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Streaming Services Breakdown - What's the Best Bang for Your Buck?


With all of the streaming platforms available it’s hard to know which one gives you the most bang for your buck. Here’s a breakdown of each of the well known streaming platforms and what each of them offer.

*The price and number of screens listed is for each platforms basic/cheapest plan*

Credit: Secret London

Price: $6.99 a month

Number of Screens allowed: 1

Trial Period: N/A

Student Discount: Unfortunately, no

Netflix is known as the “OG” of streaming platforms. It was developed in 1997 with streaming commencing in 2007. Netflix is known for creating original series such as Stranger Things, Ginny and Georgia, You and original movies, including Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Enola Holmes. While they recently faced backlash for attempting to limit the number of screens and only being allowed to use your account with your home Wi-Fi, they have since backtracked, keeping their previous rules in place.

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Price: $79.99 a year or $7.99 a month (with ads)

Number of Screens allowed: 2

Trial Period: 30 days

Student Discount: $1.99 a month

Like Netflix, Hulu is one of the most well known streaming platforms with iconic TV shows such as Bob’s Burgers, Abbott Elementary, Criminal Minds, and Modern Family and movies like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Hate U Give, and Home Alone. Hulu has multiple bundles including one with Hulu and Disney + (with ads) for $9.99 a month. Additionally, they have bundles available with HBO Max ($14.99 a month), Cinemax ($9.99 a month), Showtime ($10.99 a month), and Starz ($8.99 a month).

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Price: $10.99 a month or $99 a year (without ads)

Number of Screens allowed: 5

Trial Period: 30 days

Student Discount: No, but with the Spotify student discount you can get Hulu (with ads) and Showtime for $4.99 a month

While Showtime is newer to the streaming platform scene, they have a lot to offer, including the critically acclaimed Everything Everywhere All At Once, Moonlight, and Lady Bird. Showtime has a partnership with Hulu ($10.99 a month) and with Paramount + either with ads ($11.99 a month or $119.99 a year) or without ads ($14.99 a month or $149.99 a year).

While Showtime does not come with an Amazon Prime subscription you can also subscribe to through Amazon Prime and get access that way for $10.99 a month.

Credit: Polygon

Price: $9.99 a month or $9.99 a year (with ads)

Number of Screens allowed: 3

Trial Period: No

Student Discount: Yes, but same price as the basic plan with ads

HBO Max has become known for having the renowned Gossip Girl and recently added the Gossip Girl reboot as well as The Sex Lives of College Girls and Euphoria.They also have plethora of other brands like Warner Bros., DC, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies, and many more.

Credit: Deviant Art

Price: $6.99 for the first three months then $7.99 a month (with ads)

Number of Screens allowed: 4

Trial Period: N/A

Student Discount: Yes

When Disney+ stepped on the scene on Nov. 12, 2019 they took the world by storm as this meant all of the Disney movies would be taken off of Netflix where they had previously resided. From Disney to Pixar to National Geographic, Disney + has it all. They also house most of the Marvel Movies which is another big bonus.

Disney plus has a bundle with both ESPN + and Hulu where users can purchase with ads ($12.99 a month) or without ads ($14.99 a month).

Credit: GamesRadar

Price: $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year

Max Number of Screens allowed: 3

Trial Period: No

Student Discount: No

For all sports fans, ESPN+ is a subscription plan that you definitely want to look into. ESPN+ is owned by the ESPN division of the Walt Disney Company, in partnership with ESPN Inc., which is a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Communications. They offer exclusive sports content from the NFL, the NHL, the NBA, UFC, and many more. Subscribers also get access to the full library of ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series, as well as thousands of exclusive articles, such as scouting reports and mock drafts.

While you can have a ESPN+ subscription, you can get it bundled with Disney+ for only $3 more per month.

Credit: Insider

Price: $139 per year or $15 per month, with free shipping on Amazon Prime purchases. A video-only subscription costs $9 per month

Maximum Number of Screens allowed: 3

Trial Period: 30 days

Student Discount: 99¢ for up to a year

Prime Video is known for having The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, and Fleabag with Award-winning playwright Phoebe Waller-Bridge. On the downside some titles do cost extra to rent or buy and titles are also frequently coming and going, equating to a loss of access to these titles. However, even with this, according to TV Guide Amazon Prime Video still has the largest streaming library of any service.

Credit: Android Central

Price: First week free and then $4.99 a month

Number of Screens allowed: 3

Trial Period: 30 days

Student Discount: 25% off regular price

Paramount + gives you access to TV shows and movies as well as live sports. They’re known for having stations CBS, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, and the Smithsonian Channel and blockbuster movies like Top Gun Maverick and Smile.

What’s unique about Paramount + is that they offer 24/7 live news with CBS News with the basic as well as the premium plan. For most streaming platforms in order to get live TV access you have to have a premium plan.

Price: $54.99 a month for 3 months, then $64.99 a month

Number of Screens allowed: 3

Trial Period: 5 days

Student Discount: No

YouTube TV is on the pricier side, but gives you access to over 100 live channels with unlimited DVR space. They have access to channels like PBS, Nickelodeon, and MSNBC. For the sports fanatics they also have a custom feature that features a key plays view, stats view, and a fantasy football view.

In addition to the basic plan, they have a Spanish plan that’s $24.99 for the first six months and $34.99 thereafter. This plan offers access to over 30 Spanish channels and the unlimited DVR space and sports settings that the basic plan has.

Credit: Billboard

Price: Free (Basic Plan) and $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year (with ads)

Number of Screens allowed: 3

Trial Period: N/A

Student Discount: No

This platform became well known since it was where the Olympics was streamed in 2022. What makes them stand out amongst the rest is that their basic plan is free. Yep free. You can watch select TV shows and movies without having to pay a dime and you don’t even have to enter your credit card information.

With the premium plan they have 50+ “always on” channels and next-day access to TV shows and movies from NBC and Bravo. Regarding ads, on their website they have a note that states, “Due to streaming rights, a small amount of programming will still contain ads (Peacock channels, events, and a few shows and movies).”

They are also the only streaming platform that has all eight Harry Potter movies.

Credit: Soda

Price: Free (with ads)

Number of Screens allowed: 1

Trial Period: 14 days

Student Discount: No

All of the anime and Manga lovers are aware of Crunchyroll. Founded in 2006 the streaming platform is known for having most anime TV shows and movies that cannot be found on the other streaming platforms.

The fan plan is the next cheapest plan for $7.99 a month for an ad-free experience. In addition to ad-free watching, mega fan plan offers offline viewing and access to four concurrent streams. Members will also receive a special benefit for the Crunchyroll Store that provides $15 off a purchase of $100 every three months for $9.99 a month. Finally, the ultimate fan plan has all of the benefits of the mega fan plan plus access to six concurrent streams, an annual Ultimate Fan member swag bag, member-only access to the purchase of exclusive merch, and a special benefit for the Crunchyroll Store that provides $25 off a purchase of $100 every three months.

Credit: Apple

Price: $6.99

Number of Screens allowed: 6

Trial Period: 7 days

Student Discount: Yes, detailed under bundles

Apple created their own streaming platform in 2019 and has created many original series since, including Ted Lasso that has won 4 Emmys, Maya Rudolph’s Loot, and The Morning Show, starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. Having it only be $6.99 a month is a steal.

Other Bundles

Here’s where things start to get a little complicated. Freeform is owned and operated by ABC Family Worldwide, a subdivision of the Disney Entertainment division of the Walt Disney Company and was previously known as ABC Family. However, you can watch Freeform movies and TV shows through Hulu. All Hulu subscribers get access to select Freeform TV shows and if you add the Live TV add on to your Hulu account, streamers now have access to 75+ live TV shows including FreeForm.

This allows streamers to watch live TV without having to have cable, but if you still do have cable you can get access to Freeform with your provider login.

Hulu + Live TV combines Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+, and Freeform (all with ads) for $69.99 a month. This sounds like a lot but is less than the average cable cost which is

Apple One bundles six great Apple services into one easy subscription. Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, the all-new Apple Fitness+ powered by Apple Watch, and iCloud+ all come together for you or your entire family to enjoy. It has a one month free trial period and an Individual plan is $16.95 a month, the Family plan is $22.95, and the Premier plan is $32.95.

Credit: AppleOne

As previously mentioned, Apple TV+ does have a student discount, but it’s not your typical one. According to their website, “Students enrolled in degree-granting universities and colleges can join Apple Music at a discounted monthly rate for up to 48 months. And if you have an Apple Music student subscription, you also get Apple TV+ for a limited time,” meaning that when the 48 months is up, you lose both your Apple Music and Apple TV+ discount which sits at $6.00 a month.

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