In 2023, streaming fans have more choices than ever, including NBC/Comcast’s Peacock, AT&T’s HBO Max, Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus. While Peacock differs slightly in that it has live news the other services lack traditional live channels — focusing instead on back catalogs and new original programming — but they can still eat into your entertainment budget.
Netflix: Netflix is so popular that it’s become a generic term for streaming in the same way as “Magic Marker” has or even “Coke” in the South. And then there’s the ever-popular “Netflix and chill.” Ad-supported plans now start at $7 a month, and the service offers thousands of TV shows and movies, including original TV series like Black Mirror and Stranger Things (be aware you may need to trade up to the $15.50 plan to watch some content). Then there are Netflix original movies including Oscar winners Roma and The Power of the Dog.
Prime Video: The “other” major streaming service, which is included as part of a $139 annual Prime Membership, or on its own for $9 a month. The interface isn’t as user-friendly as Netflix, but the service also offers shows not on its rival, including original content like The Rings of Power, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Expanse. Amazon Prime also has the ability to add premium channels (HBO and Showtime and more), making it a potential one-stop shop.
Disney Plus: One of the biggest streaming services to launch in some time, Disney has gathered a mix of movies, TV shows and exclusive content, including Loki, Andor and She-Hulk, starting at $8 a month. Read our Disney Plus review here.
Peacock: Peacock is NBC’s answer to Paramount Plus. Its main claim to fame is that its basic tier, with 7,500 hours of content, is free. Peacock Premium unlocks more content for $6 a month — including exclusive shows such as Poker Face and Mrs. Davis — while an ad-lite version called Peacock Premium Plus is $12 monthly.
Paramount Plus: Paramount Plus costs $6 a month or $12 monthly for ad-free streaming. The service offers live TV for Premium subscribers, sports and on-demand content from CBS, MTV, BET, Nickelodeon and Paramount Network, plus its Paramount Pictures movie studio. Paramount Plus also offers exclusive originals such as Yellowjackets, 1923 and Picard.
Vudu and Movies Anywhere: Digital libraries (or lockers) that incorporate legacy UltraViolet content and streaming movies and TV that are only available for purchase, such as new releases.
It’s also worth investigating free, ad-supported services such as Roku Channel, Amazon Freevee, Tubi, Pluto and Crackle, which offer a wealth of content. Read CNET’s roundup of free TV services here.