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Streaming services skyrocket in popularity after a year of pandemic

By Olivia King

Shield Staff

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As 2021 creates a more digital lifestyle than ever before with Zoom meetings, online grocery shopping, and even telehealth doctor’s visits, streaming services eliminate the need for movie theaters and bring programs right into viewers’ homes.

Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime and HBO Max are just a few popular services that offer deals and benefits if their viewers pay the monthly subscription fee.

Netflix offers a standard fee of $8.99 a month, but users can expand to a premium subscription to watch on four screens at a time for $17.99.

Hulu is slightly more diverse in its options for streaming. If the customer doesn’t mind ads, the basic plan begins at $5.99 a month, with the opportunity for ad removal at $11.99. Consumers can also eliminate their cable and get both Hulu and Live Television, beginning at $64.99 a month.

Amazon Prime, HBO Max and Hulu also offer live TV services if people want to cancel their cable. According to an article from, a financial assistance and comparative website, Micheal Timmerman weighs the benefits and different factors of streaming services and cable providers.

Cable Streaming

Monthly cost $100 $50

Number of channels 150+ 60+

Cable box or equipment fees Yes No

Streaming device No Yes

Internet connection Not required Required

Free DVR Sometimes Sometimes Premium networks Extra monthly fee Extra monthly fee

Watch anywhere from phone, Less flexibility Greater flexibility computer or TV

Contract or cancellation fees Yes/Sometimes Generally no

Broadcast TV and sports fees Yes No

Free trial period No Yes

If consumers do not want to eliminate cable and still want movies and TV shows from any of these services, they can enjoy up-to-date movies and seasons of their favorite TV shows. The list below has some of the notable movie titles released in 2020 on a few of the most popular streaming services.

Amazon Prime

  • Borat 2

  • Antebellum

  • Troop Zero

  • Black Box

  • Uncle Frank

  • Sylvie’s Love

  • The Vast of Night


  • The Vanished

  • The Call

  • Midnight Sky

  • Sightless

  • American Murder: The Family Next Door


  • Wonder Woman 1982

  • Irresistible

  • Let Them All Talk

  • Witches

  • Downhill

If updated movies and shows are not incentive enough, streaming services also appeal to the college student and young adult demographics who may not want to pay $50 a month for live TV or even $17.99 to watch their favorite shows on Netflix.

Amazon Prime and Hulu both offer student plans and bundles that save money and come with several benefits included.

Amazon Prime Student is offered at $6.49 a month instead of $12.99, which comes with a six-month free trial period after signing up. Included in the subscription are the standard two-day shipping, Amazon Music, TV and movies.

Hulu offers a similar deal, with Spotify and Showtime included, for $4.99 a month instead of $9.99 a month. The Hulu subscription does come with ads, but students can enjoy music, television and movies if they decide to subscribe.

Whatever direction viewers want to go in, the streaming services offer thousands of beneficial programs without leaving the comfort of the home. Although the pandemic has altered what “normal” life used to look like, our entertainment will not be sacrificed.



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