It’s no secret that living costs are rising in 2022, so it’s become more important than ever to ensure that the products and services you pay for offer good value for money.
That logic should apply to streaming services as much as it does to groceries and other daily essentials, though it’s worth remembering that numbers aren’t everything when it comes to entertainment platforms whose content offerings differ dramatically.
Take the best-value streaming service in 2022, for example. UK-based price comparison service Uswitch recently conducted a Global Streaming Index to determine which of the three biggest global platforms – Netflix, Prime Video and Disney Plus – offers subscribers the best cost-per-title value. And, while the results aren’t surprising, they do serve as a timely reminder that streaming services shouldn’t always be treated as like-for-like products.
Per Uswitch’s findings, Prime Video boasts the best cost-per-title value in most global markets – including the US, UK and Australia. In the US, for example, subscribers signed up to the platform’s monthly $8.99 membership can choose from almost 10,000 titles, with each movie and TV show worth, numerically-speaking, around $0.0009. Netflix, by comparison, offers its customers significantly fewer titles (just shy of 6000) for a significantly higher monthly fee (between $9.99 and $19.99 in the US).
Does that make Prime Video the best streaming service money can buy in 2022? Not by a long way. It goes without saying that the optional inclusion of extras like next-day delivery and Amazon Music (for a pricier monthly cost of $14.99 in the US) makes Amazon’s streamer an undeniably great value product, but the platform still can’t touch its entertainment-focused competitors for content quality or premium user interface (UI).
Despite boasting a handful of top-tier Prime Video shows like The Boys and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the service hasn’t managed to establish a string of blockbuster franchises in quite the same way as Netflix or Disney Plus in recent years. And, while every streamer has its misfires, Prime Video’s vast library of B-movies and long-forgotten series make it particularly guilty of offering subscribers quantity over quality.
The platform’s menu system is a muddled mix of paid, free and add-on content, too, which can lead to confusion when you’re trying to figure out what’s actually included in your monthly plan.
Less is more...
The better question to ask, then, is which streaming service offers subscribers the largest portion of high-quality content in 2022? Naturally, that’s a subjective query – there’s no such thing as a universally-enjoyed movie or TV show – but review aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb can give us a helpful indication of where quality (and therefore value) lies.
Recent research conducted by Self Financial, for instance, revealed that the US version of Netflix currently offers almost three times as many titles scoring 8+ on IMDb as its nearest competitor, HBO Max (619 vs 230), while Apple TV Plus boasts the highest average IMDb score per title (7.08) of any streaming service.
Still, even with figures like these, it’s worth remembering that content libraries change all the time, with movies and TV shows coming and going on the likes of Netflix, Prime Video and Disney Plus on an almost weekly basis.
So, if you’re in the market for a new streaming subscription or are thinking of switching to another service, our advice is to check out the exclusive offerings on each platform before signing up or jumping ship. Unless you don’t care for content quality, cost-per-title figures are useless, and you’d be better served checking out our pick of each streamer’s best movies and TV shows (which you can find below) before making any subscription-shifting decisions: