The Best Streaming Service 2018 (Guide)

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Illustration by Muntaha Hussain l TechEngage

Streaming services are like fine wine, they get better with age. Streaming services have been around the corner for decades it seems, but they are still developing and constantly improving. The rage for streaming services began with the advent of Netflix.

Ever since Netflix became a thing, every other broadcasting company or media company has been trying to mimic the platform, unsuccessfully I might add. The key to surviving in this cutthroat market is to offer something that no one else has. Standing out from the crowd is not only essential, but it is also extremely crucial.

Many platforms are still in their infancy and looking to grow with time. Their user-base is small so they can take risks. There are still many who refuse to become a part of the streaming revolution. They refuse to cut cords and are comfortable watching their shows the old school way, the way of the TV.

But for those looking to freshen things up and want a change in their lives, this list will help you decide what streaming service is the best for you.

Best Streaming Services Ranked

I have ranked the following streaming services based on my own experience. Here are my personal picks:

1. Netflix

best streaming services

The king of kings, Netflix has been the trendsetter that started it all.  There’s absolutely no second opinion as to why Netflix tops our best streaming service list. Hard to believe Netflix started its early career as a DVD rental service where it would send DVDs to users’ homes. Very little has changed in the Netflix business model apart from the medium it uses.

Netflix is now an empire, having an astonishing 117.6 million digital subscribers worldwide. It also plans to spend around $7.5 billion to $8 billion on content this year.

Its red and black interface gives an almost futuristic look, perfect for late night viewing as it is easy on the eyes. Netflix, in my opinion, produces the best original shows out of all the streaming platforms on this list.

Some of which include House of Cards, Daredevil, and Narcos. These shows don’t need any introduction as you will most likely be already familiar with these.

It also offers 3 monthly plans: basic, standard and premium, giving users extreme flexibility. The $7.99 Basic plan allows streaming on only one screen, the $10.99 Standard allows two, and the $13.99 Premium enables users to stream on four different screens simultaneously.

Basic plan offers a standard resolution, Standard offers HD resolution while Premium offers Ultra HD resolution.

2. Hulu

hulu streaming services

Hulu provides a variety of shows that the whole family can enjoy. It has a diverse range of movies and tv shows that will cater to every family member’s needs and tastes. Hulu has the strong backing of major tv studios. Having a wider outreach, Hulu is one our picks for the best streaming services.

This allows the streaming service to release shows rapidly, almost immediately after they air on TV. Hulu’s ad-supported viewing option has been removed. To view current TV shows and original series, Hulu requires a $7.99 subscription but it does still show ads.

For an ad-free viewing experience, the subscription will cost $11.99. if you want even more options you can add subscriptions to HBO or ShowTime for $14.99 or $8.99 respectively.

Hulu’s biggest flaw, in my opinion, is that even the premium subscription can sometimes show ads for 15 to 30 seconds.

Hulu’s green and white color scheme gives a calm reassurance to the users, making navigating menus a breeze. Its most popular original shows are Castle Rock, HandMaid’s Tale and 11.22.63.

3. Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime streaming services

Amazon Prime video offers so many flexible options to its users. When it comes to best streaming service, Amazon Prime is only second to Netflix and Hulu (it’s my opinion of course). The best part about it is if you own an Amazon Prime subscription, you will get Amazon Prime for free. If you want Amazon Prime subscription, just the subscription for Amazon’s video service, it will cost you $8.99.

Amazon Prime doesn’t offer much customization, even though it has a surprisingly massive collection of movies and TV shows. Unfortunately, users can only stream on two devices simultaneously.

There is little choice when it comes to customization. Users can only create one account at a time.

There are however some really solid shows on Amazon Prime, such as The Man in the High Castle and The Grand Tour.

4. YouTube Premium

best streaming services

YouTube Premium, formerly known as Youtube Red, is a paid subscription service from YouTube. It is available in many countries, but it doesn’t even come close to Netflix’s coverage map. YouTube Premium covers countries like Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, among many others. So, it makes it to our best streaming service list.

YouTube Premium offers exclusive original content produced by famous YouTubers such as Logan Paul, Rhett and Link, Lilly Singh and Rooster Teeth. Users will be able to save their favorite videos offline, listen to audio even when the smartphone screen is turned off or you go into another app.

Not to mention your favorite YouTube creators will get a fixed portion of revenue from all Youtube Premium subscribers without having to worry about ads.

But the biggest and the standout feature of YouTube Premium is that subscribers will get YouTube Music Premium and Google Play Music all for free. YouTube Premium costs $11.99 which is quite expensive to the say the least.

It is more expensive than a Standard subscription of Netflix. But this suits everyone who spends more time on YouTube than they do watching movies or TV shows.

5. Google Play Movies and TV

streaming services

Google Play Movies and TV is a Video on Demand (VOD) service created and managed by Google. This streaming service offers a large library of movies and TV shows that can be streamed or downloaded for offline viewing. Google Play comes last in our best streaming service list.

Google claims that most of the movies and TV shows are available in high definition which is 720p or 1080p, and more will be added in Ultra HD 4K. Movies can be rented or purchased directly from the app.

Once purchased, smartphone users will be able to watch them from the Google Play Movies and TV app.

There are other ways to view the content as well. Users can view content on their laptops from a dedicated Movies & TV section of the Google Play website, or via the Google Play Movies & TV Google Chrome web browser extension. Google Play Movie and TV is a hub to buy and stream.

Final Word

In my opinion, Netflix still rules the land of internet streaming services. The reason is unparalleled original shows, a massive library of movies and TV shows that keep getting refreshed each month. Unbeatable value for money, and who can forget the worldwide availability of Netflix. This is why Netflix comes on top of so many lists of best streaming services on the Internet.

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