About a decade ago Blockbuster ruled the movie rental business. In 2005 it was valued at about $8 billion. Believe it or not, Netflix in the early 90’s was terrified of going out of business. It originally wanted to partner with Blockbuster but management decided NOT to invest in Netflix. Years later Netflix helped destroy Blockbuster because executives from Netflix understood how to use new technology. They learned the advantages of streaming media and how it was going to change the way movies were delivered to customers. Streaming media has become popular over the years because people no longer need to leave their homes to rent a movie. If you’re an avid movie watcher such as myself then choosing one of the three will actually help to save for those on a budget. Video rental outlets are a thing of the past because consumers are able to stream films and TV shows online. Digital streaming media has created binge watching that eliminates the risk of extra fees for returning a late movie. Streaming media has now become simple, inexpensive, and convenient. It also eliminates the need of a DVD player. The three most popular streaming media companies are Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime. Which one is the best? It depends on your personality and financial situation. Below are a list of the advantages and flaws of each.
Netflix: The leader among online DVD rental service. It has the “watch instantly” feature that streams shows and DVD’s to your electronic devices. Provides a 30-day free membership with a valid credit card. Watch TV shows and movies for $7.99/month. Netflix started as a DVD service but switched over to streaming. There is a large collection of TV, documentaries, and movie shows. It has great original shows: House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Arrested Development. Flaws: They separated the DVD rental and streaming video section. Customers can’t do both unless you pay extra. The renewal rate of videos and TV shows are slow, which is the reason why many say it has few new releases. Also, the content is difficult to browse efficiently. If you don’t know what to watch it is a bit difficult to find something you may like.
Hulu Plus: Only has a one-week trial period and is $7.99/month as well. The content is over 2,700 TV shows and 4,400 movies for streaming. You have a chance to watch pilots of NEW shows before their cable debuts. New TV shows are available the day after they air on major networks such as CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX. Hulu Plus might be better for people who do not have cable. Flaws: Commercials are a serious concern for Hulu Plus. You can’t really avoid watching them. Some of the content is available only over the web and not on your T.V. Most of the content Hulu provides Netflix already has or you can find it online.
Amazon Prime: 30-day free rental and $99/year with a cancel anytime offer. If you are a regular customer on Amazon.com, then Amazon prime may be worth the investment. The content includes movies, TV shows, music, products shipped to your door, kindle, and E-books. Alpha House is the most popular. If it’s not on prime, you have the ability to rent or purchase the DVD. Flaws: Is the $99/year membership worth it for you if you don’t purchase many items on their website or mind receiving products via standard delivery? Also, the streaming service may not be available in other countries outside of the United States.