What are the Streaming Wars?

Did you know that Netflix started as a business mailing DVDs to people, not a streaming service? Or that Hulu means gourd in Mandarin Chinese? They’re both true! But what these facts have in common is that these companies are both streaming services! 

What are the streaming wars? With the number of streaming services around today, there is a lot of competition to be the best service available. There are tons of streaming services, but some of the top ones (Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu) are in fierce competition with each other, referred to as “the streaming wars”.

Amazon Prime Video launched in 2006 as “Amazon Unbox”. Netflix started offering online streaming media in 2007, with 1,000 films available initially. Hulu opened to the public in 2008, Disney+ launched in 2019, and, finally, HBO Max made its entrance in 2020.

So many streaming services to choose from! There are over 300 streaming services in the U.S. alone, and the average American subscriber watches 3.4 services, paying an average of $8.53 per month for each service, for a total monthly bill of $29. Netflix currently has around 204 million subscribers, while Amazon Prime has 150 million Prime members, although only around 26 million of them use Prime Video. Hulu has 99.7 million viewers, with 39.4 million of them being paid subscribers. Disney+ has 116 million paying viewers, and HBO Max has 64 million subscribers.

Netflix has 1,569 TV shows, and the number of movies offered is 4,010. Netflix has tripled the number of TV shows they offer since 2010 while decreasing the size of their movie catalogue. Hulu has over 1,600 shows and 2,500 movies, and Disney+ has over 400 television shows and 500 films. Amazon Prime has 60,000 movies and TV shows, of which 21,066 are free for Prime members. Finally, more than 2,000 movies and 580 TV shows are available on HBO Max.

There are so many streaming services! All of them have their pros and cons, and it’s just a personal preference about what streaming service is the best.


Editor at The City Voice

Hello, my name is Luke Fann. I love to read and write myself into a fantastical realm, but I love all genres. Of course, such a task requires assistance from my parents and older brother. I've feasted on alligators and tamed beasts like alpacas (my favorite animal), but none of that compares to my greatest weapon: a pencil. I am an editor here for the City Voice, and this is my second year writing for it.

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