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You’ve got a lot of time to pop the corn and lounge in the couch but which of these streaming services will actually keep you glued on the tube?

The past year has seen the rise of competition for the streaming services formerly monopolized by Netflix. While some have arrived here in the Philippines, others require the use of a VPN. With several hopefuls vying for similar success, our choices may just have gotten bigger. But is it better?


WHAT WE HAVE SO FAR


Netflix

The pioneer of streaming service apps has given Netflix a rightful place above many others.

The OG of streaming services is the one to beat. If you are still not connected, why haven’t you? Netflix is well-stocked in terms of variety, with the user interface extremely friendly. One might get overwhelmed by the choices, though, with seconds to minutes to hours of searching for the “right show” to watch. Whether one is looking for niche genres such as Korean shows, Anime, or even Reality TV, you’ll always have something to watch. With other companies creating their streaming services, though, we expect the competition to heat up, even by a bit. Still, Netflix is well-curated and you’ll find most of the best films released recently ending here.

Most Successful Shows: The Crown, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Stranger Things, Black Mirror, and many more

What Else We’re Watching: The real question is, what aren’t we?

Should You Subscribe? For the wide variety and fun discoveries? Yes. This is a staple.`

While shows such as The Crown have received critical acclaim, Netflix’s collection of original series tend to be a hit or miss.

RELATED READS: 10 Culinary Shows That Will Encourage Your Enterprising Gustatory Passions


Amazon Prime Video

Online retailer giant Amazon was the first to challenge Netflix’s streaming service
dominance.

While Netflix did start a revolution of dropping entire seasons in one go, not all shows became remarkably successful. Amazon played it smart by focusing on quality over quantity in terms of original shows. While Netflix has won many accolades thanks to the number of shows it has made over the years, it is Amazon who scores the big wins during awards season even with just a few shows so far. Runaway hits like Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel have continued Amazon’s presence in award-giving bodies, replicating its success with Transparent earlier on. The downside? You have hundreds of bad shows and movies plus a terrible user interface.

Most Successful Shows: Fleabag, Transparent, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

What Else We’re Watching: Man in the High Castle, The Boys, Hunters, Modern Love

Should You Subscribe? Add it to the mix if you’re specifically looking for their exclusive shows.

Amazon’s gamble on producing great stories that feature great ensembles seem to pay off.

Apple TV+

Will Apple extend their technology industry leadership with their streaming services venture?

Apple TV+ is the cheapest among other streaming apps in this list at $5/month, and rightfully so, with its limited catalog of shows to watch. But being cheap doesn’t make its shows just as cheap. The critically-acclaimed The Morning Show cost the company around $300 million to produce. And with a ton of money to spend, it has brought many big names to its list with Chris Evans (Defending Jacob), Oprah Winfrey (Oprah’s Book Club), Ellen DeGeneres (Visible), and Jason Momoa (See) headlining shows. Many predict that Apple will produce the next best set of original content given the better budgets. We stay glued.

Most Successful Show: The Morning Show

What Else We’re Watching: Visible, Dickinson, Oprah’s Book Club, See, Defending Jacob, Mythic Quest

Should You Subscribe? For the minimal cost, this is a steal. A resounding yes.

Apple TV+’s formula of limited, but well-curated shows might just seem to work.

WHAT WILL HAVE TO WAIT


Disney+ 

While an already filled catalog of well-received shows and films has its strengths, is it enough to sustain and gain viewership?

One of the biggest thank you’s given this week was Disney+‘s release of Hamilton. The only question is, when will the service be available in the Philippines? Having placed a generous majority of its film portfolio here was an excellently laid bait for many of Disney’s fans. Aside from rewatching classic well-loved Disney films and everything from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you can also rewatch all iterations of High School Musical and all of Hilary Duff’s made-for-TV movies. Joy, right? The prized gem here is The Mandalorian, which even non-fans can appreciate for its well-made production. 

Most Successful Shows: The Mandalorian, Hamilton (though not exactly original)

What Else We’re Watching: Mostly rewatching our favorite Disney and MCU Movies here

Should You Subscribe? If your kids command the remote control or are extremely obsessed with Star Wars, go for it.

The much-awaited release may have increased the hype, but are we expecting new material?

Hulu

Will the North America-exclusive service ever reach our shores?

While Hulu produced award-winning smash success The Handmaid’s Tale, one of its best selling points is its ties with other networks such as HBO, FX, Starz, and Showtime. And while you can also bundle their services with Disney+ and ESPN+, we’ve yet to wait for its arrival on Philippine shores. So far, its strength lies within its capacity to air network programmed shows. But other than that and a breakout hit, there’s not much to see here yet. As a Disney-acquired unit, though, Disney+ may come here sooner than Hulu.

Most Successful Shows: The Handmaid’s Tale

What Else We’re Watching: The Great, Little Fires Everywhere, Love, Victor, Normal People

Should You Subscribe? Not really. A mix of two or three of the others will do you enough good television.

After the success of The Handmaid’s Tale, many other new shows have since been produced–will they be able to replicate the success?

HBO Max

Old name, new player.

Among others on this list, there’s not much content to find in the youngest of the bunch, HBO Max. While Anna Kendrick’s Love Life may have drawn a bit of attention, the mixed reviews had many holding on to their purses still. If there’s anything people are waiting for, it’s the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League expected to be released next year. So far, the service is bolstering their family shows, reality competitions, and about half a dozen original films with Merryl Streep, Gemma Chan, and Seth Rogen in the mix.

Most Successful Shows: None yet.

What Else We’re Watching:  Love Life, season continuations of Search Party and Doom Patrol

Should You Subscribe? Too soon to tell.

So far, the limited catalog includes one original series and other season continuations. But there’s surely more to come.
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