It’s kind of funny, looking back. Netflix didn't really start as anything terribly impressive. Back in its early days, it was a by-mail rental service with a burgeoning Internet video streaming division – one which some critics maintained was doomed to fail.
Flash-forward to today and Netflix has over 75 million subscribers worldwide. It's one of the largest video streaming sites in the world, and more or less a household name. That market dominance doesn't mean it's a perfect, though.
It's anything but. From its abysmal selection in countries like Canada to the recent revelations that the company plans to implement a price hike for longtime subscribers, one couldn't blame you for seeking greener pastures. And there are the Netflix alternatives.
Best Netflix Alternatives
#1. Hulu Plus
We'll start with what is arguably Netflix's best-known competitor. Although it doesn't have as much original content as Netflix (Sorry folks, no Jessica Jones or Daredevil here), where it shines is in the fact that it features an extensive library of up-to-date series. While Netflix tends to lag as much as several years behind, Hulu often has current shows going live only twenty-four hours after their original airdate.
No other service offers access to as many currently-airing series.
Aside from providing a library of movies that almost rivals Netflix's, Amazon Prime Instant Video’s big selling point is the fact that by subscribing, you gain access to free music streaming of over one million songs, unlimited photo storage, and free two-day shipping on all Amazon purchases. The trade-off is that it's not available on as many devices and doesn’t offer as many HD videos – though it does have a pretty decent selection of original content, like Hand of God, Bosch, and Mozart in the Jungle.
#3. Sling TV [Blockbuster On Demand]
Surprised to see Blockbuster still exists? Us too. Video rentals were once a staple of home life, and Blockbuster was the king of that arena. However, digital downloads and online streaming totally killed that industry and Blockbuster were left foundering, shutting down its stores and DVD-by-Mail service in 2013.
It turns out they aren't as dead as we thought – Blockbuster On Demand offers an impressively diverse movie library and operates under a revamped rental model. Unfortunately, this service is only available in the States and doesn’t include TV shows.
Cloudload might well be one of the most compelling alternatives on this list, combining the impressively vast content library of Netflix with a plethora of features including diverse device availability, online backups, and streaming music. Its search engine has access to pretty much every site that hosts media online, and movies can be downloaded to your personal Cloudload account at the click of a button, to be watched wherever you are, regardless of what device you use.
The issue with Cloudload is that it operates in what’s technically a legal gray area, so you might want to use it only with caution.
#5. Google Play
Google's got its hands in just about every pie in the tech industry, so it shouldn't come as any surprise to learn that (in addition to owning YouTube), Google offers its video library, Google Play Movies. Accessible through both desktop and Android devices, Google Play Video integrates with all other Google Play services, and Google's reach means you have an impressive selection at your fingertips.
The biggest problem? It can get a little pricey at times, and new releases can be $10 or more to rent, or over $20 for a permanent digital purchase.
About Author: Article by Amy Medeiros, Marketing Manager at BroadBandSearch.net.