Choose Your Channels: The Top 7 Most Popular Streaming Services of 2021

Over the last decade, streaming services have become an increasingly popular form of entertainment, causing millions of people to become “cord-cutters.” The term cord cutters refers to individuals who discontinue use of their cable/satellite TV subscriptions and instead switch to internet-based streaming services. These services offer on-demand TV shows and movies at a monthly fee. There are tons of streaming services out there, all with something unique to offer its subscribers. Here’s a comparison of some of the most popular streaming services to help you decide which ones you’d like to subscribe to.

1: Amazon Prime Video

Amazon is known for a lot of things, but there are still some people unaware that Amazon offers its own streaming service through Prime. With stand-alone subscriptions starting at $8.99 per month, you can find TV shows, movies, and Prime Originals. However, not everything is free on this platform, even if you have an Amazon Prime membership. Also, you can’t access any local TV channels through this service.

2: Apple TV

Apple TV is the most affordable service on this list, with subscriptions starting at $4.99 a month. It’s also ad-free and features its own original TV shows and movies. However, it doesn’t have a significantly large library of TV shows and movies like other streaming services offer.

3: Disney+

Disney+ is perfect for not only Disney/Pixar lovers but Marvel and Star Wars fans as well. Here you’ll find nearly the entire Disney library of movies, including Disney Channel TV shows and original movies, Marvel movies, the Star Wars movies, and National Geographic. Subscriptions start at $7.99 a month, and it’s all ad-free.

4: HBO Max

HBO is a popular cable channel that now has its own streaming service. The service starts at $14.99 a month, with ad-free TV shows (those featured on HBO and other networks) and movies. This is the most expensive of all the streaming services, so if you’re on a budget, look into bundle deals that allow you to pay a monthly fee for more than one streaming service.

5: Hulu

Hulu is the third most affordable streaming service of them all, with subscriptions starting at $6.99 per month (if you missed Hulu’s Black Friday deal), but you still get a lot of good movies and TV shows. Hulu is probably best known for allowing its subscribers to view the most recent episodes of shows currently playing on cable networks. The only downside is that it isn’t ad-free unless you’re willing to pay more than $6.99.

6: Netflix

Netflix is probably the most popular streaming service today, and it’s ranked as number one by many websites. Netflix currently starts at $8.99 per month, and it’s one of few streaming services that doesn’t include ads. New TV shows and movies (both new to the platform and Netflix originals) are constantly rolling out on the platform, but Netflix does not support local channels and other live TV.

7: Paramount+

Paramount+ is the second most affordable streaming service on this list, with subscriptions starting at $5.99 per month. Similar to Disney+, subscribers can find many of their favorite shows from their childhood. It is ad-supported (unless you pay extra), but you’ll also have access to local news and live sports.

There are several ways that you can access these streaming services:

  • Many smart TVs come with most/all of the streaming services automatically available to you (with your paid subscription).
  • Download the app of your chosen streaming service on your mobile device.
  • Roku and Amazon Fire Stick, though you may have to rewrite your Firestick’s programming in order to access other streaming services.

Ultimately, the best streaming service for you largely depends on your budget and what you’re looking for in TV. Most of these services offer a free trial, so you can try it out before you commit to a monthly plan. You’re also able to cancel your plan if you’re not satisfied.

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