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What is the best streaming service to have in 2023?

Are you a Hulu loyalist or a Netflix-forever type of person?

In this photo illustration, the logos of media service providers, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney + and Hulu are displayed on the screen of a television.
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With so many streaming services out there to choose from such as Netflix and Prime Video, it can be hard to work out which one stands out as the best. In many ways, to answer that question, you have to know what you want out of the platform. Is a lower starting price the only deal maker for you? Or do you care about the number of titles a streaming service has? How about the level of user-friendliness of each platform?

Lucky for you, we’ve taken the time to break down which streaming service reigns supreme in the three criteria we mentioned, as well as who takes the top spot overall. We’ve assessed the starting price, user interface, and volume of content for the following platforms: Netflix, Max, Disney Plus, Hulu, Prime Video, Apple TV Plus, Peacock, and Paramount Plus. Let’s start out with the most obvious deciding factor: which platform will make the smallest dent in your wallet.

Lowest Starting Price – Paramount Plus & Peacock ($6)

Images via Paramount Plus and Peacock.

If you’re looking for a streaming service that’ll offer a fair bit of bang-for-buck, both Peacock and Paramount Plus’ starting price begins at $6. That’s about as bottom dollar as you can get. Considering you can stream box office-topping titles like Paramount Plus’ Top Gun Maverick or Peacock’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, that can certainly seem like a screaming deal. However, you will have to contend with ads in both cases.

If you’re a stickler for ads, you can find the lowest tiers without them for Prime Video’s $9 monthly subscription and Apple TV Plus’ $7 subscription. For pretty much every other streaming service though, their lowest tiers are all ad-supported.

If you’re an S-tier-level penny pincher, It’s worth noting that a couple of the major streaming services that we are examining have separately branded ad-supported streaming services that are completely free, including Paramount Global’s Pluto TV and the Amazon-owned Freevee (formerly IMDb TV).

Most User-Friendly – Netflix

Netflix Logo
Image via Netflix

When it comes to user-friendliness, you truly can’t get better than one of the very first streaming services out there, Netflix. To this day, Netflix’s user interface is considered the gold standard for many. In fact, the overall consensus of 40 Hollywood insiders pointed to Netflix’s interface as a standout favorite compared to other streaming services, according to Variety.

It isn’t hard to see why Netflix’s is so acclaimed, since it introduced many innovations that other platforms began to emulate, such as the Top 10 list they started on their site that Max has now been adopting for its own platform. Netflix has also been praised for its high-quality subtitles in movies and shows and ease of navigation, overall.

In terms of a runner-up, Disney Plus has an extremely straightforward and colorful presentation bolstered by its subcategorization of recognizable brands of content, such as Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel. Max also has a respectable interface, though it’s become a bit more cluttered overall thanks to its recent integration with Discovery content. The absolute least user-friendly streaming services we came across have to be Paramount Plus and Peacock, whose navigation and functionality seem lacking compared to the competition.

Most Titles – Prime Video

Image via Amazon Prime.

With an estimated 25,000-plus titles to its name (according to Metacritic), Prime Video is far and away the winner when it comes to sheer volume. Plus, it is a streaming service that has made it easier than ever to add premium swaths of content from other services into one app. For instance, you can subscribe to Paramount Plus and Max by adding those as channel premiums for the price of each subscription service and watch it through the Prime Video app. Plus, it offers the free-with-ads tier known as Freevee. Though Prime Video struggles in other areas, such as its user interface, there is little question the streaming service has the most to choose from, including a few excellent originals, such as The Boys.

Best Overall – Netflix

AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

When it comes to the best overall streaming experience, Netflix is still the king. It features a reasonable starting price of $7 for the ad-supported experience, 15,000-plus titles to chew through, and a sleek interface that makes browsing their selection a breeze. Indeed, if there is one drawback to be noted it is the classic issue of feeling so overwhelmed over the mountain of content that you spend several minutes on end looking for something to watch.

Though there have been criticisms that Netflix has adopted a quantity over quality mentality, as evidenced by some poorly received shows and movies over the years like Death Note and Mute, the overall picture is that the streaming service is still a dominant force to be reckoned with. Case in point: when its shows or movies do hit, they fire on all cylinders — just look at One Piece, Squid Game, Stranger Things, and They Cloned Tyrone — they often become the hottest topics around the veritable water cooler.

Danny Peterson
About the author

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson covers entertainment news for WGTC and has previously enjoyed writing about housing, homelessness, the coronavirus pandemic, historic 2020 Oregon wildfires, and racial justice protests. Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Danny received his Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Alaska Southeast and a Master's in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. He has written for The Portland Observer, worked as a digital enterprise reporter at KOIN 6 News, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary 'Escape from Eagle Creek.'