Best streaming services 2019, has Netflix been beaten?

markmay1991Cord Cutting, Film & TV Streaming, Horror Streaming, Network Streaming, Niche film Streaming, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

1. Netflix

Still the king of online streaming Netflix just keeps growing and has a little something for everyone, however this is also its weakness at it is not dominant in any single genre other than blockbuster hits. Its own popularity is where it fails as everyone has near exhausted Netflix for their own enjoyment, and so many reviews are just people complaining they spend to long flicking to find something decent. I fully expect if I spent as much time on any other streaming service I would struggle finding a Saturday night movie.

Cost $5.99 basic, $7.99 Standard, $9.99 Premium
Usersbasic 1, standard 2, premium 4
Free trial period 1 Month
StreamingUnlimited Anytime
Shows2000+ (US)
Films6000+ (US)

Pros:

  • Possibly the biggest selection of blockbuster hits thanks to its own size and influence in procuring the biggest films.
  • Due to it popularity and influence Netflix is available on almost, if not all, devices and pretty much anything with an internet connection.
  • Easy to use a familiar interface.
  • Separate user accounts so no one else can watch a series over you.
  • Download options for offline viewing.
  • Exclusive series.

Cons:

  • Is not an authority in any single genre.
  • Trouble accessing account when you are abroad, VPN use to work but now is becoming harder to do this.
  • Many users like myself have over used this service and it is now difficult to find anything to watch .
  • Series disappear before I managed to finish them (Lost and Stargate for me).

2. Amazon Prime Video

Amazon is probably the closest competitor to Netflix. It can be a little confusing as annoyingly they list all films not just those available on the prime subscription, meaning you have to make sure the filters are on. Many times have I found a film and only then realised it is only available if I rent it at an additional cost. I have also found many occasions where a film is not even available to rent, but rather coming soon which is very frustrating. I suppose its main advantage over Netflix is it is also a TV and film rental store, meaning if its not on the subscription then you can rent or buy at additional cost and is available to watch anytime direct from your Amazon account. I also find it easier to search by genres than say Netflix.

Cost $7.99 pm
Users2
Free trial period 1 Month
StreamingUnlimited Anytime
Shows2,000+ (US)
Films40,000+ (US)

Pros:

  • One of if not the biggest library
  • Rental and buy options for extra content
  • Easier to access abroad
  • Exclusive series
  • Own production
  • Available on almost all devices

Cons:

  • The split between prime and want you need to rent is confusing and blurry at best
  • User interface is not as nice as other competitors
  • Occasionally encountered issues watching on certain browsers, for example Google Chrome

3. HBO Now

The HBO online service shines with its endless boxsets and nearly all HBO series ever made available to stream. Boxsets available include the entire Games of Thrones series amongst many other greats. However, it is hard to compare with other services as it is largely focused on boxsets. Having said that it does have a great selection of films as well as sports which most other services such as Netflix or Amazon do not offer. We found the selection of boxsets so good that we would even consider replacing our regular tv subscription with just this $14.99 pm service.

Cost $14.99 pm
Users2
Free trial period 7 Days
StreamingUnlimited Anytime
Shows200+ (US)
Films1,000+ (US)

Pros:

  • Nearly all HBO series available.
  • New episodes out as they are aired on TV (for example Game of Thrones episodes are available as soon as they have been aired on TV).
  • Exclusive series.
  • Sports section often not offered on other streaming services.
  • Good enough to essentially replace your cable subscription (depending on what you like to watch).

Cons:

  • Library is smaller than major competitors
  • More expensive than competitors
  • Not a replacement for film streaming services
  • Paired up with Apple?

4. Cinemax

Cinemax is essentially a cable subscription channel of endless films. Following suit, much like all the other cable networks, it has now got its own online subscription service. This service is purely for movies with only a small selection of series. We feel that with its small selection of content it is rather expensive at $9.99 pm. So what else can it offer us? Its main offer will be its 8 live channels constantly streaming blockbuster hit movies. At time of writing we can see movies such as The Usual Suspects, Planet of the Apes, Robocop and Silence of the Lambs all streaming within the next couple of hours. In addition to this you can also watch the movies on demand up to a certain time limit.

Cost $9.99 pm
Users2
Free trial period 7 Days
StreamingUnlimited Anytime & 8 live channels
Shows10+ (US)
Films200+ (US)

Pros:

  • Constant blockbuster hits
  • Constant stream of updated content (more so than its competitors)
  • 8 premium movie channels to help you decide what to watch

Cons:

  • Lack of on demand content in comaprison
  • Not many TV series
  • Expensive compared to major competitors

5. Fandor

Fandor is a fresh alternative to online streaming with a new approach. It is nearly impossible to compare it to the likes of Netflix or Amazon as it focuses on a niche market. This service provides a library of mostly independent and award winning movies gathered form various film festivals from across the world. It also has a blog with in depth analysis and reviews of each film they feature. Fandor features one movie at a time along with all the blog content to go along with it. We feel this service is much more for users who love artistic cinema than those looking to binge on box-sets or action packed blockbusters.

Cost $3.99 pm
Users2
Free trial period 7 Days
StreamingUnlimited Anytime
Shows0
Films3000+ (US)

Pros:

  • Hand selected films
  • Extensive movie blog
  • Cheap compared to competitors

Cons:

  • Only has movies
  • Lacks Blockbuster hits

6. CBS All Access

CBS is pretty much on par with HBO except it has all of the CBS network series which makes it essentially another cable subscription available online. At this point we have learnt streaming services are available on all devices and are all fairly user friendly. Taking this into consideration there is little point reviewing a service from a UI (user interface) perspective and all we can really look at is the content and the price. CBS allows you to access great series such as Star Trek, The Big Bang Theory and Goliath. However, this service lacks a selection of films as it has a few at any one time. We feel the price reflects its lack of films as it is a lot cheaper than HBO which currently charges so much purely because of one show (Game of Thrones).

Cost $5.99 pm
Users2
Free trial period 7 Days
StreamingUnlimited Anytime & Live TV
Shows240+ (US)
Films50+ (US)

Pros:

  • Cheap compared to competitors
  • Lots if great series
  • Partially replaces the need of cable
  • Live TV channels

Cons:

  • Lack of film
  • Lack of content in comparison to major competitors.
  • Restriction in access when abroad

7. Mubi

Mubi is eerily similar to Fandor with a regular selection of hand picked cinema. However, it has a lot more award winning blockbusters, not blockbusters as in modern cinematic hits but a selection of great films over the decades. It is great for re-discovering hit films both low and high budget from independent and Hollywood based studios. It is more expensive than its main competitor Fandor but offers much bigger more acclaimed films which are more likely to attract a wider audience. The idea is a classic cinema in your home.

Cost $9.99 pm
Users2
Free trial period 7 Days
StreamingUnlimited Anytime
Shows0+ (US)
Films400+ (US)

Pros:

  • Amazing selection of films
  • Hand picked movies helping you to choose what to watch

Cons:

  • No TV series
  • Expensive compared to competitors

8. Shudder TV

Shudder is one of my personal favourites, but only because I love a good horror flick. It is impossible to compare to any major streaming service as it is not out to compete with anything but just to set upon a niche market. Shudder is not the only streaming service offering just horror movies, but it is probably the best, so that is why we are including this on our list rather than any other alternative. Our main criticism is that it focuses on movies with only a small selection of series to watch, and even those are not great. We would like to have seen perhaps the likes of The Walking Dead or American Horror Story, as horror series have become increasingly popular over the last 10 years or so. If you are considering this service then you should be a fan of classic horror. It is very similar to Fandor or Mubi in the fact that it has mostly hand-picked films and has reviews and blog posts about all their new additions, meaning it goes further than just being a streaming service but a movie blog to.

Cost $4.99 pm
Users2
Free trial period 7 Days
StreamingUnlimited Anytime & a live channel
Shows30+ (US)
Films450+ (US)

Pros:

  • Great selection of Horror movies
  • Reviews and guides on movies
  • Live movie channel
  • Globally available

Cons:

  • Lack of series to enjoy
  • Lack of new releases
  • Only caters for one niche (a lot of people do not watch horrors)

Conclusion

There are a lot more streaming services that we could include to this list but we felt we have covered a selection worthy of trying, if you would like to see all the streaming services we have reviewed then please click here.

After trying countless streaming services it may be no shock to hear that we have determined Netflix is still the best. I did not want to end at this conclusion but it is impossible not to. It has brand new movies and also its own studio which is producing great television series. In addition to all of that it is one of the cheaper options. Most streaming services have their niche and purpose but if you are looking for a family option then Netflix is the clear winner. Amazon Prime is improving but it does not have the content of Netflix yet. In the future we expect this to change with the likes of the new J.R.R Tolkien series coming to Amazon, but for now Netflix will probably reign supreme for another 2-3 years.

They are all worth a free trial as you should find a fantastic series or film on each one which is exclusive, anything beyond your free trial is up to you.

I have also conclude that every streaming service was easy to navigate and use, and they were also easy to use on my android phone, ipad and my laptop. When looking at what devices a streaming service is available on just forget about that as they all work perfectly well on browsers on all devices, so if there is no app then it is not a problem.

Disclaimer: All content in this post is opinion of the writer and whilst research and testing was carried out to ensure accuracy we do not guarantee absolute accuracy.

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