The New Cable Channels: Evaluating the Value Offered By Streaming Services

The age of cable is long dead. What experts feared when Netflix first made its debut has now occurred: the availability of constant on-demand entertainment has made the age-old practice of scheduled, time-slotted entertainment mostly obsolete, and now cable companies have to offer streaming packages to stay competitive. With consumers looking to pay for only the entertainment that they want, paying a smaller overall single monthly fee (or group of fees, depending on how many streaming services they patronize) for access to a single provider, they shuck the dead weight of the thousand or so channels that cable companies would tack on to justify their absurd prices.

However, another predicted eventuality has also taken place: streaming services have become channels in their own right, almost, with Americans subscribing to multiple services to build their own cable packages. While this still allows customers to choose what they’re paying for, making it far superior to the model that cable companies used to peddle, it can get just as expensive as it was before quickly if consumers aren’t careful about which channels they invest in. While there are free streaming services as well, from which customers can view their favorite sports or access massive catalogs of television and film, the value of such services is largely unquestioned: why complain, after all, when you can get entertainment for free? 

As such, this article aims to evaluate the most popular streaming services used today: to describe which audience they are intended to appeal to, the value you get out of them with your hard-earned funds, and whether you should subscribe to them or cancel your existing subscription. Feel free to check out free streaming services as well, as they can flesh out your entertainment catalog with a variety of options, filling the void left by your less useful, canceled streaming services. 

Let’s get into it. 


What more can anyone say about the streaming giant that started it all? It’s almost become a household staple to have a Netflix account, one that can be shared among friends and family as well. The main reason for this is the variety of Netflix original films and television series produced on the platform, with offerings such as “Stranger Things,” “The Witcher,” and “Cobra Kai” making waves in the entertainment world with each new season released. Netflix also has an extensive queue of popular television series and films on it, such as “You,” “The 100,” “The Last Kingdom,” and the Marvel Netflix universe, which is still only available on the platform despite the existence of Disney Plus.

There’s a reason why Netflix is the great-granddad of all streaming services, and it’s still a viable streaming service today. However, readers be warned: for every series Netflix launches, it also tends to cancel them rather quickly, so make sure if you are subscribing for a particular series that you build a more extensive queue to make up for any… unexpected modifications to their queue. Also, if you need to cut down on your budget, you can always borrow a family members’ account.

Disney Plus

Disney Plus still has a lot to prove. When the streaming service initially launched, it only had one unique title (the first season of “The Mandalorian”) and an archive of age-old Disney films. Now, it has grafted itself into the public consciousness by way of new Star Wars content, Marvel Cinematic Universe series like “Loki” and “Hawkeye,” and a boatload of new kids content that is released only on the channel. While the channel tries to stay relevant by way of new series, attempting to build a larger base of content to attract new viewers, its content may still be lacking compared to other services. 

Unless you’re a huge Marvel or Star Wars nerd or have a family with small children, Disney Plus is not likely worth the 6 dollars a month. 


In the world of streaming services, Hulu really only compares to Netflix as far as the breadth and depth of content available: though, unlike Netflix, it’s got a slightly different model of doing business that may make the platform less valuable to consumers. Hulu treats its platform like a build-your-own-cable company, allowing viewers to add content from various sources to the platform through hubs for an extra fee and either paying a premium to avoid commercials or paying less for less the service for regular commercial breaks. 

Hulu is what you make of it and can be more or less useful depending on the content that’s available. The only thing that makes the existence of commercials tolerable on the platform is that, instead of paying the usual 11 dollar rate for access, you pay somewhere around 5 or 6 dollars. But discovering whether Hulu will be worth it for you will require you to browse the platform, take a look at the content available, and decide whether you’re willing to pay a premium to remove commercials. If you aren’t, but you still like the content, you can always pay a discounted rate for access and deal with the commercials as they come up. 

Streaming services are the new cable channels: nearly impossible to avoid altogether, but valuable if you invest in the right ones. Take a look at the content offered by each channel, then customize your access to entertainment as needed. For the first time in forever, it’s entirely in your hands. 

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