When it comes to video content, the online streaming model has well surpassed any other method of delivery. Streaming has gotten so popular, in fact, that many consumers are canceling their cable TV service in favor of getting all their content from the Internet. From movies to TV shows to web videos created and uploaded by people all over the world, you can find almost any video you’re looking for somewhere online.
While there are literally thousands of different online movie streaming websites, however, three big ones have emerged as the most consistently popular. Here lets have a look at the biggest video providers as well as a few of their similarities and differences and later on you we will add more Online Movie Streaming Websites into the list.
The original web-streaming giant, YouTube has been around for over a decade. Originally based around user-uploaded videos, it quickly became the most popular way for people all over the world to share the content they created. After several years as a private entity, YouTube was acquired by Google, but the general premise of the site has remained unchanged.
The most watched videos of all-time on the site have been viewed almost 2 billion times. More recently, YouTube also entered into deals with several movie and TV studios to bring some of their content to the site. While viewers can watch normal YouTube videos for free, this official content is available to rent or own for a fee. The movie catalog on YouTube is consistently growing, and it now offers some movies the same day as they are released on DVD.
While Netflix has been in the mail-order DVD rental business for about 15 years, it only began moving some of its catalog online in early 2007. Since then, the company has grown its library of movies and TV shows at an increasingly fast rate.
The basic premise of Netflix’s streaming service (called Netflix Instant) is that consumers can subscribe for a low price (currently $7.99 per month) and gain access to the entire catalog of titles that are available to watch online. Netflix offers thousands of movies, from first-run titles to classics, as well as entire seasons of thousands of TV shows.
Unlike YouTube, none of the content is available for free, but since you can stream unlimited amounts of content for your low subscription price, it is easy to make Netflix Instant quite cost-effective. Netflix also has the most comprehensive catalog currently on the market and is showing no signs of slowing its growth. Finally, Netflix has recently begun releasing original programming such as the drama series House of Cards and the re-launch of the cult comedy Arrested Development. The new programming is only available to Netflix customers.
There are two divisions of the Hulu website. The first is the free version, where viewers can watch TV content for hundreds of shows the day after they air on television. This division of Hulu is ad-supported (so you can expect to watch several commercials during your show) and is only accessible on your computer. Hulu Plus is the paid version of the site, and it gives you access to a much larger catalog of TV content as well as some movies.
When you subscribe to Hulu Plus (for $7.99 per month), you are not only able to watch entire seasons of your favorite TV shows, but you are also able to watch them on mobile devices as well as set-top boxes like the Roku players and the Apple TV. While users have to pay a subscription fee for access, Hulu Plus still relies on advertising revenue to subsidize its costs, so you will still have to watch commercials.
Similarly, YouTube also plays commercials before most of its videos, though Netflix is ad-free. The catalog of Hulu Plus movies doesn’t compete with those of Netflix or YouTube, but it does have exclusive access to certain films like those in the Criterion Collection. Hulu produces its own original content like Netflix, though its original series are typically lower-budget.
Over to you :
If you are looking for something to stream, it is usually a good idea to check all three of these major sites to see who has your content. Between the three options, it is likely that one or more of them will.
While they may seem like competitors, YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu actually offer unique enough services that there is plenty of room for all three of them in the market. They provide content that the world is clamoring for, and that is what makes them the current Internet streaming giants.