Streaming sites offer great entertainment at your own schedule for a fraction of cable’s cost – there’s a lot to love.

Though Netflix dominates the popularity game, does it give you the best value for your money?

We’ll look at the top 3 streaming sites in America and determine their cost-per-movie value.

Plus we’ll look at what money can’t tell you, like what’s some of the best-rated content each site currently offers.

Hulu vs. Netflix vs. Amazon Prime

These 3 sites are dominating the market – but who deserves the title as best?

Streaming site # of movies # of shows # of originals Monthly cost Cost per movie Cost per show
Netflix 4,091 1,761 1,071 $8.99 – $15.99 $0.002 – $0.004 $0.005 – $0.009
Hulu 2,500 1,650 66 $5.99 – $26.98 $0.002 – $0.011 $0.004 – $0.016
Amazon Prime 4,248 2,062 173 $8.99 – $12.99 $0.002 – $0.003 $0.004 – $0.006

Please note: Number of titles available per program are based on estimates and constantly changing. Each site’s prices are also subject to change at any time. Please use these numbers as a guide.

The battle for content

Maybe the most important aspect of an online streaming site – how many shows and movies do they offer? And of those titles, how many of them do we actually want to watch?

Original content: Netflix

When it comes to original content, Netflix has everyone severely beat with over 1,000 TV shows and movies. They’re reported to be dedicating approximately 25% of their budget to this – a risk that’s working in their favour.

And in our favours too, since we’ve gotten such gems like House of Cards and Stranger Things.

TV shows: Hulu

In terms of regular programming, Hulu takes the cake – they offer current TV shows as they air. It can take upwards of a year for Netflix to put the next season of your favorite show on, and Amazon often charges you for brand new content (on top of your subscription).

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Movies: Netflix

But if we’re talking about just overall great movies, Netflix has the best variety of blockbuster hits. Amazon’s library tends to be B-listed movies or out of date. And Hulu is more focused on TV shows than movies, so its collection is a bit lacking.

Value for the cost

To determine the value of each service, we must first look at their subscription plans.

Netflix subscription cost

Netflix currently offers 3 subscription plans:

Level Basic Standard Premium
Monthly price $8.99
($107.88/year)
$12.99
($155.88/year)
$15.99
($191.88/year)
HD available check transparent check transparent
Ultra HD available check transparent
# of simultaneous streams 1 2 4
Estimated cost per title per month $0.0015 $0.0022 $0.0027

Each level comes with the following benefits:

  • 1 month free,
  • unlimited streaming,
  • no ads, and
  • the ability to cancel anytime.

Hulu cost

Hulu is a bit of a special beast with 3 levels of subscription that offer quite different things:

Level Hulu (Ad-supported) Hulu (No ads) Hulu + Live TV
Monthly price $5.99
($71.88/year)
$11.99
($143.88/year)
$44.99
($539.88)
Free trial 30 days 30 days 7 days
Features On-demand viewing
Ads
On-demand viewing
No ads
On-demand viewing
Stream 60+ live channels
Estimated cost per title per month $0.0014 $0.0029 $0.0108 + value of live stream

And on top of these plans, they also offer add-ons for some more sought-after channels, like:

  • HBO (+ $14.99/month),
  • Cinemax (+ $9.99/month),
  • Showtime (+ $10.99/month), and
  • Starz (+$8.99/month).

Of course, adding any of these will at least double your monthly fee in most cases, but the added content could definitely be worth it (Game Of Thrones, anyone?).

Amazon Prime cost

Amazon also gives you 3 options for your subscription:

Level Prime Video Prime monthly Prime annual
Monthly price $8.99
($107.88/year)
$12.99
($155.88/year)
$9.92
($119/year)
Includes Only prime video All Prime perks All Prime perks
Estimated cost per title per month $0.0014 $0.0020 $0.0016

All things considered, the top 2 tiers offer the most value out of any of the streaming services because of the other perks that come with it, including:

  • free 2-day shipping,
  • unlimited music streaming,
  • unlimited photo storage, and
  • unlimited reading.

With this in mind, the value shoots way up.

Best streaming service for horror movies

Top 5 titles in a specific genre for each movie site – ordered by IMDB rating (but including Rotten Tomatoes critic rating if that’s what you prefer).

# Netflix Amazon Prime Hulu
1 Stranger Things
IMDB: 8.9
RT: 95%
Twin Peaks
IMDB: 8.8
RT: 93%
Twin Peaks
IMDB: 8.8
RT: 93%
2 Twin Peaks
IMDB: 8.8
RT: 93%
Buzzfeed Unsolved – Supernatural
IMDB: 8.5
RT: N/A
Buzzfeed Unsolved – Supernatural
IMDB: 8.5
RT: N/A
3 The Haunting Of Hill House
IMDB: 8.7
RT: 92%
Hannibal
IMDB: 8.5
RT: 92%
The League of Gentleman
IMDB: 8.3
RT: N/A
4 Ash vs Evil Dead
IMDB: 8.5
RT: 99%
Spectrum: A Story Of The Mind
IMDB: 8.4
RT: N/A
American Gothic
IMDB: 8.2
RT: N/A
5 Supernatural
IMDB: 8.5
RT: 88%
Tumbbad
IMDB: 8.3
RT: 89%
The Exorcist
IMDB: 8.1
RT: 89%

Netflix comes out on top for most original programming, since there’s a bit of overlap with Amazon Prime and Hulu.

No matter what you go with, the horror buff will have something to watch, but the selection I’ve seen is better on Netflix and Hulu.

Your other options

But if you really love horror, why not go for a streaming service that specializes in it?

Shudder boasts an unparalleled horror collection – and it’s cheap too. Only $4.99 a month (or $3.99 if you buy an annual membership).

Best streaming sites for documentaries

If you prefer having a bit of non-fiction entertainment to end your day, which streaming service is best?

# Netflix Amazon Prime Hulu
1 Planet Earth II
IMDB: 9.5
RT: 100%
Everyday Driver
IMDB: 9.5
RT: N/A
The Joy Of Painting
IMDB: 9.4
RT: N/A
2 The Joy Of Painting
IMDB: 9.4
RT: N/A
The Joy Of Painting
IMDB: 9.4
RT: N/A
Found
IMDB: 9.3
RT: N/A
3 Planet Earth
IMDB: 9.4
RT: N/A
Stronger Than Bullets
IMDB: 9.4
RT: N/A
Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath
IMDB: 9.2
RT: N/A
4 Blue Planet II
IMDB: 9.3
RT: 96%
Men In The Arena
IMDB: 9.3
RT: N/A
BuzzFeed Unsolved – True Crime
IMDB: 9.0
RT: N/A
5 Travis: A Soldier’s Story
IMDB: 9.2
RT: N/A
Down, But Not Out!
IMDB: 9.3
RT: N/A
Special Forces
IMDB: 9.0
RT: N/A

Netflix takes lots of points for having the Earth series available, some of the most beautiful footage of our planet ever taken.

But Hulu definitely shines in TV documentary, so if you prefer an episode-based watching experience, Hulu might be more up your alley. In fact, each of their top 5 is in TV format.

Rest assured no matter which service you go with, you’ll have full access to Bob Ross’s comforting “Joy Of Painting” series.

Your other options

If you love documentaries, you may want to check out CuriosityStream – a streaming service that specializes in non-fiction content.

Plans start as low as $2.99/month and go up to $9.99 for 4K streaming.

Best streaming sites for comedies

Sometimes life is a bit too serious and you want to take a load off with some light, laugh-filled content.

# Netflix Amazon Prime Hulu
1 Luciano Mellera: Infantilode
IMDB: 9.6
RT: N/A
Love On A Lease
IMDB: 9.5
RT: N/A
WTF, Baron Davis
IMDB: 9.4
RT: N/A
2 Yeh Meri Family
IMDB: 9.5
RT: N/A
Steven Banks: Home Entertainment Center
IMDB: 9.4
RT: N/A
Rick and Morty
IMDB: 9.3
RT: 94%
3 Still Game
IMDB: 8.9
RT: N/A
Malgudi Days
IMDB: 9.4
RT: N/A
The Invisible Man
IMDB: 8.9
RT: 40%
4 Friends
IMDB: 8.9
RT: 78%
Blissfully Unmarried
IMDB: 9.2
RT: N/A
Seinfeld
IMDB: 8.9
RT: 88%
5 Love, Death & Robots
IMDB: 8.9
RT: 71%
Kid Brother
IMDB: 9.2
RT: N/A
Gravity Falls
IMDB: 8.9
RT: 100%

A lot of this boils down to an age-old question: Friends or Seinfeld?

Again, Amazon Prime comes in behind the other two, with its collection of largely unimpressive comedies gracing the top 5.

Best site for streaming anime

Japanese animation only gets more popular as technology grows. What’s the best place to get your fix?

# Netflix Amazon Prime Hulu
1 Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
IMDB: 9.0
RT: N/A
Made In Abyss
IMDB: 8.5
RT: N/A
The Promised Neverland
IMDB: 9.1
RT: N/A
2 Death Note
IMDB: 9.0
RT: N/A
Rurouni Kenshin
IMDB: 8.5
RT: N/A
Fullmetal Alchemist
IMDB: 9.0
RT: N/A
3 One-Punch Man
IMDB: 8.9
RT: 100%
Mushi-Shi
IMDB: 8.4
RT: N/A
Death Note
IMDB: 9.0
RT: N/A
4 Attack On Titan
IMDB: 8.8
RT: 94%
Yu Yu Hakusho
IMDB: 8.4
RT: N/A
One-Punch Man
IMDB: 8.9
RT: 100%
5 Fullmetal Alchemist
IMDB: 8.6
RT: N/A
The Twelve Kingdoms
IMDB: 8,2
RT: N/A
Cowboy Bebop
IMDB: 8.9
RT: N/A

There’s quite a bit of overlap between Netflix and Hulu in their anime collection. A big question it boils down to is Death Note vs. Cowboy Bebop – two of the best animes ever created (in a lot of people’s opinions).

Your other options

But you know what’s better for anime than all 3 of these streaming sites combined?

Crunchyroll – a site dedicated to anime, manga, and drama. If you’re serious about your anime-watching, this is probably the best route for you. This will only put you back $6.95/month.

What about sports?

Streaming sports is a different issue altogether. None of the Big 3 streaming sites offer it, so you’ll have to look at another subscription – or take advantage of some free streaming from official sites.

ESPN

ESPN has plenty of free content available on their website, but you can get access to even more with ESPN+. This will cost you $4.99/month for access to live sports programming and ESPN originals.

Related: Don’t Shop Online Without One Of These Cards In Your Wallet

FuboTV

Fubo is a bit of a costly alternative – at $40/month – but if you’re an avid sports fan, you might want to check it out.

You’ll get access to over 100 channels, including:

  • FS1,
  • FS2,
  • NBA TV,
  • Fox Sports (your region only)
  • NBC Sports (your region only), and
  • NFL network.

DAZN

If you’re into fighting, DAZN might be more your speed.

For $10/month, you’ll get access to boxing, kickboxing, MMA, and more.

Credit cards to help you earn on streaming sites

Do you want to be earning a little something back while you watch your favorite shows?

Good news – there are several cards on the market that give you extra rewards on streaming site purchases.

Two best are the:

  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express, and
  • Barclays Uber Visa.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express

The will get you 3 points per dollar spent on streaming services, plus:

  • 3 points per dollar spent on gas, transit, travel, and
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Get all the details here:

Barclays Uber Visa

Interested in a card with a bit better acceptance? Check out the .

This cash back card will give you 2% back on streaming services, but that’s far from being it. You’ll also earn:

  • 4% on restaurants, bars, and uberEATS,
  • 3% on airfare, hotels, and vacation home rentals,
  • 2% on online shopping and uber, and
  • 1% on everything else.

All for no annual fee. Plus get some peace of mind with the $600 mobile device coverage.

Check out the details here:

What about you?

What streaming site do you use? Have you tried a couple, or just stuck with Netflix?

Are there any other lesser-known sites you’d like us to know about?

Let us know in the comments!