Best of

Best On Demand Streaming Services

In our day and age, there are more streaming services than ever. In fact, if we include live TV streamers in the mix, there are over 200 streaming services out there. That’s a lot.

With that many choices, how does one filter through them all and find the perfect one?

That’s where we come in. At Flixed, we live and breathe streaming―and so in this guide, we’ll cover the best on-demand streaming services on the market for all your unique watching needs, including our number one overall winner.

Let’s get started!

What is “on-demand” streaming?

On-demand streaming lets you watch movies, TV shows, and other programming whenever it works for you. Unlike live TV streaming, none of the content is airing live―instead, it sits in a library which you can browse and watch at your convenience. You can pause, fast-forward, and rewind. Some on-demand streaming services have ads, others don’t.

Like we mentioned before, on-demand streaming services come a dime a dozen nowadays. So which one takes the cake as our top recommendation?

Our pick: Netflix is the best overall streaming service

You’ve probably already heard about Netflix―it is by far the biggest name in the streaming industry, with over 220 million subscribers as of October 2022. And with that type of success comes a certain established reputation.

Netflix saw a downturn in its subscribers list in the first half of this year, but they’ve managed to reverse that decline since. They bounced back in the third quarter, mainly by constantly keeping a tight schedule of binge-worthy new releases and capitalizing on the buzz they generate amongst friends of viewers, creating a nonstop loop of free marketing.

So why is Netflix the best overall streaming service?

In a nutshell, Netflix has some of the most popular and well-produced original content across various categories and genres. No matter who you’re sharing your membership with, everyone will always find something that suits their preferences.

Also, Netflix’s hold on the streaming industry extends across the entire planet―the only countries where Netflix isn’t available are China, Crimea, North Korea, Russia, and Syria. That means that even if you’re traveling the world, you can still log into your account and enjoy your favorite shows and movies.

While it’s not the cheapest streaming service on the market, it’ll soon be more accessible to price-sensitive viewers. In November 2022, Netflix will be introducing its first ad-supported plan priced at just $6.99/month, which is on par with cheaper on-demand streaming services. This new plan will include about 4 to 5 minutes of ads for every hour of content, which isn’t bad at all.

How much does Netflix cost?

For an overview of Netflix’s plans and prices, check out the table below:

Basic with ads (November 2022)BasicStandardPremium
Watch on 1 supported device at a timeWatch on 1 supported device at a timeWatch on 2 supported devices at a timeWatch on 4 supported devices at a time
Some movies and TV shows unavailable, unlimited mobile gamesUnlimited movies, TV shows, and mobile gamesUnlimited movies, TV shows, and mobile gamesUnlimited movies, TV shows, and mobile games
Watch in HD (available November 2022)Watch in Full HDWatch in Ultra HD
Ad-free TV shows and moviesAd-free TV shows and moviesAd-free TV shows and movies
Download on 1 supported device at a timeDownload on 2 supported devices at a timeDownload on 4 supported devices at a time

Source: Netflix

What can I watch on Netflix?

Source: Netflix

Netflix carries over 6,200+ shows and movies in its on-demand content library. Although it has lost many content partners over the years due to them breaking off to start their own streaming services (we’re looking at you, Disney+), Netflix has filled that gap with its own award-winning original content.

Now, half of its content library consists of Netflix Originals across a variety of different genres, from comedies, to dramas, to horror, to documentaries, and more.

Have a look here to check out Netflix’s top 10 globally watched shows and movies for any given week.

Source: Netflix

Other things you should know about Netflix

Things like the amount of simultaneous streams you have, what stream quality you can watch in, and the amount of devices you can download Netflix content onto will vary depending on the subscription plan you choose.

Netflix first introduced 4K streaming back in 2014, when it was still relatively new. Today, only Premium level subscribers can watch Netflix in 4K, but you still get HD streaming with all the other plans. When it comes to the amount of devices you can watch content on and download content onto, the Basic plan allows for 1 at a time, the Standard plan allows for 2 at a time, and the Premium plan allows for 4 at a time.

Finally, when it comes to supported devices, Netflix has compatible apps for basically every popular TV device, so device compatibility shouldn’t be an issue.

Best for film buffs: Amazon Prime Video

So, you’re a film buff. Whether that means you want to rewatch old Hollywood classics or the latest blockbusters, look no further than Amazon Prime Video.

How much does Amazon Prime Video cost?

Amazon Prime Video is a couple dollars cheaper than Netflix’s Basic plan, and you can watch on up to 3 devices at a time, making it shareable amongst friends or family.

For a few extra dollars a month, you can also get an Amazon Prime membership, meaning you get added benefits like free 2-day shipping on Amazon, access to the Kindle Unlimited Library, and more.

What can I watch on Amazon Prime Video?

Prime Video boasts an impressive 25,000+ ad-free movies and shows on its platform. You’ll find great Amazon Originals like The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and Amy Poehler’s new documentary about one of Hollywood’s most prolific couples, Lucy and Desi, based on I Love Lucy’s Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

House of Gucci, Jaws, Shershaah, Nocturnal Animals and Creed are just a few award-winning titles you’ll find in its repertoire of on-demand films.

One potential downside is that it’ll cost you a few extra dollars to rent some of its content. This includes old classics like Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs, The Sound of Music or the 1941 classic Blossoms in the Dust, amongst others.

On the positive side, Prime Video allows you to rent some movies that are still in theaters. Currently, you can watch critically-acclaimed films like Don’t Worry Darling, Bullet Train and Bros all without leaving the comfort of your own home.

However, there are still loads of old classic films available without paying any added fees. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Charade, Where The Red Fern Grows and Tombstone are all readily available to watch on Prime Video.

Another great film feature about Prime Video? Let’s say you’re into 1960s classics. Prime Video lets you filter movies by decade when you’re searching for your next flick. You can easily pick “1960s” and voila! Have your pick of the litter.

Other things you should know about Amazon Prime Video

With Prime Video, you can pay an extra monthly fee to add-on premium live channels of your choice to your membership, like Starz, Showtime, AMC+, and Shudder, among many others. This is great, since you can access all your content in one place, instead of having multiple different memberships to sort through.

When it comes to streaming quality, Prime Video is quite clear, but only offers 4K and HD on certain titles. Device support is great, so you shouldn’t have trouble watching on your device of choice.

Best for fans of “The Office”: Peacock

If you’re looking to watch The Office or any of NBC’s other television hits, Peacock is the best on-demand streaming service for you.

Peacock launched in 2020 as NBCUniversal’s ticket into direct-to-consumer streaming, and with 10,000+ hours worth of content included in its free plan, it’s hard to pass up on giving it a try.

How much does Peacock cost?

Peacock has three plans: the free plan, the ad-supported Premium plan, and the ad-free Premium Plus plan.

While the free plan can be tempting, it’s important to note that the content you’ll get with it has become more and more limited over time. For example, you used to be able to watch the first two seasons of The Office with the free plan, but now, you can’t watch any. Mostly, what you’ll find in Peacock’s free library is next-day access to NBC shows that are currently in their first season, and next-week access to returning shows currently airing on NBC.

To unlock all of Peacock’s content, including all nine seasons of The Office, you’ll need one of the paid plans. The only difference between the two is the presence of ads.

If you want to unlock all of Peacock’s content ad-free, you’ll need the Premium Plus plan.

What can I watch on Peacock?

While Peacock doesn’t disclose the exact amount of TV shows and movies in its Premium on-demand library, the streaming service does claim that there is about 80,000+ hours of content.

Of course, you’ll find The Office, along with other NBC shows like 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Yellowstone, Chicago Fire, New Amsterdam, The Bernie Mac Show, and so much more. There’s also a growing list of Peacock originals.

You’ll also be able to tune into NBC’s live news programming and channels dedicated to popular NBC content like Saturday Night Live. To see what’s airing right now and for the next 7 days on these Peacock channels, click here.

Other things you should know about Peacock

You can create up to 6 profiles in your Peacock account and you can stream on up to 3 devices at once, making it perfect to share your account with friends and family.

Best for anime fans: Crunchyroll

Big anime fan? Then it may not surprise to you that we recommend Crunchyroll as your one-stop anime shop.

How much does Crunchyroll cost?

The awesome thing about Crunchyroll and what sets it apart from many competitors is that you can watch most of its content for free, but with ads.

To watch anime ad-free and to access all the simulcasted content, you’ll have to get the Fan, Mega Fan or Ultimate Fan subscription plans. As you level up in your subscription, you get better stream quality and more simultaneous streams, coupon codes and even a yearly swag bag with the Ultimate plan.

What can I watch on Crunchyroll?

Crunchyroll carries over 1,300+ series’, and that’s not including all the content it simulcasts. Since absorbing competitor Funimation in 2021, more content has yet to drop on Crunchyroll, so you can likely expect that number to go up in the coming months.

You might recognize some of your favorites in its content library: Attack on Titan, Death Note, One-Punch Man, One Piece, Chainsaw Man, and Overlord.

Other things you should know about Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll is by far the most established and widespread streaming service out there, but it isn’t the only streaming service made for anime fans. Here are some of our other favorites.

Other on-demand favorites

Best for epic fantasy series: HBO Max

If you like, dungeons, dragons and sword fights, look no further than HBO Max. From the people who brought you Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, you’ll find tons of different flavors of fantasy, like the popular book-to-series His Dark Materials, the sci-fi hit Station Eleven, and the two-decade long animated show Robot Chicken. Check out our full HBO Max review for a full breakdown on the streaming service.

Best for fresh new TV: Apple TV+

If you prefer quality over quantity when it comes to your TV time, Apple TV+ is worth a second look. For just $7/month, you can get access to a small handful of star-studded, original movies and shows, like The Morning Show, Ted Lasso, and Little America. Check out our full Apple TV+ review for a full breakdown on the streaming service.

Our takeaway: Netflix is the best overall on-demand streaming service

Overall, we recommend Netflix as the best streaming service overall, due to its wide range of popular content, the fact that it’s widely available worldwide, and the fact that it’s about to be even more accessible to price-conscious viewers with the introduction of its ad-supported plan in November 2022.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something different, Amazon Prime Video and Peacock are both great alternatives at reasonable price points. If you’re an anime fan, Crunchyroll is the top choice for you.

Tara Khudairi

Tara Khudairi Author

Tara Khudairi is a freelance content writer and copywriter based in Toronto. Since 2014, she has contributed to brands and blogs alike to tackle popular topics relating to technology, personal finance, entertainment, travel and lifestyle. Whether it’s the latest streaming service or cryptocurrency, she’s passionate about making the complex simple. When she’s not busy typing away, you’ll find Tara watching Netflix’s latest true crime doc or a classic 90’s horror flick.

Desiree Wu

Desiree Wu Editor

Desiree is a full-time Honours Business Administration student at Ivey Business School at Western University. She also served as an Editorial Intern at Flixed. Desiree is based in London, Ontario.

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