With more than 200 million subscribers, Netflix is still a very popular streaming preference for many people. Even so, it’s not the only option today. There are literally hundreds of hours of streaming possibilities to consider when it comes to content delivered this way, in fact. Some of the services that provide access to streamed shows, movies, and similar content do so ad-free while others include commercials and limitations with viewing and streaming options.
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What’s ultimately best for you depends on your preferences and expectations. If you’re looking for suggestions, we’ve put together a top five list. It’s based on factors such as general reviews, bundle options, how many devices content can be streamed on, overall performance, and user profile options. Drumroll please! Now, here are the five best streaming services for 2021 for your consideration.
Disney+, or “plus,” officially launched in late 2019. Yet in this short span of time it has already become one of the most popular and recommended streaming services for 2021. Perks include:
• Bundling options with Hulu and ESPN Plus
• An option four-device simultaneous streaming
• Parental controls to create profiles for your kids
• Access to a wide range of Disney classics and new releases
The main drawback with Disney+ is that pricing for the option that gives you access to new releases is on the higher side. If you have kids or you’re a fan of Star Wars and other Disney content, however, you’ll definitely be happy with this streaming service.
As mentioned above, Netflix is the go-to streaming service for many people, so there’s no need to spend too much time on its attributes. Some of the top ones include:
• Buzz-worthy shows like Squid Game
• Three convenient subscription plans: basic, standard, and premium
• Fairly reasonable mid-tier rates
However, you won’t get simultaneous streaming options with a basic plan. You’ll need to go to the premium plan to get added perks like ultra HD viewing and up to four screens to watch streaming content on at once, although the standard plan will give one extra screen. There are no bundling options.
Value is one of the top benefits of Hulu thanks to a reasonable starting price. In addition to providing access to binge-worthy series American Horror Story, The Strain, and Into the Dark, Hulu’s top benefits include:
• Bundling options that include ESPN Plus, Disney+, and HBO Max
• A reasonable ad-free tier at $12.99 a month
• The ability to pair Hulu with Live TV if you want to ditch cable
Simultaneous streaming is on the skimpy side at just two devices. You’ll also have to pay more to go ad-free, but these are fairly minor drawbacks, though.
4. Prime Video
You get access to Amazon’s Prime Video just from being an Amazon Prime account, which earns some bonus points for convenience. Otherwise, the starting price is roughly twice as much as where Hulu starts. However, there are some appealing benefits to consider, including:
• Thousands of TV shows and movies
• Appealing Amazon originals that include The Wilds and Invincible
• An option to subscribe to 100-plus channels if you want to forego cable
Prime Video also gives you the option to rent or buy shows and movies, which is another appealing perk. On the other side of things, a valid argument can be made that Prime Video’s content isn’t yet at the same level of what’s available from some competitors mentioned here. Three is the simultaneous streaming number with this service.
5. HBO Max
HBO Max is also fairly new in the streaming service world. But like Disney+, it has quickly become a popular option for anyone preferring a broad range of viewing options. So, it’s no surprise that one of HBO Max’s top perks is over 10,000 hours of new and classic content. Others things to love include:
• Access to popular shows from Warner Media, DC Comics, and many other well-known sources
• Same-day access to Warner Bros. movies
• Flexible parental controls
You’ll also get up to five user profiles with HBO Max. It is, however, a bit on the pricey side, especially since the basic plan includes ads. You also get three simultaneous streaming options with this service.