14.99/month||2||Free Trial|
|Netflix||–||$6.99/month (Full HD) or|
$15.49/month (Ultra HD)
|2 or 4|
|Disney Plus||$8/month||$11/month or $110/year||4|
|Sling TV||Starts at $35/month||–||3 or 4||Free Trial|
|Peacock||$6/month or $60/year||$12/month or $120/year||3||Free Trial|
|Apple TV Plus||–||$6.99/month or $69.99/year||6||Free Trial|
|Prime Video||–||$8.99/month||3||Free Trial|
|ESPN Plus||–||$9.99/month or $99.99/year||3|
|Paramount+||$5.99/month or $59.99/year||$11.99/month or $119.99/year||3||Free Trial|
The landscape of streaming services has never been more diverse and exciting.
Each platform brings its unique blend of content, features, and pricing to the table. Whether you're into binge-watching TV series, exploring thought-provoking documentaries, or enjoying blockbuster movies, there's a streaming service out there tailored to your preferences.
Remember, the “best” streaming service isn't necessarily the one with the most shows or the highest price tag.
It's the one that aligns best with your viewing habits, interests, and budget.
So take the time to explore the 11 streaming platforms we've highlighted, assess their pros and cons, and make an informed choice.