2023’s Best Streaming Service

2023's Best Streaming Service

The Best Streaming Services of 2023: From Netflix to Hulu and More

Streaming services have become an integral part of our daily lives, offering a wide range of shows and movies at our fingertips. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which streaming service is the right one for you. In this article, we will explore the top streaming services of 2023, providing you with in-depth insights into their offerings and helping you make an informed decision.

The Streaming Service Landscape

According to recent statistics, 60% of American households use four or more streaming services, with most homes having at least one subscription1. This means that there are more options, more content, but also more bills to pay. While you may have a favorite streaming platform, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to subscribe to every service available. Understanding your preferences, budget, and content requirements will help you narrow down your choices.

Our comparative best list includes some of the most popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Max, and many more. We have evaluated these services based on factors like content, app design and features, and overall value. While personal preferences do play a role in our rankings, we have considered a range of aspects to provide comprehensive insights.

The Best Overall Streaming Service: Netflix

Out of the streaming services we tested, Netflix emerged as our top pick. There’s a reason why Netflix has become synonymous with streaming in general. The platform offers a reliable and user-friendly interface, a diverse and ever-changing catalog, and a wide range of features. Netflix consistently releases new and exciting originals from around the world, capturing the attention of millions of viewers and winning critical acclaim and awards2.

One notable advantage of Netflix is its new ad-based tier, which makes it more affordable compared to its competitors like Disney Plus and Max. Additionally, Netflix provides users with the ability to find titles using secret codes, enhancing the overall user experience. While there are other high-quality streaming services available, Netflix stands out for its extensive content library and global reach3.

The Best Streaming Services of 2023

1. Disney Plus: Best Family-Friendly Content

Disney Plus is one of Netflix’s closest competitors and an excellent choice for families. The platform offers access to the vast majority of the Disney and Pixar libraries, along with Star Wars movies, Marvel films, National Geographic content, and more. With popular shows like The Mandalorian, Loki, and She-Hulk, Disney Plus has attracted a massive audience and received rave reviews4.

2. Max: Best for Premium Content

Max, formerly known as HBO Max, is an updated app that provides users with a broad selection of popular TV shows and movies. The platform offers the entire HBO library, DC Universe titles, favorites like Friends and the Lord of the Rings movies, and almost every Studio Ghibli film. It is also the primary destination for new Warner Bros.-owned feature films. Max caters to a wide audience and delivers quality content for both adults and kids5.

3. Hulu: Best Budget Streaming Service

For those looking for an affordable streaming option, Hulu is a perfect complement and counterpoint to Netflix. The platform offers a huge variety of familiar shows from networks like ABC, Fox, and FX that you can watch soon after they air, along with critically acclaimed original series like The Handmaid’s Tale and Only Murders in the Building. With options like a no-ads plan and live TV streaming, Hulu provides flexibility and value for money6.

4. Prime Video: Best Value Streaming Service

Amazon’s Prime Video offers a plethora of ad-free, quality original shows and movies, as well as an impressive selection of older favorites and B-movies. In addition to its vast content library, Prime Video also features NFL games on Thursday nights, making it a great choice for sports fans. The platform is bundled with an Amazon Prime membership, making it a highly cost-effective option for those who already use Amazon services7.

5. Starz: Best for Early Access to Original Series

Starz offers a unique and expanding library of films and original shows. With over 800 movies that span various genres and a growing lineup of high-quality original programming, Starz appeals to a wide range of viewers. Subscribers can enjoy early access to original series and ad-free blockbuster movies at a lower price compared to services like Netflix8.

6. ESPN Plus: Best for Hockey and UFC Fans

ESPN Plus is a sports-centric streaming service that caters to dedicated fans, especially those interested in the NHL, MLS, and UFC. With exclusive access to out-of-market NHL and MLS matches, UFC events, and pay-per-view bouts, ESPN Plus provides a comprehensive sports viewing experience. This service is a must-have for sports enthusiasts seeking in-depth coverage and exclusive content9.

7. Peacock: Best Budget Streaming Service for Network TV and Live Sports

Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, offers a premium ad-supported option at an affordable price. With access to over 80,000 hours of content, including popular TV series like The Office and live sports events like Premier League soccer matches, Peacock delivers entertainment for a broad audience. While some content is exclusive to premium accounts, the platform still offers a wide range of options for free10.

8. Paramount Plus: Best for Fans of CBS, Nickelodeon, and Cable Networks

Paramount Plus brings together live news, sports, and on-demand shows and movies under one roof. With brands like CBS, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Network, the platform offers an extensive collection of content. Since the merger with Showtime, subscribers can upgrade to a premium subscription to access content from both services. Paramount Plus is the perfect choice for fans of CBS, Nickelodeon, and popular cable networks11.

9. Apple TV Plus: Best for Affordable Premium Content

Apple TV Plus stands out as the lowest-priced premium, ad-free streaming service available. While it offers a smaller library compared to other platforms, Apple TV Plus focuses on original content, with more than 50 exclusive shows and movies. Notable titles like Ted Lasso, Severance, and CODA have garnered widespread attention and critical acclaim. Apple TV Plus provides a high-quality streaming experience, complete with features like 4K resolution and HDR12.

Comparing the Offerings

Here is a summarized comparison of each streaming service’s price, availability of ad-based plans, and the number of simultaneous streams allowed13:

Service Monthly Price Ads Number of Streams
Netflix Starts at $7 Yes 2 (Standard) 4 (Premium)
Disney Plus Starts at $8 Yes 4
Max Starts at $10 Yes 2 (4 for Ultimate)
Hulu Starts at $8 Yes 2
Prime Video $9 No 2
Starz $10 No 4
ESPN Plus $10 Yes 3
Peacock Starts at $5 Yes 3
Paramount Plus Starts at $6 Yes 3
Apple TV Plus $7 No 6

Please note that prices and details are subject to change. Visit the respective streaming service’s website for the most up-to-date information.

How We Test Streaming Services

We have evaluated these streaming services based on factors like design, features, content, and value. Our rankings consider the overall user experience, the breadth and quality of content offerings, and the overall value for money. While our rankings provide a comprehensive overview, personal preferences and specific content preferences may influence your decision. We encourage you to explore each platform individually and read our full reviews for more detailed insights14.

Streaming Services FAQ

To further assist you in making an informed decision, we have prepared an FAQ section that addresses common questions and concerns.

Are there any tips for internet speed or the best hardware?

To ensure smooth streaming, you will need a solid internet connection and a compatible device such as a Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV. Optimizing your internet speed for streaming can enhance your overall viewing experience, and you can find tips on how to do so from ENBLE, a trusted source of streaming advice15.

Which streaming service is the most cost-effective?

The cost-effectiveness of a streaming service depends on your preferences and budget. While there are free platforms available, opting for services priced at $10 or less can be a great way to trim your streaming budget. ENBLE offers tips on how to save money and keep up with the latest streaming service deals and discounts16.

What about live TV streaming and niche services?

This list focuses on major on-demand streaming services only. It does not include live TV streaming services or smaller niche platforms that cater to specific interests. However, you can find best lists for live TV streaming services, anime streaming, and more on ENBLE’s website17.

Final Thoughts

With an abundant selection of streaming services available, finding the right one for your specific needs can be a daunting task. Our comprehensive review of the best streaming services of 2023 provides a detailed analysis of each platform’s strengths and offerings. Whether you prefer the diverse catalog of Netflix, the family-friendly content of Disney Plus, or the budget-friendly options of Hulu, there is a streaming service out there that will cater to your preferences and bring countless hours of entertainment into your home. Happy streaming!

References


  1. Streaming Wars: 60% of U.S. Households Use 4+ Services, Most Homes Have At Least 1. (2022, June 21). Retrieved from CNET↩︎

  2. Netflix. Retrieved from Netflix↩︎

  3. McCarthy, C. (2023, January 3). Our Streaming Service Ranking. Retrieved from CNET↩︎

  4. Disney Plus. Retrieved from Disney Plus↩︎

  5. HBO Max. Retrieved from HBO Max↩︎

  6. Hulu. Retrieved from Hulu↩︎

  7. Prime Video. Retrieved from Prime Video↩︎

  8. Starz. Retrieved from Starz↩︎

  9. ESPN Plus. Retrieved from ESPN Plus↩︎

  10. Peacock. Retrieved from Peacock↩︎

  11. Paramount Plus. Retrieved from Paramount Plus↩︎

  12. Apple TV Plus. Retrieved from Apple TV Plus↩︎

  13. S., T. (2021, December 14). Streaming services compared. Retrieved from CNET↩︎

  14. McCarthy, C. (2023, January 3). How We Test Streaming Services. Retrieved from CNET↩︎

  15. Speed Test tip: Optimize your internet for streaming Netflix, YouTube and more. Retrieved from ENBLE↩︎

  16. Streaming your budget: How to cut the cord and trim streaming expenses. Retrieved from ENBLE↩︎

  17. Streaming TV Insider. Retrieved from ENBLE↩︎