What Are the Most Successful OTT Video Subscriptions?

By Lisa VitaliseLast Updated Jun 24, 2020 7:19:15 PM ET
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Over-the-top (OTT) refers to the practice of streaming film and television content to customers directly over a high-speed internet connection instead of using a traditional cable or satellite provider. OTT video subscriptions epitomize the modern business model built around existing customer relationships. The companies take advantage of advanced internet protocol (IP)-based technologies to communicate with customers more effectively and consistently ― from anywhere on any device.

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With nearly three-quarters of households in the United States now subscribed to an online video service, it's clear that consumers love OTT content. As competition among live streaming services intensifies to win a small but growing slice of the OTT subscription base, several big brand names are sure to continue to grow along with the expanding market. Not sure which service(s) to choose? Here’s a look at some of the most successful OTT video subscriptions out there.

Netflix

Netflix is the top streaming network in the U.S., although Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and HBO are gaining subscribers, according to Parks Associates. This is based on the estimated number of subscribers, which includes paid subscriptions. The services offer an outstanding range of content, with new titles swapped every month for older ones. Additionally, Netflix offers an ever-growing library of original premium content that already surpasses every other subscription platform.

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Recently, Netflix increased the price for each of its streaming plans. You can now stream vast numbers of standard-definition content on one device for around $9 each month, an increase from its original $8-ish cost. To stream high-definition (HD) content on two devices simultaneously, you have to pay around $13 each month, up from $11-ish. For slightly less than $16 per month, you can watch 4K content across four concurrent streams. This platform is one of the few streaming services that supports 4K streaming and offline downloads.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon video content is split into a standalone subscription to Amazon Video or an Amazon Prime subscription. For around $9 per month, you can subscribe to Amazon Video separately, without paying to become an Amazon Prime member. Your subscription only gives you access to Amazon's streaming video library. An Amazon Prime subscription features Prime Video content, plus various shipping and shopping benefits, and costs about $13 per month. Apart from curating high-quality original programs, Amazon Prime Video is also home to top shows from other networks like HBO and tons of popular movies at no additional cost.

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Just like Netflix, Prime Video supports offline viewing, 4K and high dynamic range (HDR) streaming. You can stream Prime Video content on a web browser, mobile devices, Fire devices, game consoles, set-top boxes and smart TVs. However, it doesn't natively support Chromecast devices. Prime Video allows you to view up to three titles concurrently from the same account, but you can't stream the same title simultaneously on two devices.

Disney+

Disney+ is a full-featured streaming service that hosts a ton of Disney's media properties, including Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars. It has reasonable monthly prices relative to the purchase and rental value of its content, and you can save even more money by opting for an annual plan. Disney also offers a package that bundles Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu's ad-supported tier.

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@Disney/Twitter

Offline downloads on mobile and 4K streaming are possible on Disney+, and it doesn't show any ads. It allows four simultaneous streams and includes seven customizable profiles, making it an ideal option for families. You can view your favorite Disney+ shows or movies on the web, gaming consoles, mobile devices and media streaming platforms like Chromecast and Apple TV.

Hulu

Hulu offers a variety of streaming content, including hundreds of TV programs, a fantastic collection of movies and more than 60 news, sports and entertainment programming channels. Despite its popular live TV option, Hulu still trails some top competitors due to a lack of original content and a restricted range of 4K content. However, the standard on-demand subscription service only costs about $6 a month (or about $12 for the ad-free option).

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The Hulu + Live TV plan incorporates Hulu's live TV service with the ad-supported streaming plan at a cost that often undercuts traditional cable and satellite plans. Additionally, Hulu supports an array of gadgets and allows you to stream shows simultaneously on up to two devices.

Disney fully controls the operations of Hulu, so it's difficult to predict its long-term future, particularly with the successful launch of Disney+. It may incorporate the on-demand library of Hulu into its platform and uphold the current cable replacement operation, or things might remain just as they are.

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YouTube TV

YouTube TV offers a wide variety of live sports and news channels as well as other mainstream entertainment choices. Some of the top networks featured are ABC, CNN, ESPN and NBC. YouTube TV is also the first global live TV provider to add local PBS channels to its programming. If YouTube TV's catalog of more than 70 channels somehow fails to fulfill your needs, you can add other options to your subscription like NBA League Pass, Showtime and Starz.

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kreatikar/Pixabay

YouTube TV apps look lovely and operate well across multiple platforms, including Amazon Fire TV devices. It is among the top cable substitution services for the general public due to its versatile search tools and good streaming experience.

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