Ranking my top 5 quarantine streaming services

Since our entire free time during this pandemic revolves around entertainment, its optimal to know which services are the best of the best



The streaming giant Netflix has been a consistent boon to moviegoers during quarantine

5. Amazon Prime Video. This is probably the most controversial placing on this list. I know lots of viewers love Amazon Prime’s original shows and movies (I was howling with laughter at the Borat sequel). And I’ll admit that the IMDB-backed “x-ray” feature that allows people to see casting information and trivia about the title they’re viewing is superb. However, I’m not happy about the fact that too often, the films and TV that are free with the subscription are mingled in with the films and shows  that aren’t. More times than not, I found myself asking “What do I own and what do I not own?” Additionally, the content library isn’t lacking in quality, but in quantity. That usually shouldn’t matter to me, but when I’m stuck at home during a global pandemic, this kind of thing goes a long way.


4. Disney+. Ah, the new kid on the block. When I heard that Disney would be making their own independent streaming hub, I wasn’t happy at all. I understood the announcement from a business standpoint, but I enjoyed having the option to watch some of my favorite Disney classics on Netflix, without my family having to pay extra. But when I started to use the service itself, I wasn’t really underwhelmed. If you thought that Disney and the properties it owns couldn’t pad out a successful streaming service all by its lonesome, you’d be mistaken. The company’s vault of content, despite it being only a little over a year old, is astounding, but that’s the thing that’s keeping it from being higher on the list. It’s just Disney and the companies it owns, and it doesn’t amass movies and TV from studios and companies across the board like the other services. Also, their “Premier Access” feature that allows fans to watch films like Mulan ahead of their actual release date for the exorbitant price of $30 is a flagrant display of greed that I doubt the company will abandon anytime soon.


3. Hulu. Over 80,000 TV episodes during a period where time itself seems like a lie? Yes, please. I’m not even really that much of a TV junkie, unless it’s something that’ll keep me invested to the point of where I cannot live without knowing what happens in the next episode. Fortunately for me, Hulu came through on that promise. Its expansive catalogue of TV shows is something to behold, and I don’t even know where to begin with its movie library, especially considering the joint ownership from both 20th Century Fox and NBCUniversal that allows them to pour movies and shows into the pool of content, many of which are recognizable titles that I loved watching the first time and will probably fall in love with all over again. What I don’t really like is that it incorporates TV channels and their shows, or the fact that it has two separate plans that hinge on whether or not you can stomach ads every 10 minutes. Those actions make me feel as though this service is trying too hard to be cable without actually being cable.


2. HBO Max. This streaming service may not be number one on this list, but it takes the cake for what is undoubtedly the greatest challenge a streaming service can possibly face: having an impressive library to attract customers right out of the gate. And, by golly, did they ever have that in spades. HBO Max is the product of AT&T’s WarnerMedia, which is one of the largest media conglomerates in America. They’ve got their mitts on CNN, HBO (obviously), Cartoon Network and its sister network Adult Swim, Warner Brothers, the anime streaming hub Crunchyroll, and so many more. In fact, they even give customers access to content from studios that they don’t have full rights to, like the beloved Studio Ghibli. Of course, if you have such a massive library, then it’s going to be hard for you to find what you’re looking for or what specific studio you want to watch something from, right? Nope. HBO Max’s home menu has several streaming hub buttons tucked in with icons indicating which studio you can get your fix of, so you won’t need to get lost in vague categories like “comedies.” Any way you slice it, the name of this service isn’t lying. HBO really has been taken to the max. Add to this the fact that Warner Brothers recently announced all of its blockbuster films slated for 2021 will be released in theaters and on HBO Max, and you’ve got yourself a satisfied customer.


Grand Champion: Netflix.  You all knew this was coming. It’s not even really a competition in regards to content. There’s a reason that Netflix is the go-to streaming site for families, groups of friends, and students to overuse when they’re stressed about the pandemic or an upcoming project. The library itself is well organized, even if the shows and movies aren’t shelved into hubs based on the studio that made them. A lot of their originals like Roma and The Irishman have become pop culture staples and even garnered the company some Oscars and Golden Globe awards, and there aren’t that many limits on which studios can put their films or shows on the platform, because Netflix Inc. is its own company that aggregates whatever it can to make for a streaming experience that feels convenient. Granted, it isn’t without errors and bugs that could hamper the experience, as well as the poor curation that could sometimes leave consumers spending more time browsing than actually watching. But I regret none of my placings, Netflix least of all.