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These 6 Streaming Services Deliver The Best Value

streaming services

Having options when it comes to streaming isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there are so many streaming services today that it can be hard to keep track! And on top of new services cropping up all the time, individual TV shows and movies are constantly shuffling in and out of different platforms too.

It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin, but I hope that today’s blog post will help simplify things for all of us. :-) I did some research on the major streaming services and looked at pricing, content offerings, and other relevant factors, and used that information to put together a list of the top 6 streaming services I think are worth the money.

(Just to clarify, I don’t mean to suggest you need to subscribe to all of these services, or even any of them! My goal is to highlight services that provide good value for what they cost, but whether or not a particular service is worth it to you is, well… up to you!)

New to streaming? Check out this guide to learn more about how it works and how to get started. Also, if there’s something specific you’re interested in watching, you can find out which streaming service has it available by going to JustWatch.com and searching for the title of the movie or TV show.

6 Streaming Services That Are Worth Paying For

streaming services

1. Netflix

Netflix may not be as essential today as it once was, but it still has a lot of great original content. Netflix shows like The Crown and The Queen’s Gambit did well at the Emmys last year, both winning awards in multiple categories.

While Netflix has lost a handful of good programs in recent years, like The Office and Friends, they still have plenty of old and new shows to watch and re-watch. There’s already something for everyone on Netflix, and you can look forward to new shows and movies throughout the year.

How Much Does It Cost?

Netflix plans range from $9.99 to $19.99 a month. With the basic plan, you can watch on screen plus one phone or tablet. The $15.49 standard plan allows two of each, and the $19.99 premium plan allows four of each and Ultra HD quality. (On the plus side, no ads—regardless of which subscription you have!)

Visit Netflix.com to learn more.

streaming services

2. Hulu

Hulu is a great option too, especially since their cheapest subscription tier only costs $6.99/month (with ads). It has a number of original shows like the critically acclaimed Handmaid’s Tale, as well as a large collection of programs from cable networks like ABC, Fox, and NBC.

On the subject of network programming, Hulu has an added benefit for fans of must-see reality shows like The Bachelor and Survivor. While Netflix generally adds whole seasons well after they’ve aired, Hulu uploads new episodes of many network shows just hours after they air on TV.

How Much Does It Cost?

As previously mentioned, a Hulu subscription costs $6.99/month with ads, or you can upgrade to ad-free streaming for $12.99/month. There’s also a Hulu + Live TV option that includes access to their streaming library, over 65 channels of live TV, Disney+, and ESPN+ for $69.99/month ($75.99/month with no ads).

You can also take advantage of packages that bundle other services into your subscription, including premium cable like Starz (+$8.99/month) and HBO Max (+$14.99/month).

Visit Hulu.com to learn more.

streaming services

3. Prime Video

It’s easy as an Amazon Prime member to overlook some of the features of your $139/year membership, because it includes a lot! You already know about free 2-day shipping and free returns, but fewer people are aware that Prime members also have access to Prime Video.

Like Netflix and Hulu, Prime Video has its own selection of original shows, like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and superhero hit The Boys, in addition to binge-worthy favorites. You also have the option to rent or purchase movies and shows that aren’t available to watch elsewhere.

If you have an Amazon Prime account and aren’t already taking advantage of Prime Video, what are you waiting for? :-) Download the Prime Video app, or visit the Prime Video site on desktop.

How Much Does It Cost?

Prime Video is included in the $139/year price for an Amazon Prime membership, and streaming is always ad-free. (Non-members try Prime Video with a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, or subscribe to Prime Video separately for $14.99/month.)

Like Hulu, Prime Video also provides options to bundle different channels and services. Get Paramount+ for an extra $9.99/month, Starz for $8.99/month, Showtime for $10.99/month, and more.

Visit Amazon.com to learn more.

streaming services

4. Disney+

With how much the Nystul clan loves all things Star Wars and Marvel, it didn’t take long for Disney+ to become one of our most-watched streaming services. Disney+ is still relatively new to the scene, but it’s already hot on the heels of giants like Netflix.

Disney+ is the only platform that offers the entire catalog of Disney movies, plus everything (or nearly everything) in the massively popular Star Wars and Marvel franchises. Disney+ has some great original content like their popular Star Wars series The Mandalorian, and they also carry documentaries from National Geographic.

If you have little ones to entertain or have a diehard Star Wars or Marvel fan in the family, you’re virtually guaranteed to get your money’s worth from Disney+.

How Much Does It Cost?

A Disney+ subscription is a surprisingly good deal at just $7.99/month, and that includes 4K Ultra HD resolution, streaming on four devices, and no ads. And if you’re willing to commit to Disney+ for a while (and you’ll have more than enough to keep you busy if you do), you can save around $16 by paying the $79.99 annual cost upfront.

Visit DisneyPlus.com to learn more.

streaming services

5. HBO Max

HBO has a long-standing reputation for high-quality and award-winning shows, and you can find them all on its streaming service HBO Max. Comedy fans will appreciate critically acclaimed shows like Veep and old favorites like Friends, while drama fans can binge series like Big Little Lies and Game of Thrones.

And speaking of movies, this year HBO Max is streaming new Warner Bros. movies just 45 days after their theatrical release. And with upcoming films like DC League of Super Pets and Creed III slated for release later this year, it’s not a bad time to jump on board.

How Much Does It Cost?

You can stream content on HBO Max with ads for $9.99/month or $99.00/year, or without ads for $14.99/month or $149.99/year. You can watch on up to three screens at once in HD and 4K, in some cases, and add up to five different user profiles.

Visit HBOMax.com to learn more.

streaming services

6. Peacock

The Peacock name is an homage to NBC’s peacock logo, so you’d be correct in assuming it has plenty of shows from NBC (like The Office, of course) and other Comcast-owned entities like E!, Bravo, and Oxygen. But it’s also a streaming service for folks who like the kinds of movies and TV shows that are shown on cable, and who don’t mind ads if it means paying less.

Peacock has an increasing number of original shows and movies, and you can even pretend you’re watching cable with Peacock’s Channels option, where you can scroll through an on-screen program guide and join various programs already in progress.

Visit PeacockTV.com to learn more.

How Much Does It Cost?

There is a free subscription tier with ads, a premium tier for $4.99/month with limited ads and access to more shows, and a plus tier for $9.99/month with no ads and unlimited access. 

streaming services

The Takeaway

While this is far from a comprehensive list of today’s streaming services, these six are among the most popular for a reason! If you’ve been trying to figure out which ones are right for you, I hope this overview has given you a better idea of which services might give you the most bang for your buck.

Check out some of my favorite binge-worthy shows to stream in these posts from the OGT archives:

What are your favorite streaming services?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Bright Ideas

  • Thanks Jillee, I didn’t know what a streaming service was until I read the article. I have cable TV now for, gulp, $250/mo and was looking for a way to go cheaper since I am now a widow and only have my social security. I do get Peacock, tubi, CW and something else with it. I don’t understand though why the shows are not included in the guide. My question is, if you just go with streaming services, how do you get channels like HGTV, Magnolia Network, History Channel, QVC, CNN, Fox, etc? I know you can use an antenna for local channels but what about these other channels?

  • Honestly, given the plethora of free streaming channels available, why whould anyone be paying for any of these? I have two Roku boxes which offet literally dozens of free streaming choices, and I also have two LG smart tvs that also offer a load of free apps for free streaming, not to mention literally hundreds of free channels of special interest channels through their free LG Channels app that comes with the tv. Think about it. You can only watch one show at a time, so why would you pay a ton of money for a bunch of channels that you will likely never watch?.

  • I haven’t had a chance to read all the comments, so forgive me if this has already been pointed out. Amazon Prime also has Amazon music included, so it’s really not a bad deal with free shipping and lots to watch!

    • Oddly enough, despite having Prime,I’ve never bothered watching any movies (no longer have the attention span necessary to sit for 2 hours watching one show), but I do stream Prime music to both my massage chair and sauna while using them. And the free shipping is what I really want it for in the first place.

  • I have an account with au.acorn , which shows mostly british series like Murdoch mysteries
    agatha christie series, home fires, miss fisher, agatha raisin etc. cost is [here] au69 dollars per year.
    I also have amazon prime, my daughter has netflix and my granddaughter has disney+, which we all share between us.I can’t remember when i last watched normal tv. Its great
    Erika C.

  • I am 65 and on SSI & SSDI and ran into a bit of a problem with Discovery+. I went to check out and pay and it kept kicking me out! FINALLY, after many attempts, I learned that they do not recognize my debit/credit card! It is the Direct Express card that the government gives recipients their monthly benefits on. I tried to explain that this is NOT considered a “pre-paid” card and that they are missing out on the business of a HUGE block of seniors and disabled people. They didn’t care! One other thing…Jillee, I really do love you but there is one thing we do NOT agree on. Amazon. I realize that you are crazy about anything and everything Amazon. To me, Amazon is trying to take over everything and killing our small businesses. Just like this…buying all products at Amazon (which are higher than most other places), and now the Amazon plus TV plan. I will NOT(knowingly) use Amazon for ANYTHING and hope more and more people will do their research and realize what this company is doing and jump on with me! Sorry!

  • One of the best services we found is PureFlix. It is 79.99 a year but has so much available that is wholesome and entertaining. They have many movies, series, and oldies. They also have documentaries that are fascinating. They have children’s shows also. Most everything is family friendly.

  • I have Amazon Prime, but, quite frankly, I no longer have the desire to sit and watch movies, most of which are quite inane these days, so the primary reason for me having Prime is for the free shipping. As for paying for any other streaming services, there are simply too many free services available now, so it seems to me that pay services are a waste of money, unless you absolutely, positively have to have the latest offerings to watch, or have an aversion to ads. If you have a smart tv or a Roku box, the freebies are available to you. Crackle, Pluto, Freebie TV, and SlingTv are a few of them.

    • Al, listen, I am an old lady in Iowa…any chance you could buzz on over here and help me? I have a Smart TV (which has proven to be smarter than ME!) so everybody tells me I’m all set! I can’t figure ANY of this out!! This TV must be doing stuff behind my back cause I ain’t seein’ it!

    • Exactly. I didn’t want to have to deal with a monthly payment. I really don’t trust Amazon’s site to be secure from hackers trying to scam people. Also the TV I had that went Kaput was an Amazon Fire. It’s kind of pain because they try to get your information. I actually learned how to bypass it. And whenever our internet wasn’t working I couldn’t watch anything. This was another reason I opted for a new that wasn’t connected with Amazon.

  • Another one to add is Curiosity Stream. This service has about 2000 documentaries on just about any subject you can imagine. I found a deal advertised on Facebook for $12 a YEAR. This is one of my favorites, because my personal motto is “I want to KNOW.”

  • We actually use Roku at our house. When I was trying to replace my tv that bit the dust a few months back. I actually borrowed at tv from the basement which I was grateful for. I had wanted an Apple smart tv and my brother had helped me find a new one. The problem was they don’t make the smart TVs in the smaller sizes yet. I actually like it because unless you add certain channels that come with a monthly fee. Its just a one time fee. This why our family has.opted for Roku.

    • Oops brother -in-law . My old tv bit the dust because I accidentally brushed up against it during the holiday season and it got knocked off.
      That’s why a bigger tv just wasn’t a good fit for my bedroom.

  • There is also a newer streaming option, Discovery Plus. A very economical choice at 4.99/mo with ads, or 6.99/mo with no ads. I have found myself binge watching shows I forgot about. Definitely worth the money.

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