man in front of tv

When talking about streaming services, people often struggle with choosing which service they should subscribe to. There are many streaming services with — varying degrees of popularity — that offer various different subscription plans and different titles to watch.

With recent national situations involving COVID-19 and certain states under stay-at-home orders, many of these streaming services are getting more attention than ever before.  Some of the services are well-known, like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. Others have a smaller clientele base, like Crackle and Tubi. There are also many services that you can subscribe to that offer television channels without actually having a cable provider, like Sling TV. This service offers nearly 120 channels, but you don’t need a cable box to use it. Instead it operates through your smart TV, Amazon Firestick, or Roku.

The most popular streaming service in the world according to Business Insider is Netflix by a large margin. Netflix has 183 million subscribers worldwide.

Varun Chethan, a junior neuroscience major at BGSU, is subscribed to 8 different streaming services including Netflix, Hulu and ESPN+.

“I think it all has to do with how long they’ve been doing it. When Netflix was competing with Blockbuster back in the day, they had to innovate, so they created an online streaming service way before any of its competitors,” he said.

Drew Henke, a senior business information systems major, was able to guess that Netflix is the most popular streaming service right now without even knowing the current subscriber statistics.

”I think they just have the most to offer, whether it's movies or original series, they have what most people want,” he said.

The next closest streaming service in total subscribers is Disney+, which has only been available since November 2019, with just over 50 million, according to the New York Times. Disney+ also has “The Simpsons,” since Disney now owns the Fox Corporation, all their animated classics and many other films and shows with nostalgic appeal.

According to CNN, Hulu has 28 million subscribers. Hulu and Netflix, while both streaming services, differ in their content. While Hulu has many movies, they are more geared toward TV shows, as with the popular cartoon “Rick and Morty.” Amazon Prime Video, Crackle and Tubi also have 20 million or more subscribers. Crackle and Tubi are different from other subscribers because their services are free, albeit with commercials. Sling TV has around 2.5 million users according to Statista.com. HBO Now and ESPN+ both have over 5 million subscribers.

The subscription service that is best depends entirely on the preferences of the viewer. Different people enjoy different aspects of television. Some prefer movies while others prefer TV shows or sports. While the number of subscribers can vary, all of these services attract millions of people worldwide and don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

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