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Best Streaming Service of 2023

Which streaming service is the best overall? After evaluating a range of streaming services, our top choice is Netflix, and here's why: It boasts a dependable, user-friendly interface, a diverse and ever-evolving content library, and an array of features. Netflix consistently releases new original content from around the world, and it even offers the ability to discover titles using secret codes. Moreover, the introduction of an ad-supported tier has made it more budget-friendly compared to competitors like Disney Plus and Max. However, keep in mind that there are other high-quality streaming services available, so while Netflix is our current top pick, it may not align with everyone's budget or preferences.

Best Streaming Service of 2023

Streaming services have undergone significant changes in the last three years alone. Our comprehensive list, including Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and Max, can assist you in selecting the platforms that suit your needs. Additionally, you might want to explore our recommendations for the best live TV streaming services. We've individually reviewed each of these streaming services and assigned numerical ratings based on their content catalogs, app design and features, and overall value. Some assessments are influenced by our personal content preferences, so if you have a particular favorite show or genre, your choice might differ. Best overall streaming service - Netflix Netflix has become synonymous with streaming in general for a reason. Once a movie rental service, it has evolved into a top-tier streaming platform that's considered a must-have in 2023, even if you're paying extra to share your password. When major originals like "The Witcher" or "Stranger Things" are released, they capture the attention of millions of viewers, earning critical acclaim and awards, providing us with the closest thing we have to water cooler conversations these days. Netflix offers a wide array of both familiar network shows and original series, films, documentaries, and specials, surpassing its competitors. New content is added every week, and the company caters to diverse tastes with gaming options and categories for kids, anime, and foreign-language titles from across the globe. Pricing starts at $7 per month for an ad-supported account and $15.50 monthly for the standard ad-free plan, placing it in the middle range of TV service costs. Both standard plans, with or without ads, provide HD quality and two simultaneous streams. Given the variety of content offered, Netflix remains a top choice. Pros:

  • Intuitive interface for easy navigation

  • Robust recommendation system

  • Vast catalog of licensed movies, shows, and originals, including "Stranger Things" and "Wednesday"

Cons:

  • Relatively high subscription fees

  • Additional cost for extra members

Best streaming service for family-friendly content - Disney Plus Disney Plus is a formidable competitor to Netflix for good reason. It's the exclusive destination for the vast majority of Disney and Pixar libraries, as well as every Star Wars movie, Marvel films, new original TV shows, National Geographic content, and over 30 seasons of "The Simpsons." Shows like "The Mandalorian," "Loki," "Andor," and "She-Hulk" have garnered millions of viewers, and features such as "Turning Red" and "Encanto" have received rave reviews. Additionally, more Star Wars and Marvel original programming is on the horizon in the coming years. At the current price of $8 per month for the ad-supported plan, Disney Plus is among the most budget-friendly streaming TV choices, making it a must-have if you have kids or enjoy any of its other titles (who isn't a fan of Baby Yoda?). The ad-free version costs $14 monthly, and Disney offers four bundles ranging from $10 to $25 per month. Duo Basic is a $10-per-month plan combining Disney Plus and Hulu with ads, while ad-free Duo Premium costs $20 per month. The Disney Bundle Trio Basic, at $15 monthly, includes Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus, all with ads. Finally, the Trio Premium bundle at $25 per month encompasses all three streaming platforms, with only ESPN Plus featuring ads. Pros:

  • Extensive library including "Guardians of the Galaxy," "The Mandalorian," and "Encanto"

  • Affordable bundle options

  • Adjustable content rating system

Cons:

  • Longer waits for new or original releases

Best streaming service for premium content like "House of the Dragon" - Max HBO Max, now rebranded as Max, offers an updated app filled with popular TV shows and movies. It includes HBO's complete library, DC Universe titles, beloved series such as "Friends," the "Lord of the Rings" movies, and almost every Studio Ghibli film. Max is also the primary source for new Warner Bros.-owned feature films. While it may not be Disney Plus, Max has an impressive collection of content for kids, with better controls for managing content ratings on kids' profiles than most other services. Priced at $10 per month, it falls in line with Netflix at the higher end of the streaming spectrum. Opting for an ad-free experience raises the cost to $16 or $20 per month. Max is expanding its roster of original content, and we anticipate this will continue to grow. With the addition of Discovery Plus unscripted content, there's even more to stream. Max boasts an 8.0 rating, on par with Prime Video, and consistently releases new content, offering a substantial back catalog and user-friendly features. Pros:

  • Sleek interface

  • Abundance of content for all audiences, including titles like "Euphoria," "The White Lotus," and "House of the Dragon"

  • Reliable and customizable parental controls

Cons:

  • Relatively higher subscription costs, even with ads

Best budget streaming service for the price - Hulu For $8 per month (with ads), Hulu is an excellent complement to Netflix, offering a contrast. Its channel lineup features a wide variety of familiar shows from networks like ABC, Fox, and FX, available shortly after they air, unlike Netflix. Hulu also boasts a growing catalog of critically acclaimed original series like "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Only Murders in the Building." If you have $8 a month to spare and can tolerate a few ads in exchange for a wealth of TV options, Hulu is a no-brainer. You also have the option to upgrade to a no-ads plan for $15 per month or add live TV streaming for $70 per month as a full cable replacement. Pros:

  • Affordable monthly pricing

  • Access to network shows and originals, including "Abbott Elementary," "The Handmaid's Tale," and "Love Island"

  • Availability of new episodes shortly after airing

  • Option to bundle with the Disney Bundle

Cons:

  • Smaller catalog of originals compared to rivals

  • Occasional navigation challenges with menus

  • Some occasional glitches

Best value streaming service bundled with Amazon membership - Prime Video Amazon's Prime Video offers a wealth of ad-free, high-quality original shows and movies, an extensive catalog of older favorites (including lesser-known B-movies), and NFL coverage on Thursday nights. While it may lack the extensive libraries of Netflix and Hulu and the star power of Disney's platform, Prime Video is included at no extra cost for millions of Prime subscribers. If you're interested in its original content like "The Rings of Power" or its vast movie selection and you don't have Amazon Prime, it might be worthwhile to pay the standalone $9 per month TV service fee. Pros:

  • Included with a Prime membership

  • Extensive selection of movies and TV shows, including "The Boys," "The Rings of Power," and "Swarm"

  • Offline downloads

Cons:

  • Confusing search process and menus

  • Mixing of free and paid content in menus

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