The future of entertainment is digital.
From video game producers who have to get used to their games being available on the cloud to Youtube influencers who have become the next generation of entertainment personalities, the Internet has revolutionized how we receive and perceive our entertainment. While more traditional methods of entertainment are still present (you can still tune in to a variety of late shows, for example, at the same time slot they’ve always had), they are beginning to be phased out in favor of more accessible, more convenient entertainment options.
The Streaming Revolution
When Netflix debuted in 1997, analysts feared that streaming services would one day outpace traditional cable in popularity: and as of 2022, that day has finally come. 78% of Americans hold subscriptions to one of the big three streaming services, Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime: out of those, 58% hold subscriptions to more than one of the big three. Moreover, in the aftermath of the pandemic, the number of Americans that had more than four streaming services in their household more than doubled, up to 46% from 22% percent.
It isn’t hard to see why. Standard cable packages required customers to pay for hundreds of channels they had no interest in, with providers inflating the cost by including bundled channels nobody wanted. Streaming services give consumers the option to pay for only the entertainment they want, allowing them to pay for what amounts to single channels and build their own cable package. On these channels, however, they have access to gigantic libraries of content at any time, making them far superior to traditional cable with time slots and DVR. Princess Diana’s niece Kitty Spencer lost weight after ‘terrifying’ event – ‘I did it’
What’s Worth Your Money?
However, there are so many streaming services available now that it can be difficult to determine which channels are worth investing in. There are some streaming services you’ll only pick up for a short time, with just enough content to warrant a one-time payment before cancellation: there are others, however, that have libraries of exciting, engaging content that can keep you on-site for months, even years.
In this article, we’ll be going over some of the most popular streaming services, both free and paid, and briefly go over their content, who their intended audience is, and whether they’re worth paying for long-term.
Let’s get into it.
Netflix – The First of Them All
The first to experiment with the streaming service format, Netflix has grown into a giant of the industry, with over 222 million subscribers and growing. While Netflix is known for its catalog of easily digestible entertainment, it’s also known for its studio, which has a habit of greenlighting oddball projects that turn into massive successes.
Read the below list, and see if you recognize any of these popular Netflix originals:
- Stranger Things: The breakfast club meets the X Files. Going into its fourth season, Stranger Things has become a worldwide phenomenon, with the property being featured at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights two years in a row.
- The Crown: are you interested in the history of Queen Elizabeth? No? You will be after watching this drama-filled, intriguing period piece that stars Claire Foy and Matt Smith, which won several primetime Emmys and a Golden Globe.
- Orange Is the New Black: Based on the true story of Piper Chapman, this prison drama takes on topical issues while leading viewers through the lives of loveable inmates.
And these are just a few that have really caught among audiences. Even today, Netflix is constantly experimenting with its programming, releasing original programs and films to critical acclaim, and is at the forefront of the streaming movement.
Hulu – Same Old, Same Old
Hulu is a bit strange as streaming services go, with the platform offering a version of streaming that’s been hybridized with the worst elements of traditional cable. Hulu presents its content to consumers through hubs connected to many established channels (such as Starz and Showtime) that customers pay a premium for access to.
That’s right, that’s in addition to paying the base price for access to the platform, meaning unless you’re willing to pay well above the average cost of streaming services like Netflix, you won’t have access to Hulu’s entire library of content. While they do offer better rates for customers willing to sit through commercials, you’ll get more limited mileage out of this service unless you’re willing to pay through the nose.
Kodi – A Free Entertainment Hub
Our first free entry on this list, Kodi is well-known among people looking to add to their library of accessible content, and has been featured on several other top streaming service lists. That is because while Kodi comes with a massive library of free shows and films, its functionality isn’t limited to expanding your streaming queue for free: no, Kodi was designed to be a customizable entertainment hub, with free add-ons that allow users to make Kodi work how they need it to work.
Because of its customizable nature and its low price point (after all, it’s free), Kodi is a streaming service that can benefit anyone and should be as ubiquitous as Netflix.
While some streaming services are more well-known than others, your streaming service queue should be customizable to serve your needs. Check out entertainment hubs like Kodi, and use them to install and use the streaming services that provide the entertainment you want: no more, no less.