Our world and the technology we use is constantly evolving. Most homes don’t have a landline phone anymore, and even more households have been opting to cut the cord on cable TV and turn to digital streaming platforms. Why pay for cable TV if you already pay for internet service? Subscribing means selecting from a variety of options, and it can be tough to choose which is the best streaming service for your needs.
A March 2022 study shows that live streaming services are growing faster than ever, picking up 7.6 percent more subscribers than the year before. Meanwhile, approximately 25.5 million U.S. households dropped their cable provider between 2016 and 2021, and it’s predicted that by the end of next year, less than half of U.S. households will have a traditional cable subscription. Many streaming services have adapted to meet the demands of subscribers, creating more original content and offering far more than traditional TV channels.
Though streaming is here to stay, 2022 has also seen consumers becoming more selective about the services they subscribe to. A recent survey found that 57 percent of 2000 participants were planning to cut some of their paid subscriptions. With a variety of streaming services to choose from, it’s important to select the service that best suits the needs of you and your household.
StudyFinds has compiled a list of the best streaming services, based on the most common recommendations across 10 expert websites. If you have a different service you favor, be sure to let us know in the comments below!
The List: Best Streaming Services, According To Pros
Netflix is the name that has become synonymous with online video streaming, starting as a mail-in subscription where you could borrow physical DVDs and evolving into the streaming giant we know now. Most of your mainstream popular TV shows can be found on the platform, as well as a huge selection of movies, documentaries, and international titles.
“While Netflix has lost a couple of major back-catalog titles to other platforms — specifically TV series favorites The Office to Peacock and Friends to HBO Max — the streamer still offers a wide variety of familiar network shows and more original series, films, documentaries, and specials than any of its competitors,” writes CNET.
Netflix is tough to beat when it comes to a clean user interface, high quality video, and wide selection. Their cheapest plan starts at $6.99 a month for streaming on one device with ads, and caps at $19.99 a month for 4 devices and no ads.
“Compared to other streaming services, no one offers more high-quality content at a single price than Netflix,” writes Engadget. “Pick any category you can think of and Netflix probably has something that will fit the bill. Plus, new content is released every week and as a worldwide service, Netflix is consistently adding movies and TV shows from around the globe.”
2. HBO Max
HBO has won over many subscribers this year, snagging major titles like Game of Thrones. The platform has an impressive selection of movies it’s hard to find online anywhere else, and is a major hub for fans of the DC universe. You can also find Criterion Channel and TCM on HBO Max.
“The Discovery merger caused quite a few waves for HBO Max, most notably a hit to its content list and animation future, but it still remains the best place in the streaming sphere for pop culture content,” writes IGN.
HBO Max cost $10 a month with ads and $15 without, but has recently been ramping up their selection of original productions to compete with well-rounded platforms like Netflix.
“Recently, HBO Max finally upgraded Game of Thrones to 4K with HDR 10 and Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, so it’s a good time to go revisit the very dark The Long Night episode, writes Tom’s Guide. “We love HBO Max so much, we awarded it the 2022 Tom’s Guide Award for best streaming service.
fuboTV’s channel lineup includes 138 channels in just its standard plan. Though mostly focused on sports, their lineup now includes some entertainment, making it a great service for those who mainly watch TV to catch up with sports.
“This streaming service, which began as a live-streaming platform for die-hard soccer fans, ties at No. 1 in both our Best Sports Streaming Services of 2022 and Best Live TV Streaming Services of 2022 lists,” writes US News. “Though it now covers entertainment, fuboTV still maintains its sports-centric roots, with its basic plan offering networks beloved by sports fans, including ESPN, Fox Sports, and beIN Sports, among others.”
fuboTV also comes with an amazing DVR function with 250 hours of storage by default that can be increased to 1,000 hours, allowing users to record anything they might have missed up to 72 hours after it airs. Stream on up to 13 devices simultaneously and create 6 user profiles.
“FuboTV is a great option for any cord-cutting sports fans. Its base subscription plan, called fubo Starter, costs $64.99 per month and grants you access to about 120 channels, with the exact number depending on your location, writes PC Mag.
4. Amazon Prime Video
If you already have an Amazon Prime account for shopping, Prime video is one of the best perks. The entire streaming platform comes included with your subscription.
“Its strong suit is movies, with a fantastic selection of blockbusters to B-movies, English-language and international pictures, romances to horrors and everything in between,” writes What To Watch. “That’s not to say Prime Video is bad for TV, with a few stand-out originals including The Boys, The Rings of Power, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Good Omens — you’ll also find plenty of box sets of classic shows too.”
Prime Video offers a huge selection of TV shows, movies and their own originals, and is available across a wide range of devices.
“Amazon and Netflix are two sides of the same coin. That’s not to say they’re identical – they’re definitely not – but the differences are few and far between, and Prime comes a close second in the battle of the best streaming services,” writes TechRadar.
5. Youtube TV
You know Youtube as a video-sharing platform, but did you know they have their own TV and video platform? Their selection of channels probably mimics live TV the most out of any service.
“YouTube TV’s wide variety of offerings probably mimics traditional cable packages the most out of any streaming service on this list. The Base plan (starting at $54.99 per month) comes with more than 85 news, entertainment, sports, and local channels,” writes Entertainment Weekly.
There are 3 add-ons users can choose from depending on their watching habits: Sports, Spanish, Entertainment, and one for 4K viewing. You can try YoutubeTV for 3 months for free before subscribing.
“YouTube TV unquestionably has the best cloud DVR. It comes with unlimited storage and a generous nine months to watch recordings. And, yes, you can zoom by commercials on your recorded shows as well,” writes ZDNet.
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.