Ranking Streaming Services

Mercurius

Legend
The Wheel of Time thread got me thinking about streaming services. How would rank them? No specific criteria, just how much enjoyment you get from them. If you want, emphasize "geek stuff" - but that is probably already implied, given that this is EN World.

For myself, let's see: Between the SO and I, we currently subscribe to HBOMax, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Apple. I've also subscribed to Showtime, Shudder, and Starz in the past, but do not do so currently. HBO, Netflix, and AP are the only ones I've subscribed too for several years or more on end.

I also like to rotate, so might drop one or two and add something else. Now that Invasion is done, I'm probably going to drop Apple for awhile, and probably Hulu as well. I've considered Peacock, but it kind of seems like "ghetto Hulu." Maybe once Boba Fett is done, I'll finally subscribe to Disney for a month and binge watch that and Mandalorian (which I still haven't seen), although I'd see no reason to stay beyond that. Or possibly Paramount (still haven't seen Picard, either...I know, my Geek Cred is vanishing quickly). I'm also considering dropping AP for pure political reasons, which I won't go into here.

My rankings, for those services I've used...

1. HBO Max: Overall, best original content. Lots of other good stuff, too. Generally a higher floor of quality than the rest, other than perhaps Apple.
2. Netflix: A nice combination of some good original content and broad selection. Lots to wade through, but it's always possible to find something.
3. Amazon Prime: AP is weird: For some reason, it's hard to tell what's on there. Does it change more frequently than other services? Anyhow, it isn't hugely far behind Netflix, but still a step down, imo.
4. Apple: Very little content, but probably the highest floor in terms of quality: everything I've watches is pretty good, there's just not a ton of it. This might be a service I rotate.
5. Hulu: I kind of see it as "Lesserflix." Still decent, but it is a bit behind the other generalist services.
6. Starz: See Hulu - very similar feeling, but even less original content.
7. Showtime: Some pretty good stuff, and i love me some Ray Donovan, but while I've subscribed to it a couple times, I've never felt like I couldn't do without it. I'm behind on RD, so might re-subscribe for a bit.
8. Shudder: I only subscribed to this for a bit, and it was OK, but just too specific and limited. Plus, I found that they didn't have as many classic and quality horror flicks as they did B stuff.

And you?
 

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MarkB

Legend
The options are, of course, quite different here in the UK, but for me:

Netflix: Good, but not as good as it used to be. They've slowly lost content to other providers (Doctor Who was a big one for me), and their more recent original content has been more hit-and-miss than it was a few years ago.

Disney+: Come for the new Star Wars and Marvel series, stay for the back-catalogue. It's basically the viewing equivalent of comfort food.

Amazon Prime: Improving somewhat, and I am glad to be getting new Star Trek content like Picard and Lower Decks in good time, though goodness knows if that will continue given Paramount's hamfisted moves towards getting themselves set up internationally. Not much in the way of original content that I enjoy, and there's always a feeling that they're trying to sell me something even if I filter to just "Free to Me". I still feel like I subscribe mostly for the free deliveries, and get the streaming service as a perk.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I should also mention that once Moon Knight comes out, I'm definitely getting Disney. Moon Knight was one of my favorites, back in the day (along with the X-Men and Silver Surfer).
 

aco175

Legend
I just moved to a new house and was thinking about dropping Charter/Spectrum for cable and was looking at HuLu and You Tube streaming, but needed Spectrum to get internet more than 25mbps. So I kept them and it comes with HBO and Showcase. Showtime I hardly ever watch unless it has some old movie on. HBO is hit or miss as well since they have 20 channels, but only show 5 movies across those 20 channels. HBOMax is ok while new movies are being released, but likely will not need once Covid has receded and all movies are in theatres only. While I saw Matrix last week, Spider-Man is theatres only. I also see lots of movies have been delayed in opening which I think is mostly to get a theatres only opening.
Amazon Prime is ok. There are some series that I watched like Wheel of Time or Man in High Tower. I come with the Prime delivery so it is something we would buy without it, it seems. NetFlix is hit or miss as well. They have some series that are fine, but then you wait 2 years for a second season- which may or may not be their fault directly.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
We don't have most of the things you have in the US, but for me:

Sky (all the good UK TV, plus a bunch of US stuff from those other platforms)
Disney+ (Marvel and Star Wars)
Netflix/Amazon Prime (tied) (misc. stuff -- there's usually something new and good on)
Apple+ Ted Lasso, Mythic Quest are excellent, Foundation is solid, Morning Show is quite good, but it's a short list

Netflix used to be higher. It's now lost Star Trek, and some other stuff, so Disney+ beats it now.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I subscribe and unsubscribe based on particular series I want to watch.

1. Amazon and Netflix, a tie for me.

Amazon

Increasingly good original content. Are keeping the Expanse running. And I get it anyway as part of my Prime subscription. Considering the other beneifts of Amazon Prime members hip may not be fair if this thread is focus on just the content available, but Amazon Prime is just a non-brainer for me. Also, I can often buy content from other streaming services from Amazon without having to subscribe to the service. Or I can subscribe to other services via my Amazon account and cancel them when I no longer need them. Easier to manage multiple subscription services.

But Amazon is not great when I travel. Even when using Nord VPN I'm not able to get a lot of the content. There are ways around that, but I can't be bothered. The only series I get from Amazon that I can't wait for until I get back to the US are Amazon created content, which is available internationally.

I'm not a fan of the Amazon interface though. Doesn't matter if I'm using an Amazon TV cube, the iPhone app, or the website on my laptop. I find it inconvenient to browse. At least the search functionality is decent.

Netflix
My next most used service. They have enough original content and third-party content that I'm interested in that there hasn't been a period where I've felt the need to cancel it. Also, I it seems everything I can get in the US I can get abroad. I'm sure that can't be true. Maybe most of what I want to watch on Netflix is Netflix original content and stuff that isn't geofenced. But my experience in Netflix feels the same when I'm abroad as when I'm in the USA, unlike Amazon which is jarringly different experience.

The Netflix interface and recommendation provide the best experience for me and the experience is consistent across devices.

2. HBO
Some of my favorite series have been from HBO. But that is all I use it for, is its original series. I cancel and resubscribe as series I'm interested in become available. The reason I rate it third, even though I'm not subscribing for most of the year is that the quality of their original series is so good.

3. Everything other service I've used is a distant third.

Paramount -
Only subscribed for the Star Trek stuff. But I hate the platform and service and which I could just rent/buy the content through Amazon or Netflix. I dislike the different subscription tiers for advertising and no advertising. I've not had any issue accessing the content I want overseas, but I've only watch Lower Decks, Picard, and Discovery. So I don't know how much Paramont content is geofenced. Paying for a streaming service and still getting advertising grates, but the no-advertising subscription level is too expensive for the amount of content. I've stopped watching Star Trek Discovery and am planning on cancelling my subscription. Nothing on Paramount interests me at this time.

Apple+ - I have fond memories of buying Apple video content overseas back in the days when even DVDs were region locked. Apple made consuming digital content so much easier back in the day, but that was--wow--around 15 years ago. I have not bought video content from Apple for well over a decade. I bought a bunch of Apple products recently and have a year's worth of Apple+ streaming service, but haven't used it in couple months I've had it. The interface is good and the experience seems the same whether I'm in the US or abroad, but I haven't used it enough to know how much of its content is geofenced. About the only thing I can think of that has me interested in watching that I can only get on that service is the Velvet Underground documentary.

Disney+ Got it for the Mandalorian. Then cancelled. There are other series I would watch, but not really worth the extra cost to me and at this time, I don't like supporting Disney with my money for reasons I won't get into per forum rules. Besides, I'm not a purist about it and am hypocritically giving Disney my money in other ways.

Crunchyroll. My son got me into Attack on Titan and this is how I watch it as it comes out. I just use it on an exceptional basis as I'm not a big fan of anime. If you are a big anime fan then you already know about crunchyroll. I don't have much to say about its interface and service other than it has the best collection of Japanese anime of any streaming service that I'm aware of.

Youtube. I subscribed to Youtube's subscription service when it was branded as Youtube Red, but that was mainly so I could listen to Youtube clips in the background, but it wasn't worth the cost and I cancelled. I've not used there newer service that is meant to compete with cable services.

BBC America. Mainly for Dr. Who, but now I just buy Dr. Who through Amazon.

The Fantasy Network (TFN). Carries various low-budget indie content. I subscribe for a couple months and watched everything I was interested in and then cancelled. Besides, my favorite creators like Zombie Orpheous Entertainment (Journey Quest, The Gamers, etc.) now also make their content available on Amazon Prime. I would like to support TFN, but my entertainment dollars can only be spread so far and they just don't offer enough new content to make it worth it to me.

There are a number of news services that are primarily magazine and news outlets that also have podcasts and video streaming, but they seem outside the scope of this thread.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
The ones I currently use.

1. Netflix. Can usually find something to watch. Decent amount of original content and decent quality. Free comes bundled with phone services. To many good original shows and foreign language shows.

2. Disney+. Here it also includes Star. We use Star more and its older content there's lots of it. Originals very hit and miss with the MCU, Star Wars stuff I'd nice. Not enough quality new programming although it's originals punch above their weight quality wise. Stand outs Mandalorian, Loki's, Criminal Minds, White Collar, Simpsons, Clone Wars

3. Amazon. Quality is very good and have been spoilt this month with WoT, Expanse and Grand Tour. Severe lack of quantity and quality for new content. Random old TV and shows though and it's very cheap. Stand outs: Bosch, The Boys, The Expanse, Grand Tour.

4. TVNZ on Demand. It's free and you get what you pay for. Crap interface but has Taskmaster UK and NZ on it and Doctor Who and random stuff. Standouts: Taskmaster and TMNZ.
 
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