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Streaming Services

Disney, Netflix, Hulu, Apple, HBO & Amazon: What Streaming Service Should You Get?

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It seems like every few months a new online streaming service pops up, often claiming to be the best streaming service around. With more and more options, viewers are tasked with the difficult process of picking the best one or two services for their family.

In this article, we’ll focus on the new Disney+ streaming service, and how it compares to more established services in the industry. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between Disney+ vs Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV+ and many other popular streaming services.

The Basics

First and foremost, let’s cover the basics of these services. Every service on this list shares some similarities that are important to understand. Here are some of the key things to note about all of these options:

  • Online streaming services for on-demand TV (NOT live TV)
  • Work on most devices, including streaming players, smartphones, computers and more
  • Available without a contract, so you can cancel at any time
  • Each service offers a number of exclusive shows and movies that are not available anywhere else
  • Most also offer third party content, such as older shows and movies
  • There is some overlap in the selection between some services
  • Costs between $5 and $15 per month

To sum up – every service on this list provides an affordable, non-contract way to watch lots of on-demand TV from home, or on-the-go. They all differ in the specific content they offer, but each service functions in a very similar way. Now, let’s move on to the specific differences between Disney+ and Netflix, Hulu etc.

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Disney+ vs Netflix vs Hulu vs Apple TV+ vs HBO Max vs Amazon Prime: Pricing

Let’s start with what everyone wants to know: How much do these services cost, and how do they compare in value? Here’s an overview:Di

Disney+ – $6.99 per month. Free 7 day trial

Netflix – $9-$16 per month, depending on options chosen ($13/month plan is most popular).

Hulu – $7.99 per month, $13.99 per month with no commercials. Free 30-day trial.

Apple TV+ – $4.99 per month.

HBO Max – $14.99 per month (not yet launched)

Amazon Prime – $8.99 per month for just Prime Video, $12.99 per month for full Prime benefits.

Of course, you can’t compare these services based solely on price. Looking at this list, you’ll notice that Apple TV+ is the cheapest option – yet, it offers only a handful of shows, compared to the thousands available on Netflix or Hulu. And while Hulu’s $6.99 per month pricetag seems attractive, keep in mind that this price is for the “limited commercials” plan, which means you’ll need to be patient and sit through commercials mid-show.

There’s a lot more to consider than just price, so let’s continue to examine the differences between Disney+ and other streaming services.

Disney+ vs Other Streaming Services: Content & Shows

Likely the biggest consideration you’ll have when choosing a streaming service is the actual selection of shows and movies on each streaming platform. This is one area where these services differ hugely, and it can be difficult to compare them directly. Nonetheless, the section below provides an overview on the different shows on Disney+ vs Hulu vs Netflix, etc.

Disney+ – Disney+ launched with around 600 titles (a mix of shows, movies and exclusive Disney+ content). We expect this selection to expand rapidly, as Disney+ will eventually be the exclusive home of content from the entire Disney library. The service also hosts a significant portion of the libraries from Marvel, National Geographic, Star Wars, and classic shows like The Simpsons. The selection on Disney+ is solid, as it includes many of the most popular films and shows of all times – and for many shows, it’s the only place to watch them. At the same time, rival services like Netflix offer a much wider selection, with as much as 10x as many titles as Disney+. This is one of the biggest differences between Netflix vs Disney+ – Netflix offers way more shows and movies, but Disney+ is home to some of the most popular franchises of all time.

Netflix – When it comes to sheer volume of content selection, Netflix reigns supreme. No other service comes close to the selection of Netflix, which reportedly has over 5,000 titles in its digital library. This staggering number includes over 4,000 movies and 1,500 TV shows, as well as a huge selection of Netflix Originals not available anywhere else. If you’re looking for the most selection possible, it’s really tough to beat Netflix – which is why it’s the most popular on-demand service by far.

Hulu – The comparison between Hulu vs Disney+ can be confusing, as Hulu offers two distinct services: an on-demand version (called simply “Hulu”), and a live version, called “Hulu + Live TV”. For this article, we’ll focus on the original on-demand Hulu service. Hulu has not released specific numbers related to their content library, but estimates put the number somewhere around 1600 shows and 2500 films. Hulu is known for having recent episodes of shows that are still on TV, whereas Netflix and Disney+ mostly have older content. Hulu also has some impressive Hulu Originals, which are exclusive to the platform, although the selection is not as impressive as what’s offered by Netflix and Disney+.

Apple TV+ – Apple TV+ has the smallest content library out of any of these services, by a huge amount. At launch, Apple TV+ had only a handful of titles. Also of note, Apple TV+ launched with only exclusive content. So while the selection is very small, it’s all shows and movies you can’t find anywhere else. Given the resources that Apple has committed to this new service, we expect the selection of content on Apple TV+ to expand rapidly – for now, there’s simply not enough here to entice us.

HBO Max – HBO Max has not yet launched, so we don’t know exactly what it will have in terms of content selection. The service is set to launch in Spring 2020, so we’ll have more details as that date approaches. One report stated that HBO Max plans to launch with around 10,000 hours of content (not 10,000 titles), including titles from the HBO library and classic shows like Friends.

Amazon Prime Video – Amazon Prime Video is one of the primary benefits of an Amazon Prime membership. It offers a wide variety of shows, movies and Amazon Originals. It’s somewhat difficult to analyze the exact number of titles, as only some content is included for free with a Prime subscription, while other shows must be purchased separately. Looking at the total numbers, Amazon Prime offers a HUGE selection, but again – it’s not all included in the subscription price.

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to the content available on these platforms. You’ll need to look past the total number of titles and more closely examine the types of content on each. We recommend paying special attention to the original content on each platform, as this is one area where the differences are stark.

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Disney+ vs Hulu vs Amazon Prime: Features & Devices

When comparing Disney+ vs Amazon Prime or other services, it’s also important to look at the features they offer, the devices they are compatible with, etc. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Device Support

Most of these services will work on the majority of mainstream streaming devices, including streaming players like Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, etc. They also work on smartphones and computers.

Of these services, the more established options like Netflix and Hulu offer the widest device support, simply because they have been around the longest. Oppositely, the newest services – like Apple TV+ and Disney+, have the fewest supported devices.

For full details on what devices are supported, check out our detailed reviews for each service:

Streaming Quality

While most streaming services now have HD and even 4K streaming quality available, the main difference is in whether or not they include this in their standard package.

Netflix, for example, charges customers $19.99 a month in order to access 4K streaming. Disney+, on the other hand, gives customers 4K streaming, HDR10 with Dolby Atmos audio at no extra charge in its $7.99 a month offering.

Here’s a quick overview of the max streaming quality each service offers:

Disney+ – 4K Ultra HD in Dolby Vision, HDR 10, and Dolby Atmos Audio included in regular $7.99/month plan.

Netflix – 4K Ultra HD available only with $19.99/month Premium plan. 5.1 surround-sound available on select titles.

Hulu – Supports 4K resolution but the selection is very limited. Does not support HDR. However, 4K is included with the regular subscription.

Apple TV+ – 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos included in regular $4.99/month plan.

HBO Max – Currently, we do not know if HBO Max will offer 4K or HDR support. HBO Now, the current streaming service offering access to HBO content, does not support either of these formats though.

Amazon Prime – Supports 4K and HDR with the no-adds upgrade for $2.99/mo.

Unique Features

The basic functionality of each service is more or less the same. However, they differ in their offerings of bonus features and special perks. For instance, Netflix and Amazon Prime let you download content onto your mobile devices to watch when you don’t have service or WiFi. Disney+ offers a great-value bundle deal with Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ all together for just $13.99 a month. And Amazon Prime offers a whole host of benefits, including free 2-day shipping on Amazon.com, free digital storage, and more.

Before choosing a service, we recommend fully exploring the options and perks that each offers.

Final Thoughts

In the end, these are all great services. The “best” option for you really just depends on your individual preferences.

Do keep in mind that all of these services offer free trials – so you can test them out for yourself, without spending anything! This also means that you can potentially sign up for multiple services to do a direct comparison yourself. Follow the links below to try a free trial.

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That’s it — you’ll save money, take back control, and enjoy TV more!

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Frank Moraes
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By Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is Content Editor at HotDog where he oversees the creation and maintenance of articles. His focus is on sports and the regional programming issues that flummox streamers.

He has led the efforts to create pages that fully address problems fans have watching out-of-market NFL games. And he is responsible for the site's thorough coverage of the regional sports networks that are essential for fans of MLB, NBA, and NHL.

Frank got his PhD in Atmospheric Physics from Oregon Institute of Technology back in 1995. After that, he spent much of that time developing remote sensing technology including streaming video back in the days when most people were using VHS tapes.

Since that time, Frank has become a veteran tech writer who specializes in the nexus of entertainment and technology. It was natural that he gravitated toward the streaming industry. He started streaming early, back in 2007 when Netflix introduced "instant watch." Then Hulu started and he was hooked.

Outside his work life, Frank is a longtime cord-cutter. He streams pretty much everything while his library of thousands of Blu-rays and DVDs collects dust.

Frank currently subscribes to the following streaming services:

* Amazon Prime Video
* AMC+
* Curiosity Stream / Nebula
* Hulu / Disney+ / ESPN+
* Max
* Netflix
* NFL+ Premium
* Paramount+ / Showtime
* Peacock

He streams mostly on a Roku-powered TCL TV and a VIZIO with an Amazon 4K Fire TV stick.

Frank also writes about horror and other cult films at Psychotronic Review

Contact Frank with thoughts, questions, and story ideas at [email protected].

Frank's Work on HotDog.com:

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