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Even with numerous streaming services cropping up every year, it is no doubt that the three giants — Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu –continue to dominate the market in terms of popularity, original content, and user experience.
But when you have to choose just one due to obvious budget constraints, which one would work the best for you? This brief comparison will help you decide.
P.S – If you are looking for in-depth reviews on various streaming services, and maybe a discount offer or two, head on straight to Streaming Wars.
Content – Original And Licensed
Content-wise, both Amazon and Netflix are leaned towards producing original content as well as licensed movies and TV shows from other sources. Hulu is mostly focused on broadcast TV shows and movies along with a limited number of original shows.
Amazon has a unique hybrid model that allows viewers to get rentals as well as free content that comes with their prime subscription.
With Hulu, you can get to watch Live TV and lots of ongoing series which usually may take up to a year to be made available in Amazon Prime and Netflix. With Disney acquiring Hulu, you can also expect a shift in its content catalog.
As for user experience, all three services provide a decent desktop, mobile site as well as apps catering to various platforms and device models.
Amazon and Netflix have a way of promoting their original content more and this is usually done using banners on the home page.
Mobile apps of both Amazon and Netflix provide downloads capability. Netflix is especially good in this aspect allowing users to download up to 100 videos for a limited time. While Hulu has also introduced this feature, it is still limited in its scope and is available only for ad-free subscription plans. Speaking of ads, both Netflix and Amazon do not show their party ads during streaming while Hulu does show some ads if you choose their basic subscription plan.
For a Prime video-only subscription, the price would be $8.99 per month and for complete prime services including free deliveries, music streaming service, ebooks, and Twitch, you will have to pay $4 more, costing $12.99 per month.
The basic plan starts at $8.99 per month for a single screen of standard definition video streaming. The higher the number of screens and quality of streaming you opt, the prices also get higher. A midrange plan costs $12.99 per month for two screens of HD video. The premium plan allows for up to 4 screens at 4K HD resolution and costs $15.99 per month.
The ad-supported basic plan starts at $5.99 per month and a premium plan with no ads would cost you $11.99 per month. But you might end up seeing one or two commercials even in the premium plan. A Hulu Live TV offering costs $54.99 per month and gives around 60 live TV channels along with original content and DVR cloud storage.