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Best Streaming Services 2023
Here's a list of the best entertaining on-demand services and cable alternatives
There are two types of streaming services on the market: live TV and on-demand.
If you're tired of feeding the cable or satellite TV monster and watching your money get eaten away, it might be time to embrace the digital revolution with a live TV streaming service. If you're an avid marathon-watcher of TV series and movies, you'll be satisfied with an on-demand service. Or you could get both, like me.
To find the best streaming service, I compared price, channels, on-demand content, user interface, and DVR storage–and boy, it was tough.
Let’s dive into the details to find the best service for you.
fuboTV has the best value among all live TV streaming services
What I like about fuboTV
- fuboTV offers a channel count you'd find with traditional TV (and without the fees).
- It has a easy-to-navigate user interface.
Lots of entertainment with a great variety of channels
fuboTV offers more channels than any other live TV streaming service in the industry.
That means you'll get channels for news, sports, lifestyle, kids, and entertainment. But one part that makes fuboTV stand out is the number of sports channels you'll get access to.
Here's a sneak peek of the channel lineups to better understand which is best for you. I personally have the Elite plan.
fuboTV's Pro package includes the following channels:
- Big Ten Network
- CBS Sports Network
- Disney Channel
- ESPN, ESPN2
- Food Network
- FOX News
- FOX Sports (FS1), FS2
- Golf Channel
- Hallmark Channel
- NFL Network
- Olympic Channel
fuboTV's Elite plan includes all of the channels above and the following:
- BBC World News
- The Cooking Channel
- MLB Network
- Nat Geo Wild
- NBA TV
- NHL Network
- PAC-12 Networks
- SEC Network
- Sony Movie Channel
- Tennis Channel
- Zona Fútbol
fuboTV's Ultimate package includes all of the channels above and the following:
- Fight Network
- MLB Network Strike Zone
- NFL RedZone Channel
- PAC-12 Networks (all regions)
- SHOWTIME Extreme
- SHOWTIME Family
- SHOWTIME Showcase
Find out why we named fuboTV the best live TV streaming service.
fuboTV is one of our top picks for Spanish speakers
fuboTV made our list of best streaming services for Spanish speakers because it offers a Latino package with more than 40 Spanish-language channels ($33/month) para tu familia o para tu Abuelita.
fuboTV has a sleek interface
fuboTV wins at the interface game. fuboTV has a unique interface that is easy to navigate and quickly helps you find something you want to watch. Here are a few examples of why.
First, when you open up your home page, you'll find six tabs at the top to get you to what you want within seconds. Other services usually have only three.
But what I wanted to highlight here in this photo is fuboTV allows you to choose your "favorite channels," and those are conveniently listed in front so you can get to the NFL game or Hallmark movie ASAP.
Photo credit: Chantel Buchi
Second, if you're a sports fan, you'll like this feature:
The Sports tab recommends featured sports shows and events. There's also a horizontal list of sports to choose from, such as basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, etc.
And third, fuboTV's guide is so easy to navigate.
The guide has a drop-down menu on the left to change the date. Choose a genre of channels you'd like to browse and use the search bar at the top to get to your favorite TV network with a few taps.
Photo credit: Chantel Buchi
What I don’t like about fuboTV
- It could be close to a 5-star service if it had unlimited DVR storage space.
- It doesn't have TNT for the NBA fans.
fuboTV’s DVR storage is second best to YouTube TV’s
fuboTV has made enormous changes to its service over the years, and it became our 31 choice in 2021 and still holds the title.
One of those significant changes was increasing the Cloud DVR storage. fuboTV raised its DVR storage to 1,000 hours of storage from 30 hours.
Instead of recording only 15 TV shows and about six movies, you can now record at least 75 TV episodes and nearly 30 films. So even though it's not unlimited, this service still provides more storage than you might know what to do with.
And YouTube TV also comes out on top for NBA fans. If you're a diehard Boston Celtics fan, I suggest ordering YouTube TV because it has all of the channels you'll need for the NBA regular season and postseason games.
YouTube TV is the best for popular channels
What I like about YouTube TV
- YouTube TV has an outstanding variety of channels.
- YouTube TV is the only service to offer NFL Sunday Ticket.
- This live TV streaming service has an unlimited DVR storage.
YouTube TV has most of the channels you love
YouTube TV comes in at a close second because it has a variety of channels most families want. (Scroll down a little for a list.)
Although it's only $2 less than fuboTV's Pro package (which has about 50 more channels), YouTube TV is the only live TV streaming service that offers NFL Network and NBA TV in its lineup for $73 per month.
And if you're an NBA fanatic, you're going to want YouTube TV because it's the best for streaming all NBA games.
Sadly, Youtube TV recently removed MLB Network from its channel lineup. fuboTV is the only live TV streaming service you can order MLB.TV with, but beware that fuboTV doesn't have the TBS channel for MLB games.
Now, for NFL fans, you can bundle NFL Sunday Ticket with YouTube TV service. Add NFL Sunday Ticket to your YouTube TV subscription for $349 a season, or add it with the NFL RedZone Channel for $389.
YouTube TV will even let you purchase Sunday Ticket alone or with RedZone without a subscription—you'll just pay $100 more.
|NFL Sunday Ticket + YoutubeTV||$349/yr.‡|
|NFL Sunday Ticket + NFL RedZone + YoutubeTV||$389/yr.‡|
|NFL Sunday TIcket on Youtube||$449/yr.*|
|NFL Sunday TIcket + NFL RedZone on Youtube||$489/yr.*|
And, of course, this service has channels for the kiddos and for the roommate who loves reality TV.
Check out the full YouTube TV channel lineup to see if it has the channels you and the house can enjoy, but here's a sneak peek:
- Animal Planet
- Cartoon Network
- Disney Channel
- ESPN, ESPN2
- FS1, FS2
- Hallmark Channel
- NBA TV
- NFL Network
- SEC Network
Enjoy that unlimited DVR storage space
The DVR's unlimited storage space is a feature that plays into the value of YouTube TV.
Only YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV give you an unlimited DVR storage space, and your recordings will save for nine months.
You can record all episodes from The Office and Friends on your smart TV and all the movies your heart desires.
The DVR comes in handy during game season too. You can record a great NFL football game one season, save it, and watch it again during the summer when you're missing the gridiron action.
What I don’t like about YouTube TV
- No MLB, HISTORY, PAC-12 Network, or Tennis Channel.
YouTube TV is missing a few channels, but it might not be a big deal
Bad news for Ancient Aliens fans, USC junkies, baseball fans, and Rodger Federer followers—unfortunately, you can't get your fix with YouTube TV.
But if you do go the YouTube TV route, here are some solutions:
- The Roku Channel and Pluto TV can help those who need their HISTORY Channel content. Find more information about these two services in our best free streaming services review.
- On the other hand, access to the Tennis Channel and PAC-12 Network is a bit tricky. You can stream all Wimbledon games through ESPN+. But you'll have to sign in with a TV provider login on Pac-12.com/live to watch your Trojans take on the University of Utah Utes.
- While it's unfortunate YouTube TV and the MLB network parted ways this year, you can still find various national MLB games covered on ESPN, TBS, or Fox.
Netflix is best for Original content and quantity
What I like about Netflix
- Netflix has lots of Original content, let alone the largest quantity of content compared to all services.
- This on-demand streaming service has a traditional interface.
Who doesn’t love one-of-a-kind content?
Netflix is No. 1 in Original content with its famous directors, producers, and actors—and let's not forget the great comedy specials. It's no question that lots of Netflix's Original content has become popular and known.
Some popular Original series you've likely heard of include: Ozark, The Great British Baking Show, and Stranger Things.
Some current, fantastic Netflix Originals you can binge this weekend include:
- Outer Banks
- The Lincoln Lawyer
- Emily In Paris
- Harry & Meghan
- Peaky Blinders
- The Crown
- Virgin River
Grab your popcorn because you'll enjoy stellar movies like Glass Onion, Me Time, The School for Good and Evil, White Noise, Trolls, and Bullet Train.
You'll have hours upon hours of content to watch while you wind down for the day.
Netflix has that familiar OG interface
I think most people can say they like Netflix's traditional, easy-to-use interface of horizontal lists of Popular, Trending, New Releases, Top 10 in the US Today, and so on. You're guaranteed to find something to stream on your Friday movie night.
With Netflix, you can find yourself in bed all day just watching great entertainment. Seriously. It's not like anyone I know of has experienced it or anything.
On top of the friendly interface and the fact that we all can find ourselves stuck streaming in bed, Netflix's parental controls are on point. This is why we named it the best streaming service for kids. You can create a kid's profile and a PIN so your little ones can't access mature TV shows and movies.
What I don’t like about Netflix
- Netflix is the most expensive on-demand streaming service.
- Now, Netflix is cracking down on password sharing.
Netflix’s top-tier plan is on the pricier side
Netflix has four plans: Basic with ads for $6.99, Basic for $9.99, Standard for $15.49, and Premium for $19.99.
The Basic with Ads plan is perfect for those who want cheap access to Netflix and don't care about ads or access to Netflix's entire library.
The Basic plan will give unlimited TV shows and movies in standard high definition (HD). Like the ads plan, you can only stream on one device at a time. But hey, no ads!
The Standard plan's price isn't too hard to swallow. When you upgrade to this plan, you can stream on two devices (so you can probably share your password with your roommate or significant other).
Like the Standard plan, you'll get to stream your content in HD, but you'll also get 4K viewing with the Premium plan. Netflix's Premium plan is the most expensive on-demand plan in the industry, but it might be worth upgrading from the Standard plan if you and your family will likely stream on four devices at once.
For $4 more, you won't have to worry about getting booted off your account when watching Schitt's Creek.
Netflix no longer lets you password share
Gone are the days of sharing your password with anyone and everyone. Now, you must be living under the same roof as the account holder to truly "password share."
OK, maybe it makes sense for Netflix to crackdown on the people who are sharing their password with two former roommates, their ex, and a friend's Mom.
But it doesn't seem fair for the parent who wants to share their password with their 18-year-old daughter who's away for college, or for the good son who wants his retired Mom to enjoy shows without worrying about a bill.
Anyways, needless to say, we all have to get our own account.
Hulu is best for newer network content
What I like about Hulu
- Hulu delivers loads of newer network content.
- Hulu has also been known for its Original content.
We want new content. When do we want it? Now!
You can count on Hulu to deliver the recently-aired episode of Bob's Burgers and 9-1-1 soon after it airs on live television.
For example, when The Bachelor/ Bachelorette airs on ABC Monday night, it will become available by 9 a.m. (ET) the next morning. (Or you could sign up for Hulu Live TV to stream episodes the night they premier.)
Now that's great timing—especially for us impatient people who don't want to see any spoilers on Twitter or Instagram.
Other next-day TV shows include Good Trouble, Snowfall, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Family Guy, and Grown-ish. This unique feature is what makes Hulu one of the best for cord-cutters.
Hulu has popular Original content
Netflix wins the title for the best Original content, but Hulu is one of our top five favorites for its unique content. You won't find these shows anywhere else besides on this specific streaming service.
Hulu includes the following Original series and movies:
- How I Met Your Father
- Only Murders In the Building
- Reservation Dogs
- Madagascar: A Little Wild
- Nine Perfect Strangers
- The Croods: Family Tree
- Palm Springs
- Victoria's Secret: Angels and Demons
- American Horror Stories
What I don’t like about Hulu
- You'll have the upgrade to get no ads.
You’ll probably want the top-tier plan
With Hulu, you'll want its most expensive plan for no interruptions.
No one wants to watch two ad breaks every 30 minutes. So, you might upgrade to the $15 per month plan.
Keep in mind that Hulu only lets you stream on two devices at once with both plans. That's nice for those who want the $8 per month plan, but this can become a problem for large families.
Sling TV is the best live TV budget pick
What I like about Sling TV
- Sling TV is perfect for TV-watching money savers.
- Sling TV is offering $10 off your first month on all its packages.
Sling TV is great for budget-minded people
Sling TV has three inexpensive packages: Sling Orange, Sling Blue, and Sling Orange + Blue.
Sling Orange and Sling Blue are each $40 per month, which is an excellent price as the average price of live TV streaming services is double that. The difference is in the channels.
Sling Orange has about 31 channels, including Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ESPN, Freeform, and Food Network.
Sling Blue has about 39, including FOX News, MSNBC, Nick Jr., TBS, and USA. So I encourage you to check out the channel lineups to find out which package is the best for you and your family.
On the other hand, the Orange + Blue plan gives you all of the channels in Sling Orange and Sling Blue in one package for $15 more.
But keep in mind, Sling TV is NOT ideal for sports fans. With the most expensive plan, you get only seven sports channels (if you include TNT for NBA games). If you are willing to spend $15—$20 more, you can get access to 16 sports channels with YouTube TV or over 20 with fuboTV.
What I don’t like about Sling TV
- Sling TV's DVR storage space is questionable.
One of the worst DVRs in the industry
I hate to say it, but Sling TV's DVR is one of the poorest DVRs in the industry (but it comes with the price).
A DVR with 50 hours can fill up quicker than you think, especially if you're sharing with the fam. And you'll have to add $5 to your monthly bill for the 200-hour DVR storage space.
If you choose to keep the 50-hour DVR storage, remember your older recordings will automatically delete so the DVR can find storage space for your new recordings.
No other live TV streaming service has this low capacity for their DVR service, but you get what you pay for. Hulu + Live TV used to offer 50 hours, but recently they upgraded their service to provide unlimited hours of storage.
At least Sling TV has an excuse because this service is on the inexpensive side.
Disney+ is the best for families
What I like about Disney+
- Access to Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content.
- A Disney+ subscription is right at the average pricing mark.
Disney+ has content every single person in the world wants
This streaming service takes both parents and children to a simpler world, the wilderness, or outer space—places we all want to visit during our downtime.
With Disney+, we can stream The Princess and the Frog, Spider-Man, Bluey, Encanto, Bambi, The Sandlot, The Mandalorian, and The Simpsons.
You’ll also find newer movies, like Peter Pan & Wendy, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Rise, and West Side Story.
Unless you’re not a fan of nostalgic cartoons, superheroes, and galaxy stories, Disney+ is a staple service.
So how can we get this lovable streaming service at the best price?
Disney+ has low subscription prices, including the bundle
The average pricing for an on-demand streaming service today is about $11 per month, which is exactly the price of Disney+ without ads. And nobody wants ads.
You might have heard of the golden “Disney bundle” before. And trust me when I say this is a bundle worth having because you get three services for only a few dollars more.
If you get the bundle with ads, you’ll save $10 more than if you were to get each service on its own. And if you upgrade to zero ads, you’ll save $16 per month.
What I don’t like about Disney+
- Ok, maybe it’s worth calling out that it’s not a standalone service.
Although Disney+ is best for families, you’ll likely want other services too
Not everyone in the home will want to watch only animated movies and adventurous series. Others might want to watch drama or reality shows, for example.
But hey, this might be where the bundle comes in handy. Your Kardashian-loving family member will enjoy Hulu, and everyone can watch tennis matches and UFC fights with ESPN+.
Amazon Prime Video is a service you might unknowingly already have
What I like about Amazon Prime Video
- It’s included if you already have Amazon Prime.
- Prime Video has must-see Originals.
Get streaming content and free Prime shipping for $15
If you’re like the other 200 million people with Amazon Prime *raises hand*, then you already have access to Amazon Prime Video!
You can order Amazon Prime Video by itself for $9, but if you pay $6 more per month, you can also get speedy Prime shipping, a free Kindle book monthly, and a plethora of other perks.
Amazon Prime’s Original content is something to applaud. Prime Video knows how to create content that keeps people coming back. You can watch the following Originals:
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- The Wheel of Time
- The Terminal List
- The Boys
- The Expanse
- Daisy Jones & the Six
- The Rings of Power
What I don’t like about Amazon Prime Video
- Prime Video doesn’t have great content aside from Originals.
Prime Video has a scarce variety
I’d argue that Amazon Prime Video makes great Original content, but there’s not many titles outside of the Originals that you’d want to watch.
Prime Video advertises itself as having an enormous library, but the reality is a big chunk of those titles are for rent or to buy.
Some titles you can enjoy with your Prime Video membership at no extra cost are the following:
- Forrest Gump
- Pulp Fiction
- Top Gun: Maverick
- The Wolf of Wall Street
- Jurassic World Dominion
- Ticket to Paradise
- Good Will Hunting
- Mamma Mia!
- Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Recap: Which is the best streaming service?
- fuboTV: fuboTV is our favorite streaming service because, for $75–$95 per month, you'll get access to over 100 channels and on-demand content (network TV shows and movies). fuboTV has one of the most intuitive user interfaces, and the household will get 1,000 hours of DVR storage to share.
- YouTube TV: Coming in at a close second, YouTube TV is a family favorite. Like fuboTV, you'll get a great variety of channels for whatever mood you might be in for $73 per month. Plus, you'll have access to YouTube TV's NFL Sunday Ticket plus NFL RedZone bundles.
- Netflix: Netflix's Original content is tough to beat. Netflix's ample funding provides for top-notch productions you'll only find on this streaming service. Not only is it No. 1 in Original content, but it's also number one overall with its ginormous library of 5,500 titles that will never leave you bored.
- Hulu: If you want to watch the latest episode of your favorite network TV show and don't have cable TV, Hulu is a no-brainer for streaming TV. I know you need to catch up on The Bachelorette ASAP to see if your Bachelorette bracket is still alive. Hulu also creates an abundant amount of excellent Original content, like Only Murders In the Building.
- Sling TV: If you want live TV channels but are on a budget, Sling TV is the service you'll be most happy with. You can get 31–39 channels for only $40 per month while saving for that new home.
- Disney+: This streaming service is a staple for a reason—it gives you access to Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content. And you get all of this for $11 per month.
- Amazon Prime Video: With an Amazon Prime subscription, you can stream all of the excellent Prime Originals whenever you want. Included in that $15 subscription is next-day Prime shipping and a handful of other services.
If you're new to streaming, you might be interested in why we like Roku and Amazon Fire TV streaming devices the most in our Best Streaming Devices review.
|Live TV streaming||$32.99-$94.99||48-223||View Plans|
|Live TV streaming||$34.99-$489||30-100||View Plan|
|Live TV streaming||$40-$55||31-44||View Plans|
|Live TV streaming||$68.99-$82.99||85-85||View Plans|
|On-demand streaming||$6.99-$19.99||0-0||View Plans|
|On-demand streaming||$7.99-$109.99||0-0||View Plans|
|On-demand streaming||$7.99-$14.99||0-0||View Plans|
|On-demand streaming||$8.99–$14.99||N/A||View Plans|
|On-demand streaming||$4.99-$9.99||N/A||View Plans|
What to look for in a streaming service
A streaming service that provides the content you enjoy may come as live content, like sports, news, and the latest singing competition show. Or it may be on-demand content like the latest Netflix Original show everyone can't stop talking about (like Wednesday).
And it could be both.
Streaming services that work best for most include:
- A fair number of channels or on-demand content
- An affordable price for the number of channels or content you receive
- A good variety of channels/content
- Sufficient DVR storage space (live TV)
- Add-ons and subscriptions (live TV)
When choosing the best live TV streaming service for you, the first thing you want to consider is price. How much are you willing to spend on a live TV service?
For example, Sling TV is the best for money-savers, YouTube TV is average pricing, and fuboTV is the most expensive.
With that, you'll want to make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck. Sling TV will have the fewest channels, while fuboTV will have the most (and double-check that you get a variety you like).
The average DVR storage space for live streaming services is about 500 hours. But you might only need a little space and find Sling TV's 50-hour storage space sufficient.
When choosing an on-demand streaming service, the name of the game is getting the content you want to watch. Netflix has a library of 5,500 titles and is the priciest on-demand service, and you'll find Ted Lasso with Apple TV for only $7 per month.
An excellent on-demand streaming service has a decent variety of content, such as network TV shows, films, and Original series and movies.
We compare and rank streaming services based on five key factors:
- Content/ channel variety for everyone
- Content/ channel count
- DVR storage space
We chose the best streaming apps that have a variety that everyone in the family can enjoy. Our top-rated live TV streaming services have channels ranging from news to sports to kids, while on-demand streaming services have a library filled with many genres.
The next thing we look at to determine the best streaming service is the amount of on-demand content or live TV channels.
The price has to be fair in relation to the assortment and the bulk of content and channels. For example, Apple TV+ has one of the smallest (but fantastic) on-demand libraries, and it's reflected in its pricing at $7 per month.
And lastly, when looking for a live TV streaming service, we consider the DVR storage space and add-ons. You'll want to ensure your next service has the add-ons you constantly use, like SHOWTIME, the NFL RedZone Channel, and Acorn.
- YouTube TV
The best on-demand streaming service is Netflix because it houses over 5,500 on-demand titles and creates new Originals often. The only other streaming service that comes close to that content number is Hulu, with 2,500+ titles.
The best live TV streaming service is fuboTV because it gives you over 100 channels, has the best dollar-to-channel ratio, and gives you 1,000 hours of DVR storage space.
Amazon Prime Video isn't the cheapest streaming service but it has various payment options. And you might already have free access without knowing it since Prime Video is included with any Amazon Prime membership. Without an Amazon Prime membership, Amazon Prime Video is $8.99 a month.
fuboTV, YouTube TV, Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, and DIRECTV streaming all carry the ESPN channels.
Netflix and Hulu, for example, offer an ad-supported tier as a cheaper plan for those who are looking to save money. (You could save $3–$7 per month.)
You'll get all of the same content as the no-ad plan, but you might see ads at the beginning and possibly in the middle of your TV show or movie.