Is It Worth Subscribing to Disney+ and Other Streaming Services Now?
These days, Disney+ and other streaming services are the only way to see some of the hottest new movies and television shows. However, subscription costs can add up fast, so it’s important to make sure they’re really worth your money.
Last year, it was easy to justify the expenses, because COVID-19 quarantine meant there wasn’t much else to do. Now that you’re probably getting out more — i.e., spending money on things like travel, dining out and commuting expenses — you’ll likely want to be more selective with your streaming subscriptions.
Here’s a look at the costs of Disney+ and several other popular streaming services so you can choose the best platforms for your needs.
If you’re a Disney fan, you’ll likely benefit from a Disney+ subscription, despite the recent price increase. Currently priced at $7.99 per month or $79.99 for an annual subscription — up from $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year — you’ll enjoy exclusive new content, including “Soul,” “The Mandalorian,” “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” and “WandaVision.”
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You also get the ability to stream brand new Disney movies on your devices instead of going to the movie theater — i.e., for $29.99, you can watch “Cruella” as many times as you want, until it’s available to all subscribers on Aug. 27. Additionally, you’ll also have unlimited access to a huge selection of classic Disney content including “Toy Story,” “Moana” and “Hamilton.”
Home to an array of exclusive television series and movies, Apple TV+ is priced at just $4.99 per month. If you’re bored with your current selection of content, this is an economical way to stay entertained with shows like “Ted Lasso,” “The Morning Show” and “The Me You Can’t See.”
There’s also a steady stream of A-lister films you won’t find anywhere else, including “Greyhound” starring Tom Hanks, “Palmer” starring Justin Timberlake and “Cherry” starring Tom Holland.
A longtime streaming staple, Hulu is available at a variety of price points, including $5.99 per month for the basic platform, $11.99 per month for ad-free access and $64.99 per month for Hulu plus Live TV. Additionally, you can even bundle Hulu with Disney+ and ESPN+ for $13.99, $19.99 or $72.99 per month, depending on which Hulu service you’d prefer. Of course, you would also need to download the individual apps for all three platforms to watch respective programming.
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A major recent boost to the Hulu platform has been the 2021 Academy Award Winner “Nomadland” — the film won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress. Along with Hulu’s most popular originals series including “The Handmaid’s Tail,” “Little Fires Everywhere” and “Letterkenny,” the streaming service also partners with FX to bring subscribers more than 40 series from FX Networks, along with thousands of other shows and movies.
Despite a recent price increase that added a dollar or two to the cost of a monthly subscription, Netflix is a streaming giant that’s hard to avoid. Priced at $8.99 per month for a basic subscription, $13.99 per month for a standard subscription and $17.99 per month for a premium subscription, Netflix offers an array of popular content.
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The platform is the only place to watch popular shows like “Lucifer,” “Stranger Things,” “Bridgerton” and “The Crown.” In addition to its exclusive television series and movies, a wide-variety of rotating content is also available in just about every genre imaginable. Some of the current offerings include “Million Dollar Baby,” “Legally Blonde” and “Back to the Future.”
An HBO Max subscription is available for $9.99 per month with ads or $14.99 per month ad-free — you can also prepay $99.99 per year or $149.99 per year, respectively, to save 16%. If you’re into Warner Bros movies, you’ll definitely want the ad-free version, as 2021 films are available to stream the day they arrive in theaters.
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The streaming service has been a longtime provider of original content, including new series like “The Nevers,” “Mare of Easttown” and “A Black Lady Sketch Show.” The new “Sex and the City” revival, titled “And Just Like That…,” will also appear exclusively on the platform alongside favorites like “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Big Little Lies” and “Entourage.”
A classic premium platform, Showtime is available for $10.99 per month or $99.99 per year(19). Home to a wide-variety of exclusive series, a subscription grants unlimited access to shows like “Black Monday,” “The Chi,” “Billions” and “Shameless.”
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There’s also no shortage of films to watch, with the current lineup including hits like “Moonlight,” “Moneyball” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”
Essentially, every streaming service offers something a little different, so base your choices on your personal preferences — not necessarily what your friends and family subscribe to.
For example, if you’re really into Disney, a Disney+ subscription will likely be worth your money. However, if you never miss a DC film, you’ll almost definitely benefit from an HBO Max subscription.
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Last updated: June 10, 2021