If you’ve got a VPN, you’re probably familiar with the US version of Netflix, which provides way more content than the Australian version. But have you checked out any of its rivals?
Some of the most popular options include Amazon Prime, HBO Now and Hulu. Which service offers the best bang for buck? Let’s find out.
It feels as if Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime want you to be confused about how many titles they offer at any given time. Streaming video aggregator Reelgood (a search engine and launcher for all your streaming video accounts) has been tracking their libraries for years, noticing things like Netflix’s shrinking and growing catalogue. Now they’ve released an analysis of which streaming service gives you the biggest “bang for your buck”—the most worthwhile shows and movies per subscription dollar.
This is different from which service has the most titles overall. Amazon Prime Video has over 10,000 movies, but many of them are obscure titles you’ll never actually want to watch. Reelgood looked for just the 20,000 most popular shows and movies among its users, minus any that were very poorly rated on IMDb. Out of this crap-free selection, Reelgood analysed which services performed best.
Between the top five streaming services—Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, and Showtime—Reelgood found that Prime Video and Netflix were about tied for quality movies, with a thousand each, with Hulu coming in third at under 500. But for quality TV shows, Hulu won with 749, followed by Netflix at 495.
Then Reelgood applied the cost of each service, to figure out which services offer the most “quality titles per dollar.” With price factored in, Prime Video wins at movies, and Hulu wins at TV shows:
So if you can only afford one streaming service, and you only care about how many decent movies or shows you get, choose Prime Video or Hulu, respectively.
Of course, if you’re a huge fan of Game of Thrones and Veep, or of Stranger Things and Bojack Horseman, then it’s not so simple. But in general, better to pay for Hulu and borrow your neighbour’s HBO password—or buy a couple shows a la carte—than vice versa.
For now, anyway. HBO’s new owner wants the network to make more original shows and become more of a must-have. In light of a chart like this, that makes sense.
Reelgood, an independent service running on VC funding, tells Lifehacker they have no financial ties to any streaming services.