Which Streaming Service Do You Actually Want?

VULTUREJosef Adalian


Which Streaming Service Do You Actually Want?

Helping you navigate the many, many, many, many, many, many, many options out there.

Finding something to watch on TV used to be as simple as turning on the set, flipping through a few dozen channels, and stopping when you stumbled upon something worth checking out. Even during the early days of streaming, you could count on finding most big shows and movies on one of the big three platforms (Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video) or the digital versions of the big premium cable networks (HBO Now, Showtime).

But it’s not so simple anymore: Since late 2019, there’s been a barrage of new platform launches as big media companies scramble for position in the post-cable universe. Apple TV+ and Disney+ came online in November 2019, while Peacock began rolling out in select cities in April (with a planned national premiere in July). A supersized version of HBO called, appropriately enough, HBO Max debuts this week, while a revamped and rebranded CBS All Access is expected by late summer or early fall. All that on top of literally dozens of other smaller services and niche platforms for audiences with specialized tastes. Nobody ever said the streaming revolution would be cheap — or easy.

The good news is that, unlike cable, almost all streaming services let you try out their product before you have to fully commit. A seven-day trial is usually the minimum sampling period, but as competition heats up, some platforms have been giving away an entire month of service. Still, even figuring out which streamers to check out takes some digging — and that’s where Vulture has your back. We’ve put together a master list of dozens of subscription-based video platforms covering a range of interests, from movies and general entertainment to sports and education. We’ve tried to find streamers serving all sorts of tastes and communities both narrow and broad.

A few notes: We want this guide to help you decide how to spend your money, so we didn’t include any platform that was completely free or ad-supported (think Pluto or STIRR). Many services try to make themselves look a bit less expensive by setting their prices at, say, $6.99 instead of $7; we opted to round up to the next dollar when listing costs. And one pro tip: Your cellphone company might offer free or discounted service to a streamer (see: Sprint’s Hulu promotion or T-Mobile’s “Netflix on Us” offer), so check their websites, too.

International Offerings


Dramas, variety shows, and K-pop programming drawn from the libraries of three big Korean TV networks (that also happen to jointly own the service). Beyond a rich collection of VOD titles, the platform also has Taste24HR, which streams shows airing on linear TV in South Korea a day after their original broadcast (sort of like Hulu does in the States.) And you don’t need to speak Korean to enjoy: Most shows have English-language subtitles.

Cost: $1 per day/$7 per month/$70 annually

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