With new innovations in storage technology, and more efficient Internet revolutions, the world has evolved into more than just a global village. From Artificial Intelligence, to the growing reliance on home automation systems as well as seamless Internet TV, the world has truly come a long way.
As Bill Gates rightly stated in his 1996 essay, Content is King. Equipped with a gigabit connection, you can now find and pay for only the content you want. There’s no need to order traditional cable and pay for endless channels you’ll never watch. There is an ocean of content available to you, and we want to help you navigate through it.
Services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, and the very recent IGTV (Instagram TV) have become an intricate part of many modern lives. Like the inception of mobile phones, and the consequent seeming irrelevance of having a calendar on your wall, these streaming services have to a large extent actively eliminated the need for traditional television.
But what advantages do these content providers possess over the age long cable TV?
For starters, online streaming sites and apps give power to the people; think of it as a democracy, but with visual content. A few years ago, you could only watch content fed to you by regular/cable television. Worse still, you didn’t have multiple options for ways of viewing content like you do now, so you’d be stuck watching whatever the majority of your house wanted to watch on the TV in the living room.
These days, you have way more options. You can still watch shows and movies through your television of course, but you can also watch things on smartphones, tablets, computers, etc. Now you can view whatever games, shows, or movies you desire, on nearly whatever device you desire, thanks to affordable but efficient streaming services like Netflix and its competitors.
For most, only the popular streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime video ring a bell, thanks to pop culture (especially on the part of Netflix).
In this article, we are going to discuss the numerous streaming sites available and their content in a bid to broaden your knowledge base and options.
Movies/ TV Shows
- Netflix: Netflix, the U.S.-based but internationally famous media service and production company, used to mail physical DVDs to your home before streaming existed. Netflix released its first exclusive streaming content in 2012 with a show called Lilyhammer. Since then, Netflix has become a huge part of our popular culture. If you have no idea what to watch, Netflix has some wildly popular original series’ worth viewing; people really love both Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black for starters. In 2016 alone, Netflix released a record breaking 126 original series’ and films. Get ready for some top notch content.
- Amazon Prime Video: You probably know plenty of people who shop for all kinds of things on Amazon—you may even do it yourself with your gigabit Internet—but did you know Amazon is also one of the forerunners of the content streaming industry? Similar to Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video provides an online streaming service that has grown tremendously over the past few years. Like Netflix, they have original content as well as popular content made by others. Much of it is included with your subscription, but you can also pay for even more specialized content if you don’t love what’s provided.
- Hulu: Hulu originally started as a streaming website for recent episodes of shows from just a handful of networks. Within a couple years, though, Walt Disney bought a considerable chunk of the company, ensuring Hulu a bright future. As of mid 2019, The Walt Disney Company owns 67% equity with full control, and by 2024 Disney will own the entire entity. It is very similar to Netflix and Amazon, but you can find even newer content through Hulu, which will play episodes of shows as they come out on regular TV.
- HBO Go: HBO Go, as you can imagine, is simply an attempt by cable TV giant HBO to carve a niche for itself in the dynamic online streaming industry. It supports mobile devices, which ensures you never miss an episode of a certain ice-spitting dragon. Their programming is restricted to their own content and content produced by their partners, but rest assured, there’s plenty to view via HBO Go.
- Starz: As the use of online streaming services began to grow exponentially, the original cable TV operators began to fixate their eyes on the other ship. Starz, like HBO, happens to be one of such operators. With innovations like Encore and MoviePlex, Starz has rooted its feet into the growing grounds of the online streaming industry.
- YouTube TV: You are probably already familiar with YouTube as a website for online videos from basically every category. It has a lot of music too. However, it appears YouTube has also seen the light emanating from the torch of online streaming technology, as they created YouTube TV in 2017. Unlike most of the others on this list, YouTube TV decided to broadcast cable TV from a number of select stations rather than create new content. On the bright side, the company is just newer than their competitors and they do have plans underway to give the more established guns a run for their money.
- IGTV: Also a new innovation, IGTV (Instagram TV) was launched in June 2018 in response to calls for longer video uploads. IGTV has some of the most stringent conditions on this list, such as a maximum of 10 minutes and 650MB uploads for regular users. It redeems itself and stands out from the others, however, because the content within the platform is created by the users, giving a different dynamic to this service.
- Apple TV+: “Well, everyone seems to be launching online streaming services, so why not?” must have been the interaction that led to what we now know as Apple TV+.
- Disney+: “Disney is new to streaming, but its marketing is unmatched” claims this article from the New York Times. At the time of this writing, Disney+ has yet to be launched, but there is already so much rave about it. Scheduled to launch on the 12th of November 2019, Disney+ is expected to go straight for the top tiers as its sheer ability and experience in blockbuster content cannot be matched. It is expected that all Disney productions will be available on the Disney+ platform.
Enough about Movies and TV shows, how about sport live streams?
There are two big sports live streaming platforms that are good enough for us to encourage checking them out:
- WatchESPN: It is devoid of annoying ads and completely free depending on your geographical location.
- VIPLeague: While it has some really good content, it is blocked by quite a number of ISPs in a couple of countries, meaning it may not function effectively in your locale.
Now go on and enjoy the streaming democracy!