Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

On a budget? What’s the best streaming site for you?


We live in a world of endless entertainment. Video and music streaming services compete mercilessly for our subscription, and it can all feel a bit overwhelming to navigate which options are best.
For years, many college students have depended on Netflix as their primary source of video streaming entertainment. It’s provided us with many popular movies, television shows, documentaries, and an impressive collection of stand up comedy specials — all for one moderate monthly rate. Now, however, with the streaming giant’s pending price increases and so many other options from which to choose, many students may find themselves looking to other, more affordable services to get them through their rainy afternoons.
One of the more popular options, one that includes both video and music in one neat package, is the Spotify, Hulu, Showtime bundle available to college students. While Hulu and Showtime may not possess quite the selection of original content available to Netflix subscribers, having access to three streaming platforms for a mere five dollars per month can make any other option hardly worth consideration.
In spite of this pretty incredible deal, however, YouTube still deserves the title of the cheapest streaming platform. With seemingly infinite channels and videos to keep its viewers entertained, offered to us in exchange only for our patience with repetitive advertisements, YouTube appears to top all the rest in terms of affordability and diversity of content.
In addition to providing virtually free entertainment, YouTube has also succeeded in providing an experience that many users find uniquely personal.
“YouTube is number one,” said Augustana senior Janee Hudgins when asked about her streaming preferences, “I’m subscribed to people, and they upload daily.” People enjoy having their video service tailored to their tastes and personalities, and no other platform delivers on that promise more completely than YouTube.
In terms of music streaming, Spotify might at first present itself as most appealing to the average college student. Its inclusion in the Hulu/Showtime package give it affordability, and its selection of music impresses even the pickiest of music listeners.
Still, for those students who don’t plan to use Hulu or Showtime, Apple Music offers an equally satisfying array of music on-demand for the same college student rate of five dollars per month. Some may consider this an objectively worse deal — an understandable opinion. Regardless, students who choose Apple Music over Spotify seem to find its ease of access worth the difference.
“I like Apple Music because it’s a really simple platform,” said Hudgins about her reasons for using the platform. “I use Apple Music because I like the interface,” said Alysse Anderson, an Augustana first year who favors Apple Music.
The services people choose to use reflect their personalities, preferences, and needs. Whether you like the convenience of student packages, the high budget familiarity of Netflix, or the diverse vastness of YouTube, the world of entertainment exists and adapts to fit your bill.
Graphic by Cora Lamb.

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On a budget? What’s the best streaming site for you?