Streaming Service Part 2: November Rankings

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
One feature of conversations we often have here about geek media is that they get sidetracked into conversations about the various streaming services that are currently offering the content. So while you want to talk about Captain Pike's amazingly dreamy hair and cooking skills on Strange New Worlds, you instead end up discussing Paramount+. Or instead of being able to chat about the delightfully awesome and weird Severance, you end up debating the merits of AppleTV+.

Therefore, as a public service, I have decided to create these series of threads - for talking about the relative merits of streaming platforms, as well as to all people to provide their own power rankings of the platforms. This is the SECOND post on the subject. The original post in August is here.

I apologize but these posts are going to be US-centric. That's because I am reasonably certain that the US is the only country, and that every time I have flown "outside the US" I have actually only gone to the World Showcase of Epcot ... which, wow, they do a good job! I still don't know how they got an accurate representation of the Dolomites in a central Florida swamp. That said, please feel free to contribute with your own observations from Central Florida; I hear the Mexico pavilion has some fine margaritas.

Second, feel free to discuss any and all of the 10,984 streaming services that you want! ESPN+? Sure. Shudder? Love the horror. FuboTV? FUBO! That said, for purposes of power rankings, I will be looking at only the following services:
Netflix
Prime (Amazon)
Disney+
HBOMax
Hulu
Paramount+
Peacock
AppleTV+

How are power rankings determined? They are a completely subjective mix of my opinion as to how the service is doing currently, along with my belief in how the service will be doing in the future. In addition, I will provide a trend (up, down, steady).

1. Netflix. (August Rank: 1) Netflix is the SEC of streaming services; no matter how bad you think they are doing, they still place in the championship game. The most recent quarter saw them reverse their recent customer loss. And while they sat out the DRAGON BATTLE between Prime and HBO, they still were part of the cultural zeitgeist by churning out trashy shows people loved to hate (Dahmer, The Watcher). Netflix has found the sweet spot of putting out content for everyone- an anthology show for the highbrow horror and Guillermo del Toro fans, some anime for the gamers, and Love is Blind when you just can't even.

It's not great. It's Netflix. And that's enough ... for now.

2. Hulu. (August Rank: 7). I've decided to stop worrying about the future of Hulu and embrace the present. Does Hulu have a future? Probably not! But right now ... it has the juice. From critical darlings (Atlanta) to breakout hits (The Bear) to random feel-good strays from network TV (Abbott Elementary) top the occasional decent movie (Prey) Hulu keeps chugging along quietly, under the radar, with a diverse series of shows and hits. You might not live much longer, Hulu, but you're fun for now!


3. HBOMax. (August Rank: 4). I can't believe this ranking myself. But I had already priced in the bloodbath in the last ranking. I think that there is a good possibility that this will end very badly. But until then ... this still has DRAGONS- and no matter how much they try to keep you from seeing what's going on by making it really really dark, people keep tuning in. And it's where people look for prestige TV (Season 2 of White Lotus is looking good so far). If I'm being fair, which is really hard to do for a streaming service run by people that only seem to open their mouths to change feet, I have to acknowledge that their library and IP alone, along with what they have in the pipeline for the next year, should keep them hovering at 3-4 spot. But still ... did you know that they guaranteed the salaries of the actors for a Season of Westworld that they aren't shooting?


4. Disney+. (August Rank: 2). Disclaimer- I am fully caught up on Andor, and I love it. This is more about my concerns about the Disney+ channel. Again, if you have kids, this is some must-have streaming. But I keep going back to a fundamental issue- the Disney brand. Disney, traditionally, stands for wholesome and family friendly. Which is great, but would also stand in contrast with exploring more adult themes (as we are seeing in Andor). In addition, the "must-see" programming is often either Marvel or Star Wars- both IPs having occasional issues with the fan base. Plus, the House of Mouse has been executing an exceedingly difficult dance when it comes to not becoming a target in an increasingly divided country. Finally, there is an increasingly vocal and discontented number of "True Disney fans" due to the issues with the core Disney brand under current leadership.


5. AppleTV+. (August Rank: 3) Confidence is ... raising the price point of your service. This continues to be mostly a projection, but any streamer that has won an Academy Award, does well at the Emmies, and has the deep pockets of Apple to back them will continue to be a player. The primary issue Apple has is a lack of a back catalog.


6. Prime. (August Rank 5)The good news? The most recent season of the The Boys was good. And The Rings of Power, despite a sloooooooooow opening, was fine. And since HBOMax is content to axe all of its content, the West World showrunner are completely freed up for The Peripheral. The bad news? When I think of Prime, I don't think of videos. I think about whether or not the supply chain will keep products from getting to me. Even with a billion dollars sunk into Tolkien, it still feels like a complete afterthought.

7. Paramount+. (August Rank: 6). Sad fact- the "Star Trek Channel" is not nearly as exciting to watch when ... there is no Star Trek. Okay, a new season of Lower Decks (funny!). Also the Beavis & Butthead revival was actually a lot of fun ... but so niche that it didn't attract much interest. Unless and until Paramount+ starts to make some great shows that aren't just Star Trek that capture the zeitgeist, it will lag behind. Fun fact- they make Yellowstone, but sold off the streaming rights and can't them back.

8. Peacock. (August Rank: 8) I was told as a young Snarf that if you have nothing good to say, just continue to rank Peacock 8.



Anyway, feel free to post any thoughts or comments about the streaming platforms here- and not in the show pages!
 

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payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Im getting to the point that Prime isn't worth having, and likely would be dropped if not for those shipping savings.

In general, I think all these sites are hurting the most over movies. The originals are B at best for all of them, and now the catalogs are tightly kept so they can have something for their own service. Makes it slim pickins across the board.

My August ratings;
HBO
D+
Netflix
Hulu
Prime
P+
Peacock


Hasnt really changed.
 

MarkB

Legend
Im getting to the point that Prime isn't worth having, and likely would be dropped if not for those shipping savings.

In general, I think all these sites are hurting the most over movies. The originals are B at best for all of them, and now the catalogs are tightly kept so they can have something for their own service. Makes it slim pickins across the board.
Pretty much the same over here in the UK. I keep my Prime subscription mostly for the delivery savings plus some occasional enjoyable content. I didn't keep either Apple or Paramount after I'd exhausted the new content I was interested in. And I mostly keep Netflix out of habit and for some well-worn comfort food, though they do still occasionally bring out good new content.

Disney+ is continuing to be well worth it for me, for the new series and for their Marvel and Star Wars back catalogue.
 


payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
I have a tendency to finish shows even if I don't particularly like them. Terminal List is the most recent. While the initial premise was intriguing, it quickly devolved into been there done that. TL does look very expensive and im wondering if I should stop watching stuff once I start to lose interest? Would that help things I am interested in like Night Sky Which was cancelled after one season, despite being much better than a show like say Outter Range?

Dont know if it matters, but just asking.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I watch the Disney+ most by far (although I did binge on Sandman on Netflix).

I have no idea which of Disney+, Prime, and Netflix the 13yo watches more. He's a big NatGeo fan on Disney +. Those are the only three we have right now.

We will be briefly getting HBO for the Christmas Story Christmas - the teen will have no independent access and it will likely then go away.

Our TV is one year too old for Peacock and I was too offended to buy a Roku in order to have the privilege of paying for a service just to watch the olympics. Is there another reason for Peacock?

Might have considered Hulu at some point in the past, and am only vaguely aware P+ exists and am not sure I new Apple TV was.
 
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TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
I can't fathom how someone could rank all eight of these services. Are you subscribing to all of them? How much time to you have to watch shows?

I've been subscribed to Netflix for many years, and the number one reason I'm not subscribing to others is lack of time (not that I'm necessarily a very busy individual), and number two is price. These subscription prices stack very fast and I am in no way interested to move back to the Cable era disguised as something else.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Our TV is one year too old for Peacock and I was too offended to buy a Roku in order to have the privilege of paying for a service just to watch the olympics. Is there another reason for Peacock.
There are a few good series on Peacock. A Brave New World, Yellowstone, and Mr Mercedes. None of which are appropriate for your kids. They also get some theatrical released movies but usually junk like Halloween 36.
 

Hex08

Hero
I'm going to first rank them based on what I pay for.
Pay for:
Amazon Prime, and honestly if I didn't share it with my mother I would cancel, Netflix and Curiosity Stream
Kind of pay for:
Disney + and Hulu. Both are included in my cellphone plan so I have them (and I only pay half price for the plan because I am an employee).
Sometimes pay for:
Paramount + I either sign up for a free trial or just pay when any Star Trek that isn't Discovery is on and Apple TV if it's Severance or For all Mankind
Don't pay for:
Everything else

I was an early cord cutter and had a computer with Windows Media Center hooked up to my TV well before smart TVs were a thing. Back then you could stream content free from network's websites, Hulu was free and had content from a bunch of networks and Netflix sent DVDs in the mail. Eventually I got my first Roku and only paid for Netflix and, eventually, Hulu because nothing else existed. Now, if I had to pay for all I would still pay for Netflix and maybe Hulu. The rest would only get my money when specific shows were on and even then, probably once a season was done so I could binge and cancel quickly, assuming there was no free trial. Every streaming service has something I want to watch but the cost of having a bunch or all is crazy. The whole reason I cut the cord so early is because cable was a rip off, I paid a high bill to watch maybe 8 channels. I'm not going to do the same with streaming.

Even though Netflix lost a lot of content I can still find something I want to watch most of the time. Hulu also has a lot of content I enjoy. Disney+ only maters to me for Marvel and Star Wars. Most other services have only a small handful of stuff I am interested in.
 

I subscribed to D+ before it launched because they were offering a special 3-year deal to D23 members. That runs out this month. Last Cyber Monday, Hulu offered a special deal to new subscribers of 99 cents/month for 12 months. That runs out this month too. So now it is time to look at the bundles being offered, to find the best deal, with ads or not, and with ESPN+ stuck in there, even though I don't really need it. I got the free 30-day trial of Prime this month, for Rings of Power and for special Thanksgiving deals and free shipping, and will likely not keep it when it expires. As for the other services, I have never paid for any of the rest, but I have used the more limited, free versions of a couple of them, mainly Peacock. Also, while it is still a year away, when the new Doctor Who episodes and specials start on D+ next year, I expect D+ will move up the rankings.
 

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