What makes your favorite video streaming services different?

by Melanie Litwin

Essentially everyone consumes media in some manner, yet in today’s day and age, fewer and fewer people are getting their entertainment from traditional sources. Instead, people are turning towards countless different instant video streaming sites. With so many options it may seem that every site is the same, but a closer investigation reveals that each comes with their own unique benefits and drawbacks.

NETFLIX

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Being one of the most popular streaming sites for television shows and movies, Netflix is widely used. It’s basic monthly subscription fee is $7.99 per month, making it more expensive than most other services. However, for many, this extra cost is worth it to have access to the abundance of content provided by Netflix, including suspenseful dramas, comedies, engaging movies, thought-provoking documentaries and their well liked original shows. Since these originals are so popular and so frequently discussed, it encourages people to turn to Netflix for their entertainment in order to stay up to date on what those around them are watching.

AMAZON PRIME INSTANT VIDEO

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Not only is there a great variety of shows and movies offered through Amazon Prime, but a subscription will also provide online shopping benefits, such as free two-day shipping, and access to Prime Music and Kindle books. A potential downfall is that, by choosing Amazon Instant Video, it is necessary to commit to a full year of this service, as there is not a monthly subscription option. The only choice is to spend $99 a year.

YOUTUBE

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YouTube provides a very diverse selection of content. Online creators produce comedy sketches, short films, daily vlogs, DIY instructions, beauty tutorials, book reviews, rants, news coverage, song covers, music videos, and so much more. Since anyone can upload a video to YouTube, the types of content available is an endless list. Depending on personal opinion, this could be seen as positive or negative. Additionally, a benefit is that while most videos require that the viewer watches a short advertisement first, the site is still free to use. For those who want to bypass watching these advertisements there is YouTube Red, a feature of YouTube that costs $10 per month. Not only does YouTube Red remove advertisements, but it also provides access to exclusive content made by popular creators.

HULU

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Another great option for watching TV programs and movies is Hulu. At $8 per month, this service allows for flexibility and can be canceled at any time. A popular reason for choosing Hulu is that this service gives the viewers access to current shows’ latest episodes. Even if a favorite TV show is in the middle of its newest season, the most recent episode is available on Hulu the next day. Along with this feature, the service has its own original shows that cannot be found anywhere else.

Evidently, while these are only a few of the many options available, each presented service has the ability to provide an impressive selection of content to the viewers. Although there are an abundance of reasons why certain sites should or should not be chosen, the best option is based on personal preference. Everyone’s likes are different, but, with so many choices, there is bound to be a service that will satisfy what every individual is looking for.

Melanie Litwin is a junior at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. She is a staff writer for the Fanscotian.
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