Streaming services provide variety of offerings

Devon Yoder
Staff Writer

Streaming services have been a staple in home entertainment for almost two decades. Starting with Netflix in 2007, the industry has exploded in popularity. This popularity came with more companies creating their own streaming services to try and share the popularity of Netflix. With so many streaming services, each with their own unique library of content, it can be difficult to decide which ones to get, and which ones to avoid.

Netflix is one of the oldest streaming services, and over the years, its library has changed. New films and series are continually being added, while some older series are being removed. One of the more appealing parts of Netflix is their original films and series, which can’t be found anywhere else, such as “Stranger Things.” These original series can gather a lot of popularity, and contain multiple genres, from horror, to stand-up comedy.

Along with their library of original content, Netflix contains a large amount of licensed films and series, for both adults and kids. Unfortunately, not every Netflix film and series is a winner. Some of the more poorly received content includes “Tall Girl,” which received very negative reviews. However, these shows shouldn’t distract from the large amount of recognizable and well-received content that Netflix is known for. After all, it’s the most popular streaming service for a reason. Subscription costs start at $8.99 a month.

Besides Netflix, there is a large amount of streaming services, especially in recent years. One of the more recent services is Disney+, which released in late 2019, and has quickly gained almost as much popularity as Netflix. Disney is a company that owns a large amount of some of the most popular film franchises, so a streaming service by them was inevitable.

Disney+ contains an absolutely massive library of quality content, ranging from early black and white cartoons from the 1930’s, to huge Marvel blockbusters like “Avengers: Endgame.” Some of their more popular animated films, such as “The Lion King” and “Aladdin,” weren’t available on streaming services prior to Disney+.

One of the more ambitious additions to Disney+ is “The Simpsons.” Disney+ has added nearly every single season of the critically acclaimed animated show, leading to over 600 episodes worth of content with just one show.

Disney+ also contains original series and films, but the original content is minimal compared to what Netflix has to offer. However, Disney+ goes for quality over quantity, with some series, such as “The Mandalorian,” and “WandaVision,” gaining massive popularity.

There are some films that have yet to be added to Disney+ for one reason or another, such as some of the more controversial films from the 1940’s. Also, due to a licensing disagreement, some Marvel films have yet to be added, which prevents people from experiencing the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Despite that problem, Disney+ is still a great streaming service. It contains a large library of content suitable for everyone, kids and adults alike. Subscription costs start at $7.99 a month.

One of the most recent additions in the streaming service industry is HBO Max. This was a streaming service created in May of 2020, and contains a large library of content owned by HBO. Out of all the popular streaming services, this one has the most variety, as its primary focus is more obscure films and series.

That being said, there is still a large amount of recognizable content on HBO Max, from “Sesame Street,” to “The Wizard of Oz.” However, HBO Max also contains lesser-known, more obscure films and series that wouldn’t be found anywhere else, such as the Charlie Chaplin films.

“HBO Max is my favorite streaming service,” junior Ian Russell said. “It has all my favorite cartoons from my childhood on there since I used to watch Cartoon Network.”

HBO Max doesn’t have quite as much recognizable content compared to what’s available on other streaming services. However, that doesn’t mean it’s all bad. Anyone who’s a fan of more obscure films, hidden gems, and classic films and series spanning multiple decades should consider purchasing this service.

Excluding promotional offers, HBO Max is slightly more expensive than its competitors, with subscription costs starting at $14.99 a month.

There are even more streaming services that have yet to be talked about. There’s Hulu, which has a large amount of television shows spanning multiple genres and decades. There’s also Amazon Prime Video, which easily has the largest selection to choose from, however the majority of it has to be bought individually. Even then, there is a large amount of streaming services that aren’t nearly as popular as the ones discussed. There’s Shudder, which primarily focuses on horror films. There’s even BritBox, which focuses on British entertainment.

Each streaming service has their own pros and cons when it comes to purchasing them. The most important thing to remember when it comes to choosing a streaming service is to look for content that you want to see. Whether you’re a fan of action films, horror films, sports documentaries, or any other genre of film, there’s sure to be a streaming service that will tend to your needs.

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