For those of you who are thinking about cutting the (cable) cord, here are ten great streaming services to look out for in 2020 and beyond.
Netflix started out as a DVD (by mail) rental company but added an online video streaming service. Today, its subscribers can watch TV shows and movies via television, phone, tablet, or laptop. After a 30-day free trial, members can choose from one of three plans–basic, standard, or premium — which can downgraded, upgraded or canceled at any time. The basic plan costs $8.99/month and offers access to unlimited movies and shows. The $12.99/month standard plan also includes unlimited movies and shows, but also includes the option of watching two screens simultaneously. The premium plan, which costs $15.99/month, also offers unlimited movies and shows and lets users watch four screens at the same time.
9. Amazon Prime Video
You can access the Amazon Prime Video streaming service in one of two ways: with an Amazon Video subscription or an Amazon Prime subscription. An Amazon Video subscription will cost you $8.99 per month, and you’ll only have access to Amazon’s streaming video library. An Amazon Prime account will cost you $12.99 per month (or $119 per year) and includes a bunch of other perks.
Amazon Prime Video’s library of quality original content includes “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Fleabag,” and “Transparent.” Additionally, Amazon Prime video also hosts top shows from networks such as Starz and HBO at no extra cost.
8. Apple TV+
Apple announced at its September event that Apple TV+ will cost $4.99 per month and will premiere its first shows starting on November 1. According to a press release issued by the company earlier this year, Apple TV+ will be “the new home for the world’s most creative storytellers,” including Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, and more. “We’re honored that the absolute best lineup of storytellers in the world — both in front of and behind the camera — are coming to Apple TV+,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We’re thrilled to give viewers a sneak peek of Apple TV+ and cannot wait for them to tune in starting this fall.”
Hulu is now operated by Disney, so we don’t yet know what the future holds for it. But, for now you can get a Hulu subscription for $5.99 per month — that’s for the basic on-demand streaming plan. The ad-free version costs $11.99 per month.
Hulu offers a mix of original content such as “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Looming Tower,” and “PEN15,” and old favorites like “Saved by the Bell,” “Seinfeld,” and “Boy Meets World.” Plus, Hulu can be used on a whole host of devices, including Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, and Nintendo Switch.
NOTE: There is an option to add Live TV to your Hulu subscription, but you’ll end up paying $44.99 per month for it!
6. HBO Now
As its name implies, HBO Now is HBO’s subscription video-on-demand service. For just $14.99 per month (after a free trial period) you can watch HBO’s new on-air original content, including “Westworld” and “Chernobyl,” as well as older content like “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Game of Thrones.” HBO Now is available on Android, Chromecast, Apple TV, iOS, PS4, Roku, and the Xbox. And, if you’re already an Amazon Prime or Hulu member, you can just add HBO Now to your Prime or Hulu account for $14.99 per month.
5. CBS All Access
If you love CBS as much as I do, then it makes perfect sense to limit yourself to a single broadcast TV channel. And, for just $5.99 per month you’ll get an expansive lineup of TV shows on-demand. Plus, CBS All Access is the only place you can watch the service’s original content as it airs. Additionally, you can watch live NFL games in their local market, the NCAA March Madness tournament, and select PGA Tour events. And, you can use the service to stay up to date with the news as well.
The $5.99 plan includes commercials, but you can upgrade to the commercial-free plan for just $4 more.
Good news, sports lovers! With ESPN+, you can watch live and on-demand pro and college sports programming for just $4.99 per month (or $49.99 per year)! Unfortunately, the service doesn’t include ESPN’s flagship shows, nor does it include Monday Night Football or live NBA coverage. But, you can watch many sports events from the MLB, NHL, MLS, PGA Tour, and various college leagues. Plus, you can view ESPN’s on-demand archive of premier shows like “30 for 30” and “E:60.”
ESPN+ is available via the web or via the ESPN app on Android and iOS.
According to PC Magazine, “DAZN is the best video streaming service for fans of boxing and MMA.” And, perhaps the best thing of all is that subscribers don’t need to spend money on pay-per-view fees to watch exclusive fights. But, boxing and mixed martial arts aren’t the only sports DAZN has to offer. There’s also soccer, fishing, darts, cricket, and gymnastics. Plus, there’s a live daily MLB commentary show and a weekly fighter-focused show. And, you get all of this for $19.99 per month.
According to its website, BET+ “streams the best in Black content by your favorite creators.” Titles range from “Martin” to “First Wives Club” to “Bigger” to movies like “Boomerang,” “Higher Learning,” and “Madea.” The cost of this service is $9.99/month, and it’s ad-free, too. The service, which is a joint venture between Viacom and producer, director and actor Tyler Perry, is not available for streaming as of yet (the website says it’s coming soon), but if you do decide to sign up, make sure you keep an eye out for updates. The service says it will aim to release a new BET+ original project almost monthly.
It’s probably a guaranteed thing that if you tell your kids you’re getting rid of the cable, they’ll pitch a fit. Fortunately there’s Disney+. From “Toy Story” to “Captain Marvel” to “The Simpsons” to hundreds of National Geographic titles and exclusive Disney+ originals, this streaming service has everything kids (and kids at heart) could ever ask for. Disney+ also offers unlimited downloads and streaming anytime, anywhere — whether it’s to your smart TV, phone, laptop, tablet, or gaming console.
Price: $6.99/month or $69.99/year
As you can see, paying $5 or a little more a month sure beats paying hundreds of dollars per month for cable and satellite subscription services.
If you’ve already made the switch, let us know how it turned out. We’d love to hear about your experience. Thanks for reading!