- Streaming search engine Reelgood provided Business Insider with data on five major streaming services, looking at factors from cost to library size, to help you determine which ones to subscribe to.
- Amazon Prime Video has the most bang for your buck, as it’s the cheapest option with the biggest catalog of movies and TV shows, as well as lots of quality films.
- But if you are seeking quality TV shows, Netflix and Hulu are better options for you.
- If you can put up with ads, Hulu is actually the cheapest option. But without ads, it’s still less expensive than Netflix’s standard HD plan.
- HBO Now is the most expensive option with fewer titles than its competition. The premium cable network has historically favored quality over quantity, but its parent company AT&T plans to ramp up the amount of original content it produces.
- Showtime has the fewest movies and TV shows by a wide margin, and is only a must-have if you are a fan of its original programming.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
As the streaming wars heat up, consumers are being bombarded with choice.
Netflix launched the streaming boom, but has faced competition from Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, as well as the rebirth of premium cable channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz as standalone streaming apps.
And the battle is only going to heat up in the coming months, as companies like Disney and Apple launch their own services.
The volume of choices can be daunting.
So before Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max arrive this year and next, Business Insider has taken a look at how each of the current major players stack up against each other in terms of TV and movie selection and price, thanks to data from streaming search engine, Reelgood.
Reelgood provided Business Insider with data for five streaming services: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and Showtime.
If you’re struggling to determine which services you want to keep as new choices appear on the horizon, this guide will help:
Prime Video is the cheapest streaming service out of the five we looked at, while HBO Now is the most expensive.
HBO Now is HBO’s standalone streaming service and requires a monthly subscription of $14.99, while HBO Go is available for those who already have an HBO cable subscription.
Amazon Prime Video is $8.99 a month for only streaming video, and $10.99 for Video and other Prime benefits (or $119 per year).
Reelgood counted Hulu without ads in its study, which is $11.99 a month. But Hulu without ads is $5.99 a month. Hulu will also be offered as a bundle with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus on November 12 for $12.99 a month.
Netflix increased its prices earlier this year. Its standard plan with HD quality, its most popular plan, rose from $10.99 to $12.99.
Prime Video: $8.99/month
Hulu (without ads): $11.99/month
Netflix (standard HD plan): $12.99/month
HBO Now: $14.99/month
Amazon Prime Video has the largest movie selection by far.
Prime Video leaves the other platforms in the dust with over 14,000 movies. Netflix is a distant second with more than 3,000 total movies.
Prime Video: 14,210
The TV show race is closer. Prime Video also won out in this regard, though.
Prime Video dethroned Hulu this year as the service with the most TV shows.
Prime Video has over 2,300, while Hulu has more than 1,900. Last year, Hulu offered 1,784 TV shows, while Prime Video had 1,515.
Hulu is actually in third place in this regard now, behind Netflix.
Prime Video: 2,317
But just because Prime Video has the highest number of movies and TV shows, that doesn’t mean it has the best titles. Netflix and Hulu are almost even in terms of the number of “high quality” TV shows they offer.
Reelgood defined a “high quality” TV show as anything with an 8 or higher on IMDb. Hulu narrowly beat out Netflix in this regard. The others were well behind.
Prime Video: 142
And Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are virtually tied in the number of “high quality” movies they offer.
Reelgood defined a “high quality” movie as ones with a 7.5 rating or higher on IMDb. Netflix has 124 of these titles, while Prime Video has 125. Both increased from 2018 to 2019, while the other services don’t come close.
Prime Video: 125
Here are the key takeaways for each service:
- Amazon Prime Video: Prime Video has the most bang for your buck if you’re just looking for the biggest movie and TV libraries for the least amount of money. But that doesn’t mean it has the best content to offer. In terms of “high quality” movies (those with at least a 7.5 rating on IMDb), Prime Video is virtually tied with Netflix. And both Netflix and Hulu have more high quality shows (those with an 8 rating or higher) than Prime Video.
- Netflix: Netflix’s standard HD plan is the second most expensive service out of the five after raising its prices this year. But it rivals Prime Video in the number of high quality movies it offers, and gives Hulu a run for its money in the number of high quality TV shows it has. And Netflix has has the most original content of any of the platforms. As the streaming war escalates, and more companies remove content from Netflix, the streaming giant has invested heavily in original productions, both domestically and internationally.
- Hulu: If you’re a TV buff, Hulu might be for you. It’s not far behind Netflix in the total number of TV shows it offers, and it has the highest amount of high quality shows of any of the services (by IMDb standards). And if you can put up with ads, Hulu is the cheapest option. But without ads, it’s still less expensive than Netflix’s most popular plan.
- HBO: While HBO Now is the most expensive service and has fewer movies and TV shows than the competition, the premium cable network has historically favored quality over quantity, and focused on a stacked Sunday night line-up of programming. But after the AT&T and Time Warner merger, HBO’s quantity of content will increase. AT&T plans to increase HBO’s budget and wants to introduce two hours of prime-time original programming on Monday nights along with Sundays.
- Showtime: Showtime is the second least expensive service of the five, but it has the fewest total movies and TV shows, and the least amount of high quality movies and TV shows (again, by IMDb standards). The service is only a must-have if you are a fan of Showtime’s original programming. Otherwise there are better options.
To further help subscribers, Reelgood provides the full content libraries of all of these services and more.
- Entire Netflix library
- Entire Hulu library
- Entire Prime Video library
- Entire HBO library
- Entire Showtime library