The Daily Evergreen

Netflix for the win: TV season is streaming season

DANIEL ANDERSON | Evergreen movie columnist

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Should I buy books from the Bookie or Amazon? Should I stay in or drop out of this class? With a new semester in session, these questions are all signs of inquisitive, well-informed and prepared students. The three-way battle between Netflix, Amazon and Hulu for the title of best streaming service creates another matter of equal importance to college student.

I imagine many students would argue for the merits of Netflix over Amazon or Hulu, but just how do these competitors stack up against the king of chill?

It’s important to remember Hulu predates Netflix’s golden age. Hulu started its streaming services long before Netflix’s era of original television, apps, or streaming anywhere anytime.

Hulu has worked to perfect its streaming service game for a long time. A wide array of television shows with new episodes being available shortly after airing attracts customers, but it falls short of Netflix’s ad-free experience and expenses.

While Hulu does offer the cheapest initial plan at $7.99 a month, a commercial-free account costs a heftier $11.99 a month. Like Amazon and Netflix, Hulu also has a personal collection of original content, but it fails in comparison to Netflix’s star shows like “Orange is the New Black,” “Daredevil” and “Stranger Things.” Hulu offers a quick availability of television shows, but the internet’s accessibility diminishes this power. A simple Google search easily allows viewers to find episodes right after airing.

Some people may lean toward Hulu viewing rather than Netflix and chill, but you aren’t getting as much out of it.

Another streaming service, Amazon, may call itself “prime,” but it doesn’t truly deliver on that promise with entertainment.

Amazon’s services cost $99 a year, roughly $8.25 a month, and it comes with some special amenities. An Amazon Prime account grants the user access to the Kindle lending library, unlimited music streaming, unlimited photo storage and 2-day shipping.

I can’t deny the usefulness of Amazon 2-day shipping or some of the acclaimed original shows, such as “Mozart in the Jungle” or “Transparent,” but that doesn’t make up for the shortcomings of its other features. Amazon’s unlimited music streaming offers around 1 million songs, which may sound like a lot until you realize Spotify and Apple both boast more than 20 million songs and growing.

Kindle also suffers similar conditions. The Kindle library consists of around 800,000 books, but they mostly come from unknown authors or books in public domain. Depending on the type of reader you are, this might be a benefit if you enjoy reading obscure pieces, but a more avid book reader will be unsatisfied.

That leaves us with Netflix. Netflix’s biggest fault is the waiting game many have to play. Netflix does have a large collection of hit television shows, but they aren’t usually available until several months after airing.

Their original content makes up for third-party shows, and is still the pioneer for original streaming content. The popularity and success of “Orange is the New Black,” “Stranger Things,” and Marvel comics shows “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones” are overwhelming.

Netflix may cost the most with their $9.99 a month subscription, but is ad free and keeps a wider selection of movies and binge-watching material.

At the end of the day, what streaming service you align with depends on your wants and needs, but from my analysis, Netflix clearly wins.

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Netflix for the win: TV season is streaming season