Over the last year, Netflix has made headlines a couple of times, and not for good reasons.
The streaming giant lost millions of subscribers in both the first and second quarters of 2022, had its stocks plummet after the disappointing launch of its ad-supported subscription tier in the US, and faced backlash for cancelling popular titles such as 1899.
In a desperate attempt to breathe life into the dying platform, Netflix plans to clamp down on customers who share account passwords this year — with a belief that password sharing was affecting its revenues. The streaming service aims to put a full stop to this by charging an extra fee for customers who share password.
This move will most likely prove to be detrimental to Netflix. Users share passwords for a multitude of reasons, but the most significant reason would be for increased affordability. Netflix’s subscription plans are not exactly the cheapest in the market either, with monthly plans that go up to S$21.98.
Furthermore, with the cost of living rising rapidly due to inflation, people are most definitely looking to cut their expenses.
That said, if you’re looking for other streaming platforms that can offer you more bang for your buck, look no further. Here’s a comparison of the other streaming platforms available in Singapore:
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon’s Prime Video has one of the largest streaming libraries in the world, with over 26,300 movies and 2,700 TV shows — this is a huge increase from the 4,768 titles Netflix provides to subscribers in Singapore.
These titles, including its award-winning original titles such as The Marvelous Maisel, can be watched on the Internet, or through the Prime Video app on your mobile devices, tablets or select Smart TVs — on up to three devices at one time.
The platform also supports offline streaming, by allowing its subscribers to download titles through the Prime Video app beforehand.
In addition to this, streaming on Prime Video comes with handy features, such as ‘X-Ray’ which allows you to identify actors and songs, and a feature that enables you to control how much data you consume when downloading and watching videos on selected devices.
At just S$2.99 per month, you can not only get access to Amazon’s streaming service Prime Video, but to the whole suite of Amazon’s Prime offerings. These include access to Amazon’s grocery delivery service Amazon Fresh, free subscriptions to gaming live streaming platform Twitch.tv, and free access to games through Prime Gaming, as well as exclusive deals and free delivery on its eCommerce website.
If you are yet to subscribe to Amazon Prime, the platform also offers you a free 30-day trial to get a taste of its suite of offerings.
Disney+ primarily distributes titles produced by The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television, and has dedicated content hubs for its six iconic brands Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic, and Star.
As of 2021, the streaming platform offers access to more than 650 films and 15,000 episodes of content in total. It expanded its Asian and global content recently, and unveiled over 50 new titles at the Disney Content Showcase 2022 at Marina Bay Sands two months ago.
Up to seven profiles can be created under one account, and titles can be watched concurrently across four devices. Disney+ also allows content to be downloaded limitlessly across 10 devices to be watched offline.
In addition to this, there’s even a GroupWatch feature which allows you to watch films and shows with others online. For worried parents, there are parental controls on Disney+ that allow you to set up kids profiles. These kid profiles only feature only age-appropriate content and positive opt-ins.
Despite being around since 2019, Disney+ was only launched in Singapore in February 2021. It is priced at S$11.98 per month, or S$119. 98 per year.
The streaming channel has also partnered StarHub, allowing those who sign up for StarHub’s TV+, broadband or mobile plans to enjoy free access to Disney+ for a couple of months, depending on the purchased bundle.
However, the streaming platform has increased its prices in the US recently and has introduced an ad-supported streaming tier, priced at the previous ad-free subscription fee. It is unknown when Disney+ will roll out the same features in Singapore.
From exclusive HBO and HBO Asia original series, movies and documentaries such as Game of Thrones, to Hollywood blockbusters, Asian dramas and movies, as well as an extensive selection of kid-friendly content, HBO Go offers a variety of content for its subscribers from as low as S$13.98 a month or S$29.98 every three months.
New content is added to the streaming platform every week throughout the year. Up to five devices can be linked to your HBO Go account, and a maximum of two titles can be streamed concurrently.
HBO Go also has six live TV Channels on its platform, which include HBO HD, HBO Hits, HBO Signature, HBO Family, CINEMAX and RED BY HBO. These live channels air every uncut episode of HBO’s original series at the same time as the US.
According to the streaming platform, its subscribers also get access to the latest Hollywood blockbusters before they are premiered on other streaming platforms.
In addition to this, HBO Go has parental controls where users can set up a pin code for restricted content on the HBO Go app.
As HBO Go has a tie up with StarHub and Singtel, users may get special offers or free access to HBO Go if they are customers of Singtel and StarHub. For example, Singtel customers get access to HBO Go from as low as S$10.09 per month.
However, while HBO Go does allow files and TV shows to be downloaded, only 20 films can be downloaded at once. On top of this, titles cannot be streamed on HBO Go if you are abroad as it only allows you to stream within the country where your subscription is based in.
For K-drama lovers, Viu is a treasure trove of good finds — the streaming platform has formed partnerships with major Korean broadcasters such as JTBC, MBC, SBS, KBS, and CJ E&M.
First launched in Singapore in 2016, the platform has expanded its content to include titles from other Asian countries as well, including Chinese, Japanese, and Thai titles through its partnerships with Singapore’s Mediacorp, and Thailand’s GMM Grammy.
In addition to these offerings, the streaming platform also broadcasts its original productions, under the brand Viu Originals.
But what sets Viu apart from other streaming platforms is that Viu has two subscription plans, and one is completely free. The catch is that the free version of Viu is laden with ads, and only offers an SD resolution of 480p.
Aside from that, users with a free subscription have limited access to select dramas and shows, and these shows are only available after 72 hours they are made available to paid subscribers. Users are also restricted to one download for offline streaming.
To get uninterrupted and earlier access to shows, users can choose to subscribe to Viu Premium, priced at S$8.98 per month. You can choose to pay every three months, six months, or yearly, which slashes the price of the premium subscription significantly and comes with a bunch of freebies, such as a S$10 Klook voucher.
With Viu Premium, shows can be watched in full HD 1080p resolution, and you’re free to download as much content as you want. First-time subscribers to Viu Premium will also get a seven-day free trial to the platform.
With Viu’s ties ups with the likes of Singtel, M1 and StarHub, customers of these platforms get access to slashed prices (or even free access) to Viu’s premium subscription plan. Singtel offers its customers Viu Premium at the price of S$5.90 per month, while M1 offers free memberships for those who purchase their two-year mobile plans.
Not to be confused with Apple TV, Apple’s media player, Apple TV+ is a streaming service that features exclusive Apple Originals, such as Spirited which stars Ryan Reynolds, and Bullet Train, starring Brad Pitt. It also includes access to Friday Night Baseball, made available through AppleTV+’s partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB).
Apple TV+ is built into the Apple TV app, which provides access to Apple TV+ content as well as content from third-party providers. However, a separate subscription fee must be paid to view content from these third-party providers.
Most of the content available on AppleTV+ can be downloaded up to 30 days before they expire, but for some, downloads may expire earlier.
In addition to this, with an AppleTV+ subscription, titles can be streamed across six devices simultaneously. Meanwhile, for the third-party channels available on AppleTV, up to three simultaneous streams are allowed.
The Apple TV app is available on Apple devices, which include the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac. Besides that, it is also available on the web at tv.apple.com and on Smart TVs, streaming devices, gaming consoles, as well as cable or satellite services.
What’s more is that those who purchase an Apple devices can watch content on AppleTV+ for three months without paying a single cent.
If you’re not planning on getting an Apple device, you can still enjoy seven days of AppleTV+ for free. Subsequently, Apple will charge S$9.98 monthly for its AppleTV+ subscription.
Aside from that, if you sign up for Apple One, which bundles Apple’s suite of services into a subscription, you can also get free access to AppleTV+ for a month. An Apple One subscription includes access to Apple Music, Apple Arcade and iCloud+, on top of AppleTV+.
However, it is worth to take note that AppleTV+ has one of the smallest content libraries compared to other streaming platforms. There are currently only 119 titles on AppleTV+.
iQIYI is an international on-demand video streaming service providing pan-Asian entertainment including anime, variety shows, and K-dramas to its viewers.
Through its partnerships with top Chinese content providers, as well as the “Big Six” Hollywood production studios, top TV networks in the U.S. and Netflix, the streaming platform boasts a vast variety of content.
iQIYI was launched in 2010 by Baidu, and offers both ad-supported and VIP subscription services.
Similar to Viu, its ad-supported subscription is free and the stream quality for titles is relatively low at 720p. Only one device can be used to stream titles available on iQIYI.
Aside from this, iQIYI offers two tiers of VIP subscription — Standard and Premium accounts. Its Standard account is priced at S$6.98 monthly or S$69.98 yearly, while its Premium account is priced at S$10.98 per month or S$109.98 per year.
A VIP subscription allows you to have access to exclusive content and early access to titles on the platform. In addition to this, content on iQIYI will also be downloadable.
However, a Standard account’s stream will still have ads, however, these ads can be skipped. Standard account holders can also enjoy stream qualities up to 1080p, and up to two devices can be used to stream content simultaneously.
In contrast, a Premium account provides a more pleasant streaming experience up to 4,000p without being interrupted by ads. Up to four devices can be used to stream content simultaneously.
If you decide to sign up for iQIYI via Singtel CAST, you can get up to 60 days of Standard streaming on iQIYI for free. Besides that, signing up for StarHub’s TV+ Pass with the iQIYI Standard VIP add on entitles you to a month of free access to the streaming platform.
Featured Image Credit: Netflix/ Viu/ HBO Go