The market for streaming providers is hotly contested. So far, Netflix has set the tone, but the competition from Amazon, Disney and Co. is also growing strongly and new streaming models such as TV Now are attracting certain target groups. Who else should keep track of things?t
TV newspapers, DVDs and even Blu-rays are now nothing more than nostalgic mementos of long forgotten times. They are considered old-fashioned when it comes to current series and films – obsolete and replaced by online streaming and video-on-demand. In the Corona year 2020, the industry experienced a boom, but the upward trend was already clear before that. Market leader Netflix, for example, announced the mark of 200 million subscribers in 2021to have cracked. At the same time, the competition was able to grow significantly. It is slowly becoming difficult for streaming fans to keep track of the growing offer. What does which subscription cost, what is there to see and does the offer suit my needs? TECHNOLOGY BUTTON has compared the major video streaming providers on the market in a big comparison.
- Netflix - the top dog in the streaming market
- Amazon Prime Video - the complete package
- Sky - for fans of American productions
- Apple TV + - small but powerful!
- Disney + - the major streaming competitor
- Joyn - new streaming model
- TV NOW - German streaming competition
- Which streaming service is worthwhile in comparison?
Netflix – the top dog in the streaming market
The American video-on-demand provider Netflix is certainly one of the best-known streaming portals. Users can access all content via one of three possible subscription models. First and foremost, there are the numerous in-house productions of the provider such as “Stranger Things”, “The Crown”, “Kissing Booth” or “The Witcher”. However, Netflix also buys blockbusters on a large scale, which may then disappear from the range after a while, but are still available in a wide range overall. The basic tariff is 7.99 per month, but if you want the full program with HD quality and up to four simultaneous streams, you now have to shell out 17.99 euros per month.
A big advantage is that the Netflix app now works on almost any device that can also play videos. Since the start of Germany in 2014, the application has been implemented in many smart TVs, consoles and the like. This usually ensures a smooth and fluid stream. However, Netflix has now put a strong focus on its own productions. Those who are specifically looking for a blockbuster are often disappointed. In comparison, the streaming provider is perfect for bingeing various series and for drifting aimlessly and being inspired.
Amazon Prime Video – the complete package
The second major provider in the streaming market is Amazon Prime Video. In contrast to Netflix, there is no pure streaming subscription. Instead, the video streaming portal is included in the price of the Amazon Prime membership. With the Prime subscription, users can stream several thousand film and series content. In addition, you can buy or rent almost 30,000 titles on Amazon. Incidentally, this option is also available to non-Prime customers. Meanwhile, Amazon also produces its own streaming content such as the successful series “The Man in the High Castle”, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” or “Carnival Row”. An Amazon Prime membership costs € 7.99 per month, the annual subscription costs a total of € 69 (per month that is € 5.75) and students even pay only € 39 a year (that’s € 3.25 per month).
The offer is much more extensive than with Netflix. The targeted search for content is therefore more successful, and improvements are also made in the area of in-house productions. In terms of volume and bandwidth, Amazon cannot keep up with Netflix in a streaming comparison.
Sky – for fans of American productions
With its packages, the large media group Sky now also offers its own streaming portal for films and series. Users can decide whether they want to use individual packages with Sky Ticket for a short period of one month or whether they want to access the video content for a longer period with a specially designed Sky subscription. Sky Entertainment is aimed specifically at series fans and primarily contains many well-known formats from the USA – it was not for nothing that the fantasy epic “Game of Thrones” was also one of the most successful series of all times on Sky. The cinema area, on the other hand, is primarily intended for film lovers. If you want, you can also book the sports package and stream the Bundesliga, for example. In the Sky Ticket, these packages can be combined in different ways and canceled on a monthly basis.
In general, the Sky Go app works on almost all devices. With a permanent subscription, users also get the Sky Q receiver to receive the company’s television channels. Sky is particularly suitable for fans of big American blockbusters. With the Sky ticket option, you can also stream films and series independently of the Sky channels, if you want.
Apple TV + – small but powerful!
Admittedly, there isn’t that much to see on Apple TV + in the streaming comparison. However, Apple’s own flat-rate streaming service started comparatively late (November 2019) and relies almost exclusively on self-produced content. Apple promises users new, exclusive originals every month. Praised film and series productions such as “The Morning Show”, “See” or “Dickinson” are available for 4.99 euros a month. Up to six people can use such a subscription; however, only so-called “family sharing groups” after Apple’s family approval get the approval. Buyers of a current Apple device get a one-year Apple TV + subscription free of charge, the same applies to students who already have an Apple Music account. Apple TV + is currently running as an app on all Apple devices, on selected smart TVs from Samsung, Roku devices and the Amazon Fire TV. But Apple will also improve availability in the future.
Overall, of course, there is still a lot to do before Apple TV + becomes a real competitor for the established streaming services. But with its self-produced top-class content and high-quality 4K HDR resolution in addition to at least Dolby Vision sound for just under 5 euros a month, the company is on a clear path and is well positioned for the future in the highly competitive market.
Disney + – the major streaming competitor
Another major competitor, Disney +, started comparatively late in 2019 (early 2020 in Germany). The streaming service brings together the big brands Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic. After the offer was initially aimed primarily at families, Disney + has now made significant improvements with the “Star” area . Overall, this led to a shift in the streaming market, not least because many blockbusters migrated from Netflix, for example. At 8.99 euros a month, Disney + has picked up a bit, but the streaming service is still cheap in comparison. With series such as “Star Wars: The Mandalorian” or “WandaVision”, the provider also produces originals that are now in demand and can be seen exclusively on the portal.
Disney + is slowly but surely becoming a serious competitor in the streaming market. Now that Star is also addressing a broader target group, the platform is also losing its image, which is purely family-oriented. During the corona pandemic, big cinema blockbusters like “Mulan” also ran parallel on the portal – for a hefty surcharge. You can think what you want of this practice, but given its success, Disney will probably continue to do so with selected films in the future.
Suitable for the topic: Will streaming services also replace cinemas after Corona?
Joyn – new streaming model
Joyn is based on a freemium model from several German media companies, including ProSiebenSat.1 and Discovery. In the free version, users can access all content that is also shown on linear television – either at the same time in the live stream or afterwards in the media library. In addition, there is access to various exclusive content and in-house productions, which are also called by Joyn Originals. With the paid “Joyn PLUS +” subscriptionFor € 6.99 per month, users can also stream major US series such as “Grey’s Anatomy”. In addition, the moderate advertising from the free version at Joyn PLUS + is no longer available. There is now also a Joyn app, but it is still a bit bumpy. However, the television must (still) be streamed using screen mirroring or cast. Users can easily access the media library via PC or smartphone .
The Joyn platform is currently only available on mobile devices via app, but the offer of the free, advertising-supported version can already be seen. With the premium version for just under 7 euros, you also get a good price-performance ratio with a wide range of content.
TV NOW – German streaming competition
The direct competitor to Joyn is called TV Now(Spelling TV NOW) and belongs to the RTL group. It therefore includes the channels RTL, Vox, NITRO and Co. Most of the content is available here free of charge and with few commercial breaks, either at the same time as the TV program or afterwards in the media library. Some exclusive content is only available to paying customers: TV Now Premium costs EUR 4.99 per month, Premium + 7.99, both models can be canceled on a monthly basis. In addition, subscription users can access the videos in higher resolution. TV NOW is therefore also a so-called freemium model, in which the basic product is free and all upgrades are chargeable. Incidentally, successful formats on German television such as “Der Bachelor” can be viewed in advance with the premium subscription.
Compared to Joyn, the offer at TV Now is less extensive, but also cheaper. The decision depends on the viewing habits of the user: Would you rather watch “Let’s Dance” or “Germany’s Next Top Model”.
Which streaming service is worthwhile in comparison?
There are now many streaming portals. In terms of price model, availability and offer, the platforms then sometimes differ significantly. As is so often the case, it depends on what exactly the users want.
While Netflix is the front runner especially in series and in-house productions, Amazon offers the largest range overall. Users can find almost everything here, but not always included in the subscription. The big American productions are mainly on Sky, where the Sky Ticket is also quite flexible, but comparatively expensive. Apple still has to significantly expand its range, but is particularly interesting because of the high-quality in-house productions (already published and still planned). Disney + is developing into a real Netflix competitor with the expanded offer. For a comparatively low price, users get all content from Disney, Marvel and Co. Joyn and TV Now are direct competitors on the German market: Both work as a freemium model at a similar price.
Depending on your viewing habits, one of these services may be sufficient. But since streaming providers are increasingly launching their own productions on the market, stream junkies have to take out several subscriptions to really see everything. So far, most of the Originals have only run on the home platform.