As a fan of films, it’s sad for me to see half-empty cinemas. Before the pandemic, I would watch (and pay for) an average of two movies a month. I love the feeling of buying tickets and snacks before the screening time. Things started to change even before the pandemic when streaming platforms became mainstream. I remember that my first Netflix “subscription” was courtesy of my former employer’s plan, and it was with US Netflix so I had to use a VPN.
Now I have several subscriptions, just like most people do. So I am going to try to break them down and share what I like, and dislike about each platform.
There is no doubt Netflix is user-friendly. Its interface is simple and pleasing to the eye. Netflix has a massive library of movies, TV shows and documentaries, but I mostly watch Korean dramas and anything related to food. When it comes to Korean dramas, they’re very updated so if only for that, I think my subscription is worth it. I would love to see more food shows and documentaries on Netflix, but they think they were pretty much covered that department for now. If there’s anything I dislike about that Netflix, it’s their new policy on password sharing. I only share my password with one other person who is a family member. I would love to have the option of sharing with others.
Viu was my second streaming platform subscription. It is very updated with Korean titles. There are people who complain that Viu’s interface isn’t very user-friendly, which I sort of agree with. However, I keep my subscription because I love their shows. They’ve also put out some original content, and, as a viewer, I appreciate that. Viu doesn’t update simultaneously with South Korea as Netflix does but a few hours’ delay is okay.
Of course, we love Disney+ for the classic Disney animation movies. Let me tell you that I can watch Mulan over and over again. Disney+ also has Korean content, including documentaries about the lives of K-pop idols. I really love those. Is Disney+ worth subscribing to? If you’re the type who has FOMO and has no patience or inclination to watch content via nefarious means, then certainly yes.
Prime Video is one of my most viewed platforms because it has many of my favorite American crime shows, including Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. In terms of depth, Prime Video has, from my perspective, the most watchable content. I could spend hours on Prime Video if only I didn’t need to work.
I started my HBO Go subscription because I wanted to watch Euphoria and I ended up watching so many other shows and movies. I like HBO Go because its content is really premium. It’s the only streaming platform with shows like Game of Thrones, Succession, The Last of Us, House of the Dragon, and And Just Like That.
This streaming platform has Korean and Chinese content. I am seldom on here but iQIYI has some really good shows such as Exclusive Fairy Tale, Mr Bad, Love you seven times, and Resilience. If you’re a big fan of Chinese dramas and you want a platform where you can easily watch them, then iQIYI is for you.
Of all my subscriptions, this is my favorite and most used. My husband is on YouTube most of the time so watching without any ads is something he really enjoys. I know that the platform needs to make money to pay content creators, among other things, but I really have no patience.
For video quality, Netflix and YouTube Premium are the best. But every platform has something unique to offer and I love that even if a part of me wishes that people would still continue to watch movies in cinemas. Unlike the live entertainment scene, the movie industry has not yet recovered from the pandemic. I wish it would, especially the Filipino movie industry, which is very vibrant and exciting.
Image credits: Cottonbro studio on Pexels