76°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Streaming services: More bang for your buck

A+man+watches+TV+while+relaxing+on+the+couch.
Bianca Oppedisano
A man watches TV while relaxing on the couch. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff

Financial woes are nothing new for the average college student. From paying rent, buying groceries and, oh yeah, paying tuition, college can be a major strain on someone’s wallet. For those who like to watch TV shows and movies in their free time, things have gotten even more expensive in the last few years. 

While there were just a few streaming services in the past—like Netflix and Hulu—there has now been a boom of new ones. However, with an abundance of options, comes the need to choose between them. Afterall, it would take a great deal of money to subscribe to everything. So, if someone needs help deciding which ones to keep and which ones to drop, here’s a look at the good and bad each streaming service has to offer.

Let’s start off with the godfather of all streaming services, Netflix. The name itself might inspire nearly sentimental feelings, as just a few years ago, it seemed like it had everything. However, with the start of other companies moving their entertainment to their own streaming services, that just isn’t the case anymore. It’s also not the cheapest option out there right now. Currently, the service is charging $15.49 a month (1).

Now, there is a cheaper option potentially forthcoming, but that might not be entirely good news to some. Netflix is considering giving an ad-supported streaming plan that will cost seven to nine dollars per month. For those who think that the concept of ads on Netflix is akin to blasphemy, this is undoubtedly bad news. However, for some, this may be just what they are looking for.

One streaming service that will definitely offer an ad-supported version is Disney+.  Their ad-supported version is starting this December for $7.99 per month. It is obviously a lot more focused than Netflix, as its selection is entirely based on what the company owns. If someone was looking for classic cartoons and major franchises like Star Wars and Marvel, this would be exactly the streaming service to purchase.

Disney+ can currently be purchased in a bundle that includes Hulu and ESPN+. The price for all of these services would be $13.99 a month. That is notably cheaper than Netflix by itself. With this bundle, one would be able to fulfill their sports needs, as well as binge nerdy entertainment and shows from major networks as they are being released. If it’s in someone’s budget, the bundle is worth considering.

As for Hulu by itself, with ads, the price is regularly $6.99 every month. However, college students can purchase a subscription for $1.99 a month. Without ads, the price is raised to $12.99 a month. The service, as mentioned before, releases episodes of new shows that debut on cable right after they air. If one is looking to cut the plug and give up cable altogether, this may be a good way to still watch the same entertainment.

As for Amazon Prime Video, that service can be accessed by purchasing Amazon’s Prime membership. The service, along with providing deals when shopping on their website and faster shipping on deliveries, offers many shows and movies to its customers. The price for Amazon Prime is $15 a month, or there is a yearly plan offered at $139 (2). It’s certainly not cheap, but if one is looking for their other benefits, then it might be worth checking out. Along with offering original shows—like most streaming services—the movies and TV shows available to watch are exclusive to the service.

Finally, there’s HBO Max. Being offered for $9.99 a month, HBO Max gives access to a variety of different shows and films released by HBO over the years. Along with this, customers get a good deal of Warner Brother’s discography, classic films through TCM and Cartoon Network cartoons. Those are all added benefits for a lot of people. However, the service has come under fire over the past few weeks. It recently took several titles off of its platform, including shows that were exclusively HBO Max originals. Among these titles were “Close Enough,” “Genera+ion” and “The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo” (3). 

Warner Brothers, the sister company to HBO, was recently criticized for deciding to release the almost completed movie, “Batgirl” (4). This may signal a direction for the company that may not be alright with potential customers. With all of these services, and countless others that there wasn’t enough room to cover here, there is no doubt that there is something for everyone. 
 

Sources

  1. https://variety.com/2022/digital/news/netflix-with-ads-pricing-per-month-1235352485/ 

  2. https://www.businessinsider.com/guides/tech/what-is-prime-video 

  3. https://tvline.com/2022/08/17/hbo-max-removed-tv-shows-generation-close-enough-elmo-full-list/ 

https://variety.com/2022/film/news/batgirl-movie-why-not-releasing-warner-bros-1235332062/

About the Contributors
Kyle Makkas, Humor Writer
Bianca Oppedisano, Illustrator