Guide to the Best Streaming Video Services for Different Genres
If you’re convinced downloading is better than streaming, choosing the right combination of streaming services can be overwhelming. Before you know it, your credit card statement contains several small payments to various services that all add up. According to one survey, the average American spends $39 monthly on streaming accounts. How many do you really need? Check out our guide to help you smartly navigate the world of streaming services.
Understanding your streaming needs
First, consider your viewing habits. Are you a sports fanatic, a classic movie buff or a parent looking for quality kids’ programming? Your preferences will guide your choices. Remember, the goal is not to replicate the cable experience, but to tailor a more personal and satisfying viewing journey.
Choosing your core service: live streaming first
Many viewers start with a live TV streaming service as their base. Platforms like YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV offer a mix of live channels, making them a solid foundation for those who enjoy current TV shows, news and live sports. However, if live TV isn’t your priority, you can opt for a combo of on-demand services that cater more specifically to your interests.
Managing your streaming portfolio
Once you choose them, how do you manage your streaming accounts? Regularly assess your subscriptions every quarter. Set up a reminder on your calendar, and look at what you’re paying for and using. Are you getting enough value from each service? Stay informed about new services and changes in existing ones to keep your streaming mix optimal.
Mix a free service like Pluto TV or Tubi with a few paid subscriptions. Look out for bundle deals, and consider rotating services based on your interests. Assess whether the paid version of a service is worth it based on your ad tolerance and content preferences. Paid versions often provide a richer selection and an ad-free experience.
Genre-specific streaming services
Think about what to add on.
For sports enthusiasts
ESPN+ offers sports content unavailable on regular ESPN networks. It includes various sports, such as soccer, combat, baseball, tennis, golf and college sports. You can also bundle this with Disney+ and Hulu for an extra fee per month with ads.
This live-streaming and pay-on-demand service focuses on boxing, MMA and several extreme sports. You can watch well-knowns, such as Katie Taylor, Ryan Garcia and Anthony Joshua.
The main focus of this live-TV streaming service is sports, with 184 channels and DVR capability. You can watch it on up to 10 devices.
For classic movie lovers
Movie lovers of classic films, international titles or hard-to-find flicks will find lots to watch here. It also includes educational content like the “15-minute-a-month film school,” with deep dives into cinematic experiences.
Turner Classic offers a wide range of classic films, about 130,000 titles, so chances are good you’ll find the right thing when you’re looking. You can access TCM on a wide range of providers, including YouTube TV, Hulu+ and SlingTV or a platform like Apple TV, Fire TV or Roku.
For kids’ entertainment
Disney+ is a must for most families, with and without young viewers. Its extensive Disney classics collection includes Pixar animations, Marvel movies, the “Star Wars” series, National Geographic documentaries and original content.
Free streaming services
Netflix has many popular favorites curated explicitly for children, from “Peppa Pig” to “Gabby’s Dollhouse” to “My Little Pony.” Use Netflix’s user-friendly profiles feature to enable straightforward parental controls, ensuring a safe and easy viewing experience for younger audiences.
For music lovers
Heavy metal fans have tons to watch from a comprehensive archive of heavy metal concerts, in-depth documentaries about your favorite bands and musicians, and a curated selection of films and videos celebrating metal culture.
Qello has full-length, on-demand rock and pop concerts and music documentaries, and it features the world’s most extensive catalog of concert films and award-winning music documentaries, from the 1920s to the present, at either a monthly or yearly fee.
For comedy fans
This is your number-one streaming service for stand-up comedy specials with big names like Amy Schumer, Ricky Gervais and Chris Rock. It also features a wide range of original and classic comedy content, including movies and TV shows.
Here’s a vast array of comedic programming, complete with classic animated series like “South Park” and “Futurama,” live stand-up concerts, and shows like “Broad City” and “RENO 911!.” You can get it through a service like YouTube TV, Hulu, FuboTV and more.
For sci-fi and fantasy aficionados
Several streaming platforms deliver on sci-fi and fantasy. Prime Video produces series like “The Expanse,” “The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power” and “Paper Girls.” Disney+ boasts the “Star Wars” franchise; Paramount+ is home to the “Star Trek” series; and Max features “Game of Thrones” and “House of the Dragon.”
Still, when it comes to picking a sci-fi streaming service that most people can’t do without, it seems Netflix is the winner, covering a large variety of content, including the massively successful “Stranger Things,” plus “Outlander,” “Sweet Tooth” and many more. To get the most out of it, here are some Netflix hacks, tips and tricks everyone should know.
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Program availability may have changed and is subject to change. Streaming services may require a subscription and sometimes an additional fee.