Which Streaming Service Gives You the Most Bang for Your Buck?

Multimedia video concept on TV set in dark room


Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Multimedia video concept on TV set in dark room

The Streaming Wars

The financial technology company Self released a study comparing eight popular streaming services to determine which gives consumers the best value. Self's method is simple: Using IMDb audience rating scores, subscription fees, and library size, Self reported findings such as which service provides the most top-rated 4K content. The analysis comes as established leaders in the industry, namely Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, face increasing competition from new contenders. In the most recent development in the streaming wars, Netflix is to begin offering a cheaper, ad-supported streaming tier, starting Nov. 3. We've provided details on that change and compiled the study's biggest takeaways, including which streaming service offers the best overall bang for your buck.

Related: The Best (and Worst) Free Streaming Services

Netflix logo

Netflix: Best for New Television Shows and Movies

Price per month: $9.99 and up ($6.99 and up from Nov. 3)

Netflix added a whopping 1,404 new shows and movies in 2021-22, making it the best streaming service for discovering stuff you've never seen. But be forewarned if you want to share your password, as Netflix is testing a new sharing practice for $2.99 a month in Latin America, which, if it works, is likely to travel worldwide. On the bright side, the streamer just announced a lower-priced, ad-based subscription tier that launches Nov. 3. The plan costs $6.99, and commercials run for an average of 4-5 minutes an hour, and the lower cost may help stem the current flood of subscribers headed for the exits. Netflix has the largest library of any provider by far, with more than 6,000 titles. ButApple TV+ had the highest proportional increase of new content in the past year.

Related: Beloved Classic TV Shows You Can Still Watch

Apple TV+ Logo

Apple TV+: Best Overall for Top-Rated Content

Price per month: $4.99

While its library is small at 147 titles, the technology giant boasts the highest average IMDb rating among the eight services that Self analyzed. Some of those highly rated offerings include Apple TV+ exclusives such as "Prehistoric Planet," "Ted Lasso," and "Coda," which won the Oscar this year for Best Picture.

Related: TV Shows That Wouldn't Have Aired a Generation Ago


Disney+: Best for Family Content

Price per month: $7.99

This year, Disney+ has the largest library of family-friendly content with 1,139 titles, taking the top spot from HBO Max. Disney+ has overtaken HBO in no small part thanks to its vast back library of Disney classics, Marvel movies, and Pixar favorites.

For more fun entertainment stories, please sign up for our free newsletters.

Hulu logo

Hulu: Best for Top-Rated 4K Content

Price per month: $6.99 and up

Hulu has been around as long as Netflix's streaming service, which got its start in 2007 — and yet has fallen behind when it comes to library size. The Walt Disney-owned streaming service does excel in its selection of top-rated 4K content, which has an average IMBd score of 7.32. If you're looking for sheer selection, though, Netflix wins out with 667 titles in 4K (compared with Hulu's 49).

Netflix Symbol

Netflix: Best Overall Bang For Your Buck

Price per month: $9.99 and up ($6.99 and up from Nov. 3)

Dollar per dollar, Netflix is the king of streaming. For every $1 spent, consumers get 648 unique shows and movies, though Paramount+ is a close second at 605 titles for every $1. And with the company's cheaper, ad-supported tier, that ratio will be even more favorable come November. Netflix also offers nearly three times more top-rated content than its closest competitor, HBO Max. So although Netflix has been in the news for losing subscribers, this colossal media company is still a leader in the world of streaming.