The decision on which film to watch is a difficult one. The passwords you’ve acquired for different streaming services, whether your own or from a supportive friend or family member, bend the will of your Notes app’s “to watch” list. Most of us have a “go-to” service, such as bills or rent, that has become a part of our monthly budget. (For most people in the United States, this is Netflix.) However, ol’ dependable is unlikely to have every film you want to see, particularly when titles are constantly changing the service they belong to.
In terms of the last few years, we’re theoretically right. The streaming wars, according to Wired, began in 2018. That was the year that the internet erupted over the prospect of Friends leaving Netflix — those panicked stans had no idea that The Office’s departure would cause chaos in just a few years. Since then, the streaming service industry has become a whirlwind of activity. In 2019, Disney+ was launched, followed by HBO Max and Peacock in 2020, Discovery+ in 2021, and CBS All Access becoming Paramount+ in 2022. This does not include any niche sites that were also launched in such a short period of time.
In certain ways, branching out is logical. Rather than letting Netflix, Indoxxi and Hulu profit from subscription fees, an increasing number of networks and media conglomerates are deciding that they want the rights to their own content. Keeping track of which libraries are worth an additional $7 to $15 a month, on the other hand, sometimes leads to shamelessly begging an acquaintance for their password. The other side of cord-cutting is using it as a replacement to make up for all the live programming you’ll be lacking. (It’s like replacing cable with Dish, except with a more modern version that doesn’t need any hardware.) For a monthly charge, platforms such as Sling TV, fubo TV, and DirecTV offer a variety of channels. Although these are useful for watching live sports, TV shows, or the news, they are probably not appropriate for watching movies.
A given piece of criteria, as well as price, is the number of movies (and whether those movies actually pique your interest). However, there are a few other aspects that can help distinguish related channels. Despite the challenge of a few sites cracking down on password sharing in recent years, almost every mainstream streaming service allows at least two streams to be watched at the same time. This means that a few people on different devices or in different households can watch at the same time using the same login information. Large families or groups of friends sharing an account should look for a service that enables at least three devices to stream at the same time.
It’s always a good idea to try out a service before committing. You can search the entire library during that week-long(ish) time, test the 4K or HDR upscaling if you’re interested, and get a general sense of how smooth or sluggish the interface is. Almost all of the paid subscription services on our list have at least five days of free play.