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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

OPINION: Ranking streaming services, most being lackluster at best

Wren Johnson

Streaming services have taken over regular cable in the modern era, and it seems there are more and more popping up every day. Deciding which services to subscribe to can be difficult, here’s a list of pros and cons for each service along with my personal rankings for them. 

Netflix: 3.5/10

I’m sure Netflix is what first comes to mind when streaming services are mentioned. In my personal opinion, it shouldn’t be. It has a subpar selection of original content as well as non-original content, but I don’t think it’s worth the pricing or the household rule. When a new Netflix account is created, the service locks the household to the IP address of the Wi-Fi it was created under, and so all new profiles added are in the same household. 

There are three plans offered:

  • Standard with ads
    • $6.99/mo 
    • Less content selection is available 
    • Only two devices are supported 
  • Standard without ads 
    • $15.49/mo
    • Only two devices are supported 
    • You can add one member from outside the account house for $7.99
  • Premium 
    • $19.99/mo  
    • Four supported watching devices at time
    • Can add two members from outside the account house for $7.99  

Disney+: 5.5/10

Disney+ is the catch-all Disney platform, with original shows and movies, along with content from Disney-owned companies like Marvel. 

It’s the best app for people who are huge Disney fans, but I only use it for the Marvel content, which is less and less these days. A caveat with Disney+ that could be positive or negative is the fact that there is no plan for just Disney+, the platform only offers bundles. 

The bundles include:

  • Duo basic 
    • Hulu and Disney for $9.99/mo with ads
  • Trio basic
    • Hulu, Disney, and ESPN for $12.99/mo with ads 
  • Trio premium
    • Hulu, Disney, and ESPN for $19.99/mo without ads  

MAX: 5.5/10

In my opinion, MAX (formerly known as HBO Max) is the Disney+ for DC Comics fans. 

A lot of the selection is DC related movies and shows that were previously unavailable due to DC Universe, the DC-specific streaming platform, shutting down. 

MAX does have other movies – the horror selection is pretty decent as well as the comedy section. I only had MAX for the direct from theaters option and the Scooby-Doo selection. 

The plans include: 

  • With ads 
    • $9.99/mo 
    • Offers two device streaming
  • Without ads 
    • $15.99/mo
    • Offers two device streaming
    • Thirty slots to download content to watch offline
  • Ultimate
    • $19.99/mo
    • Offers four device streaming, 
    • Immersive Dolby audio, 
    • And 100 slots to download content to watch offline 

Paramount+:  6/10

This is a newer streaming service, only launching in 2021. It is reality TV heavy with shows like “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “Bar Rescue” and “Jersey Shore.” 

The platform  also has a full Nickelodeon selection and plenty of classic movies like “Forrest Gump.” I think the overall selection has some to be desired, but it’s a great platform for guilty-pleasure reality TV watching. Paramount+ also offer student discounts at 20% off for four years. 

The plans:

  • Paramount essential 
    • $5.99/mo 
    • Comes with ads 
    • Does not come with local CBS live stream
  • Paramount with SHOWTIME
    • $11.99/mo 
    • Ad free and comes 
    • With access to SHOWTIME shows  

Amazon Video: 6/10

Prime Video is only accessible with an Amazon Prime subscription, and there is only have one plan. The platform’s original series, like “Good Omens” and “Invincible,” are pretty good, but the other selections are lackluster. 

There is an option to rent or buy movies, but this can get expensive if done multiple times. There is some content locked behind a required add-on; the score would be higher if this feature didn’t exist. 

The sole plan:

  • $14.99/mo for both Amazon prime and Prime Video 

Hulu:  6.5/10

I originally got Hulu with my Spotify student bundle, but now it is one of my go-tos for mindless content. 

It has a great selection of “adult cartoons” like “Rick and Morty,” “American Dad” and “Family Guy,” but also it has a great selection of Cartoon Network shows like “Adventure Time,” “Regular Show,” and “The Amazing World of Gumball.” 

It also has a great selection of horror movies, making it my favorite platform for horror movies. The score would be higher if Hulu didn’t have locked content that required an add-on. 

The plans:

  • Offers a student bundle with Spotify for $4.99/mo 
    • Has ads
  • Offers a solo student plan for $1.99/mo
    • Has ads
  • Original plan 
    • $7.99/mo with ads
  • Premium plan 
    • $14.99/mo without ads 
  • Offers MAX, Cinemax, SHOWTIME and STARZ add-ons for additional monthly price
    • With MAX monthly price is $15.99
    • With Cinemax monthly price is $9.99
    • With SHOWTIME monthly price is $10.99 
    • With STARZ monthly price is $9.99

Dropout: 10/10

Dropout TV is a College Humor owned streaming platform with all completely original, unscripted content. 

For D&D fans, it has every season of “Dimension20” and “Adventuring Party.” For game show fans there are several iconic options, like “Game Changer,” “Make Some Noise” and “Um, Actually.” 

This is my personal favorite streaming service – it has all a nerd could want, and I have six people on the same account with no lagging issues. Dropout also sends a weekly newsletter with what’s coming out that week. The platform also doesn’t remove any content on short notice, like Netflix does. 

The plan:

  • $5.99/mo, no ads 

I think that with the above mentioned streaming services, Dropout, Hulu, and Prime Video are the top three services and the best bang for your buck. These platforms have the most straightforward prices and better deals and can help you make the most out of ditching your cable provider.

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About the Contributors
Maleah Evans
Maleah Evans, Reporter
Maleah Evans is a second-year reporter for The Sunflower. They previously worked as a copy editor. Evans is a sophomore, majoring in history with a minor in anthropology. They plan to pursue a career as a museum curator.
Wren Johnson
Wren Johnson, Illustrator/Designer
Wren Johnson is an illustrator for The Sunflower. Johnson is a third-year communications major that loves chickens. In her free time she likes to read, draw, and hang out with friends. Johnson uses she/her pronouns.

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