The choices for streaming services are increasing and with that will come household by household decisions regarding what subscriptions to get.
How consumers make that choice will depend on several factors, including a general taste in TV and movies, subscription costs, original content.
But cost might be the biggest factor.
Three-quarters of U.S. consumers don’t want to pay more than $30 a month for streaming services, according to a survey released by ad buyer resource, The Trade Desk, earlier this year. Moreover, 59 percent of consumers said they don’t want to pay more than $20 a month.
And the field is already crowded.
More than half of U.S. households are subscribed to Netflix while more than a third are subscribed to Amazon Prime and more than a quarter are subscribed to Hulu, according to the survey. With these three companies having such a stronghold on the market, it may be difficult to get consumers to shell out more cash.
Here's what streaming services look like by the numbers:
Netflix, known for its easy-to-use platform and variety of original and licensed material, reported 183 million subscribers at the end of March.
The streaming service gained 15.7 million paid subscribers in the first quarter of 2020, according to its earnings report.
Netflix offers thousands of TV shows and movies, but the exact number changes by day and country since the company is constantly adding and discontinuing material. The platform spent $15 billion on original content alone in 2019 and is expected to spend $17 billion in 2020, according to Fortune magazine.
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The service offers three payment plans: Basic for $8.99 a month, which offers content on that can be played on one screen in standard-definition; Standard for $12.99 a month, which offers content that can be played on on two with high-definition available; and Premium for $15.99 a month, which offers content that can be played on four screens with HD and "ultra" HD available.
Netflix also offers a month-long free trial for eligible customers.
The platform offers "instant access" to content in 190 countries.
Disney+ surpassed 50 million global subscribers within the first five months of its launch in November, executives announced earlier this month.
The service made all Disney shows and movies, which were previously available to stream on other services, exclusive to Disney+. The platform also includes content from its Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and National Geographic franchises.
Disney+ will offer 7,500 TV episodes and 500 movies in its first year. Disney told Wall Street it expects to spend a streaming-service record of $1 billion on original content in 2020, according to Variety magazine.
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The service costs $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year and offers a seven-day free trial. Disney+ is also offering a bundle that includes a Disney+ subscription and Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
The platform is currently available in 12 countries.
Hulu has reached more than 30 million paid subscribers, due in part to its partnership with Disney+. That is up from 22.8 million in December 2018, according to Variety.
The service's low-cost plan comes at $5.99/month, but users agree to watch ads during and in between TV episodes and movies with the subscription. A Hulu subscription without ads costs $11.99 a month.
The platform also offers a plan called Hulu + Live TV, which costs $54.99/month and offers primetime TV shows, news and sporting events from more than 60 channels in real-time, plus everything in Hulu's library, additional on-demand content. This plan includes ads.
Hulu offers the same Hulu + Live TV plan without ads for $60.99 amonth.
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The service offers a combination of licensed content and originals. Its annual content budget is about $2.5 billion, but that amount is expected to increase, according to the Observer.
Hulu is only available in the United States, U.S. territories and U.S. military bases, but Hulu + Live TV is only available in the states.
HBO offers seven 24-hour networks, but its streaming services are known as HBO Now, HBO Go and HBO Max (the latter two of which offer the same thing, only HBO Go is available to cable subscribers, and HBO Now is a standalone streaming service).
HBO Max, Warner Media's official platform that will be available at the end of May offers HBO content, original programming and content from other networks.
HBO Now and HBO Max are both $14.99 a month, and HBO Go is included in a cable subscriber's payment plan. HBO Now subscribers will have access to HBO Max once it launches.
Users can preorder HBO Max to save $3 a month for the first year of subscription.
HBO Now has 8 million paid subscribers, according to Variety. HBO's website says all HBO channels have a combined 35 million subscribers in more than 50 countries. The service offers a combination of licensed and original content.
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HBO spends about $3.5 billion on annual content, the Observer reported. The final season of HBO original "Game of Thrones" cost an estimated $15 million.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video became immensely popular simply because so many people were already subscribed to Amazon Prime's online retail service when the streaming platform launched.
The online retail platform has more than 150 million subscribers who pay $119 a year or $12.99 month and have access to Prime Video.
Students can get discounts of about 50 percent on yearly and monthly subscriptions.
Amazon Prime Video offers thousands of TV shows and movies included with Prime on top of TV shows and movies than can be rented or purchased by even people who do not have Prime subscriptions. Amazon also offers original and licensed content.
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The company spent about $6 billion on content last year, and that is number expected to grow, according to the Observer.
Apple TV+, which launched in November 2019, offers original and licensed TV shows and movies.
The company offers the lowest monthly service subscription cost of any streaming platform at just $4.99 a month, and users do not have to watch ads while streaming.
Users can also sign up for a seven-day free trial.
Apple TV+ has spent about as much as Amazon Prime Video did last year at $6 billion, according to the Observer.
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The service, however, only has a total of 27 original TV shows and movies as of Friday, according to Apple news website 9to5Mac.com, but the outlet said to expect content to expand quickly.
Apple TV+ has surpassed Hulu's subscriber numbers with more than 33 million users, but the majority of those subscribers aren't paying for the service, which offered a free, year-long subscription for users who signed up immediately after its launch, according to Variety.