There just might be a day in the future where all of our media needs are met through streaming. Think about it how many CDs you actually use, or DVDs you actually watch? If you're like most of us, not too many. Most of the time we are streaming things directly to our televisions and stereos and our tablets. The way we engage with media is changing very fast. With services like Netfilx, XM radio, and Amazon Prime, we can feel a little more confident cleaning out our cabinets and shelves from all of those dust covered CD cases DVD cases and soon maybe even that cable box.
Yes, that cable Box. Many people are finding that cable bills are growing faster than their paychecks and let's face it most of us are busier then ever before. This means we can watch our shows when they're on, we have to record them and watch them later. And sometimes we want to blow a whole weekend and binge watch an entire season of a show everyone has been talking about and we never had the time to see. Sure, there is the ubiquitous DVR, which most cable companies offer, at a fee, a monthly fee (check out your bill sometime), but even they have their short comings. Limited space, limited ability to record multiple shows at once, and sometimes they glitch and we miss a coveted show, never a great moment.
Movie theaters are getting too expensive for most families. According to The Atlantic, "The number of annual movie tickets bought per person has declined from 4.8 to 4 in the last decade." More and more people are just waiting for the movie to come out and watching it from the comfort of their homes. And TV technology has made some serious strides in the last decade. Truth is, often times we prefer the home experience over the theater.
Cable companies are fighting back and trying to compete. Since the traditional telecom companies have some stiff competition these days, many are aggressively pushing online discounts. AT&T U-verse is really trying to grab market share with these coupon codes and they're not the only ones. In no particular order, here is a list of some of the most popular streaming options on the market.
1. Amazon Prime
For under 8 dollars a month you can subscribe to Amazon Prime. The service is fast and streamed directly through the internet. Most TVs are smart now and come equipped to connect to the service out of the box. In addition to their large streamable services, Amazon Prime lets you order anything from Amazon's online retail site and not pay shipping and handling. This, for many, is a game changer. When you can order anything no matter how small and not pay shipping you just might be surprised just how many things you order.
2. Hulu Plus
Started as an online video hosting company, Hulu has grown way past showing videos of funny cats. Hulu plus is a streaming service offering a ton of your favorite shows and movies. Other streaming sites might have a bigger movie library but Hulu reigns supreme in the TV show market. You may have to wait a day or two after the original broadcast but with a little patience you are sure to find almost anything you desire. If older TV shows are your dream watch experience you may want to consider Hulu Plus, they have just about anything you can imagine. The service is around $8 a month.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you've probably heard of Youtube. You can watch just about anything, your mind can imagine. Viewers can post just about anything they want from funny family moments, to home made clips, movie trailers, the list could go on for ever. What some people may not know is that they do offer a service from which you can rent or even buy movies. Prices vary on rentals and permanent purchases but most are relatively cheap.
What started out as Mac's music player has extended into a vast streaming provider. They have an extensive collection of TV show and box office movies and a pretty big collection of older shows as well. This site is pay per piece, which means you have to buy things individually. This is a good option if you aren't looking to watch things all the time, but instead are looking for that one show or movie you've been dying to see. It's not the cheapest service in town but some people are just Mac people. Brand loyalty goes along way for this service, and like Mac it's almost always problem free.