Video Streaming

Streaming services have become the new TV channels for many people. It’s much easier to watch your favorite movies and TV shows on your laptop in your bed or on your smartphone or tablet on the go which is why so many viewers are opting to subscribe to at least one streaming service.

On the other hand, this has led so many streaming services to appear that most consumers are simply unable to choose between all of these options. The best way to go about it, of course, is by looking at the most popular streaming services which provide enough content to get you satisfied for years ahead. Hence, here are the five best video streaming services for 2021 and what has changed.

The Overall Picture

When considering any kinds of video streaming services, YouTube is the definitive winner simply because it primarily focuses on free content with anyone being able to create it. However, movies, TV shows, and animation require dedicated paid platforms which is why streaming services like Netflix exist.

Of course, there are some free streaming services like Peacock, but they are nowhere near the giants of the market that have way more subscribers and way more high-quality content to offer. It’s not that free streaming services aren’t being used, it’s just that they are simply not as popular as their paid counterparts.

Right now, the biggest streaming services are Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+. Hulu, and HBO Max. Some of them operate worldwide while others are exclusive to the United States. There are also two Asian-based streaming services (namely, Tencent Video and iQIYI – both have more subscribers than Disney+, Hulu, or HBO Max) which won’t be discussed here because they aren’t popular in the United States.

#1 Netflix

Created way back in 2007, Netflix is the first name that people associate with the notion of streaming services. At the moment, Netflix has over 200 million subscribers while operating worldwide. In terms of content, the streaming services offers a library of Netflix Originals, Studio Ghibli works, and other licensed content from their deals with other vendors.

From adult animation like “Big Mouth” to historical dramas like “The Crown” to miniseries like “The Queen’s Gambit”, Netflix has some of the biggest variety of shows to choose from along with numerous movies like “Goodfellas”, “Inception”, and “The Social Network”. Thanks to its years in the business, Netflix has accumulated millions of subscribers and has created the kind of library many services will be jealous of.

#2 Amazon Prime Video

An even older provider, Amazon Prime Video was launched in 2006 but only started operating worldwide in 2016. The streaming service has 150 million subscribers and offers such content as Amazon Originals, Amazon Studios productions, Discovery Channel works, ITV content, and additional content from licensed vendors.

As the expert on reviews of companies Jonathan White puts it, “Amazon Prime Video is Netflix’s biggest competitor right now. It offers such popular shows as “Fleabag”, “Vikings”, and “The Boys” while also having a library full of high-quality movies like “Knives Out”, “Manchester by the Sea”, and “The Prestige”. In the future, it could overtake Netflix, but not now.”

#3 Disney+

One of the most recent streaming services, Disney+ was only launched at the end of 2019 but already has almost 95 million subscribers. It isn’t available worldwide yet, but it operates in most of the world. Moreover, it offers content from numerous companies including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic, Star, 20th Century Studios, Blue Sky Studios, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, and Disney+ Originals.

Perhaps one of the biggest downsides of Disney+ is that it primarily focuses on content for the younger audiences, though it does have some more mature content. From animated classics like “Beauty and the Beast” to the big blockbusters like “Avatar”, Disney+ is getting more and more content by the day and is also offering shows like “The Mandalorian” and “WandaVision”.

#4 Hulu

Technically, Hulu is a part of The Walt Disney Company since 2019 when Disney acquired 21st Century Fox and now possessed a 60% majority stake in Hulu. However, the streaming service has been around since 2007 and is one of the oldest. Right now, it only operates in the United States and Japan offering content from Hulu Originals, ABC Signature, 20th Television, FX Networks, Freeform, and other additional content from licensed vendors. Right now, Hulu has almost 40 million subscribers.

As the best websites specialist Lindsay Newton notes, “Even if it doesn’t seem like it at first glance, Hulu is actually a very popular streaming service. From animated shows like “Bob’s Burgers” to beloved sitcoms like “Seinfeld”, Hulu has a variety of programming to choose from, including movies like “Gone Girl” and “Parasite”.”

#5 HBO Max

With almost 38 million subscribers, HBO Max may not seem like the biggest streaming service, but it definitely has the potential to beat most of the streaming services mentioned in this article. Launched in 2020, it only operates in the United States for now, but it will probably expand to other regions sooner or later. It offers content from Warner Bros., HBO, Max Originals, DC Universe, New Line Cinema, CNN, Looney Tunes, Comedy Central, Crunchyroll, Studio Ghibli, Adult Swim, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, and others.

With shows like “Silicon Valley”, “South Park”, and “Game of Thrones” and movies like “Mad Max: Fury Road”, “No Country for Old Men”, and “The Matrix”, HBO Max already has a pretty extensive library and it will probably only grow over time.

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Final Thoughts

To sum up, Netflix is still the dominant streaming service on the market, and it seems that it will remain so in the nearest future. Of course, it now has some very powerful competitors that are only getting started, but it won’t be fast that any of them will overtake the giant and become the new king on the streaming services arena.