Last updated on July, 10
🏆 Best Online Streaming Services for August 2021
Do you want to watch your favorite TV show, but don't have the time? With an online streaming service, you can watch anything at any time. Download and try one today!
What are online streaming services?
With the growth of the Internet today and the rapid changes brought by technology, online streaming services are becoming increasingly essential. These services provide different kinds of media content — TV, film, music, and so much more, in just one click on your devices. As we continue to advance to the cordless multimedia world, online streaming services are the future of this industry, making entertainment and information available for you to create, consume, and share anytime and anywhere.
Why do you need online streaming services?
Online streaming services provide fast, hassle-free, and customized media content for people. If you are someone who enjoys viewing or listening to your favorite shows and music online, these services allow you to do those things without having to be at a specific place in a specific time.
In our fast-paced world today, the least thing we want is something that could take so much of our time. Instead of searching for media files to download, online streaming services save you from having to wait for minutes or hours before obtaining the entire file of the content and then actually watching or listening to it. These services provide instantly available content that could be used immediately.
Saves Device Storage
When using online streaming services, you don’t actually obtain a certain file but instead, you are just viewing, listening, or saving that file online through a service provider. This means that audio or video files aren’t downloaded directly to your device, therefore it won’t take so much space for your storage.
Tailored to Your Interests and Needs
There are so many online streaming service providers that offer a wide variety of audio catalogs, video catalogs, and other streaming options. Before subscribing to any of these, you have the luxury to view these catalogs and decide which kind and how much content you want to stream on your devices. Service providers consider your age, gender, location, and interests so that you will have a greater and more unique experience.
Online streaming services let you enjoy your chosen content at any time of the day and any place you want. Easy process and navigation while using the service are also provided. As long as you have an internet connection and a web browser or a service provider app in your device, you’re already set.
Core features of an online streaming service
Finding the perfect online streaming service for you could be a little overwhelming because the options just keep on multiplying. To help you choose the best online streaming service, below are the features you need to consider.
Catalog or Library
When we say ‘content is king’, this applies to everything even in online streaming services. The first thing you have to consider is the catalog or library of an online streaming service. It should include your main interest, taste, and genres you like in shows, films, music, and others. Also, you have to take note of how wide their catalog is and how often they add, remove, and update their content.
Some people get by with a good-enough quality of an audio or video. But there are also people who prefer to have the highest quality possible. Either way, before deciding which online streaming service to use, you should know the available audio qualities or video resolutions they offer.
Leading online streaming services come with a price. They mostly offer monthly and yearly subscriptions, with prices depending on the package (includes a library, quality, number of users, plus other features). On the other hand, there are still free streaming services online but with limited options. Unlike the paid ones, this free service includes advertisements, their contents stop at good-enough quality, and you’re not likely to find recently released contents.
Most online streaming services available worldwide have English as their main language plus other selected languages for audio and subtitles. You should consider the languages of the contents they are offering for a more comfortable and worthy experience.
Area or Location
Paid or free online streaming services sometimes have area restrictions. There are contents that are available worldwide, and there are some that can just be viewed or heard within your country. Before deciding which online streaming service to use, research, or ask someone if the contents you are looking for are available in your area.
Multiple User Profiles
This is a very convenient feature especially for families that would like to stream online content. Instead of paying for separate online streaming services on each device, multiple user profiles allow members of a family, or even friends, to have just one online streaming service on all of their devices that could be used simultaneously.
Design or User Interface
To get the most out of an online streaming service, easy navigation of its overall interface should be available. The design should be clean and everything should be organized neatly into descriptive categories so that users will not have a hard time looking and exploring for the content they want.
Offline Viewing or Listening
This feature can take up storage space on your device but it is also convenient for situations where an internet connection isn’t available. Online streaming services with this feature lets you download content to your device and then view or listen to them later offline.
Parental Control Options
There is so much content included in an online streaming service and most of the time, especially the users who are kids, tend to overlook most of the content and fail to filter what is right for them to consume. So this feature assists parents in their ability to restrict certain content viewable by their children.
Types of online Streaming Services
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Online TV Streaming Services
Online TV streaming service is a subscription-based service offering online streaming of films and television programs. This lets you watch your favorite shows — old ones, new ones, complete ones, and on-going ones. Some online streaming TV services offer shows and films originally aired on different TV networks while also including their original shows and films on their libraries.
Pro #1: Watch anytime and anywhere you want
Unlike cable TV, online TV streaming services have no airing schedule of their shows and films. Contents of their libraries are readily available online and you have the freedom to select which show or film you want to watch at any time of the day.
Pro #2: No ads and commercial breaks
Watching your favorite shows and films with no interruption is a very satisfying feeling. Especially when scenes are in their climax and you are at the edge of your seat, you wouldn’t want your attention to be divided by any kind of ads and lose interest in the show you are currently watching.
Pro #3: Subtitle and dubbing options
Some people are more comfortable watching shows and films with subtitles or dubs, this lets them understand more the lines of the characters and also helps them fully grasp the scenes presented in the show or film.
Con #1: Internet connection needed
If you want to enjoy a buffer-free and high-quality online TV streaming, a stable internet connection is required. Otherwise, waiting for a show or film to continue loading would burden you, waste your time, and leave you not getting the full experience of the streaming service.
Con #2: Subscription prices change from time to time
With the increasing demand for online TV streaming services, companies tend to jump at the chance of occasionally changing the content of their catalogs and adding additional features thus, adjusting the pricing of their packages.
Con #3: Area restrictions
Contents available in one country may not be available in all countries. Online TV streaming services tailor-fit their contents according to the viewers’ location and nationality, as well as the service providers’ TV network affiliations.
Online Video Streaming Services
Online video streaming service is an online streaming media that can be done by producing and then sharing content, or by simultaneously recording and broadcasting in real-time. These services could be used by anyone in two ways: as a streamer ‑ who broadcasts themselves online with the goal of promoting their products, services, business, or organization; and performs tutorials, talks, presentations, or any kind of discussions; and as an audience or viewer ‑ who is fond of following, supporting, and patronizing the above-mentioned kinds of content.
Pro #1: Saves time and effort
You can focus on planning and actually producing your content because online live streaming services do the streaming itself for you. All you have to do is make your content, schedule the date and time of streaming, choose the website and social media platforms you want your content to be seen, and then it is the service provider’s job to improve visually your contents and place them in your chosen internet sites.
Pro #2: No technical skills required
Do you have a lot of produced content but you don’t know how to make them live online? You don’t have to be a pro to be an online streamer. These services help you make the most out of your content by using tools to design, customize, improve, and publish them how and where you want them to be viewed.
Pro #3: Monetization options
Most of the online live streaming services offer monetization of content. This helps you not only to place your content online but also to get paid while your content is viewed and shared on different sites and social media platforms. Instead of free access to your content anywhere on the web, some service providers let you offer pay-per-view or subscription services.
Con #1: Plans and pricing options
They do most of the job for you, so they get to be a part of your success in terms of money. For freelancers, newbies, and startups, this could be a little over the budget and you don’t want to spend a lot on these services.
Con #2: Privacy and security risks
When you use this service, the information and content you share gets placed on the vast world of the Internet and can also be stored in the cloud. There is a risk of viewers possibly acquiring your content while it's streaming and a risk of your content to be shared with or shown to anyone other than your own chosen viewers.
Online Music Streaming Services
The days of having to buy vinyl records, cassette tapes, and CDs are now long gone. Buying digital audio downloads is also getting rare. Today, online music streaming services offer streaming of full-length content through the Internet without the listener necessarily purchasing a file for download. This allows you to listen to your favorite artists and songs, both old and new, and get to discover more content as you use the service.
Pro #1: Music is more accessible
Listening to your favorite tunes has never been this easy. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can search through the massive collection of music offered by the online music streaming services and play music anytime and anywhere you want. You don’t have to go through the trouble of finding a physical store to buy a CD or a digital store to download your file which could take hours.
Pro #2: Pay once, get all
Most of the online music streaming services offer a monthly subscription. This means that when you pay your monthly bill, you get to enjoy everything in their library. All the artists, songs, albums, genres, podcasts, radio, and playlists — be it old or recently produced — are provided for you to enjoy. You don’t have to pay each time you want to listen to a particular song or artist.
Pro #3: Sound quality
Today, the sound quality of streamed music is far superior to that of songs on CDs. You also have the luxury to choose which music quality you want to stream, offering a smart and convenient use for your Wi-Fi or data.
Con #1: You don’t own a personal copy of the music
Unlike downloaded or bought music, online music streaming services don't let you have a digital file of their music. You can enjoy their music collection while streaming online, but not actually having a copy of those files to yourself. Thus, music can’t be reproduced digitally and can’t be used in other music productions.
Con #2: Required subscriptions
Online music streaming services offer both free and paid subscriptions. But “free” doesn’t always mean free — sometimes they have hidden subscription fees. Not only that, but there are also really free subscriptions that have limited music collection, non-stop ads, and limited features. On the other hand, only paid subscriptions let you enjoy the full music streaming experience, but the prices could be a little overwhelming for some.
Con #3: Availability of features
Location is always a concern for these online music streaming services. Though most of those service providers offer their full music collection in any part of the world, some of their features are not. Having no access to all features while paying the full price of the service is somewhat unfair to users.
Who needs online streaming services?
Whether you are a producer or a consumer of media, online streaming services let you have the maximum capability to share and digest information in just one click. These services don’t limit you to what you can’t have and use, but instead, they lay out every option for your needs and interests so that you could have the full experience of their services.
The number of content creators continues to multiply day by day. Full time or part-time, their work mainly revolves around the Internet, from posting, sharing, promoting, and monetizing their content. The competition between content creators increases and becomes more diverse, and what better way to step up their game than to use online streaming services which enables them to improve their content and attract more followers.
Businesses and Organizations
Online streaming services help profit or non-profit businesses, companies, organizations, and churches to organize, improve, and disseminate their content to the right audience. These services give them the ease and benefit of reaching out to their members and audience about the latest events, projects, and news of their organization.
The cord is not completely cut for television networks to air their shows, but with everything being digitized and shown online, networks must consider jumping into this bandwagon. Almost everyone is on their phones, tablets, and laptops 24/7. Viewers rarely stay long in front of the TV and when they do, they just sometimes cast their devices to their TV and stream their favorite shows still online. Adding online streaming services to what they offer also gives them more profit.
Teenagers, TV Show Enthusiasts, Film Buffs, Sports Fans
Online streaming services that offer TV shows, films, and sports events is a dream come true mostly for teenagers, TV show enthusiasts, film buffs, and sports fans not only because they satisfy the need for their daily dose of entertainment during their free times, but also because these services provide them the convenience of watching their favorite shows whenever and wherever they like. Also, it lets them stay updated on their favorite shows and lets them explore which shows to watch next.
There are so many reasons why you listen to music, and one of them is entertainment. These online streaming services for music lets you play, follow, search, and discover different artists, songs, albums, genres, playlists, and podcasts all in one website or app. You’ll never know when you’re going to need and want music, that is why having them instantly available in your device is very convenient.
Step-by-step guide in choosing a worthy streaming service
Step1: Check the popularity of the service.
It’s beneficial if the streaming service is popular because it means people trust the content they offer. For starters like you, you can use popularity as a basis for selecting a worthy streaming site or app that offers the shows or music you prefer. Because of their popularity, they are encouraged to maintain a consistent and satisfying service.
Step 2: Choose a streaming service that offers a free trial.
It is wise to select a streaming service that allows you to watch their content for a week or even a month. Having that experience lets you decide if the services they offer are what you need. This helps you narrow down your choices and select the one that won’t put your money to waste.
Step 3: Determine the number of titles in their catalogue.
Streaming services nowadays are competitive (especially the video streaming platforms) and it is a good thing because they are encouraged to provide better offers. One part of the competition is greenlighting hundreds of shows on a regular basis – giving more options to the users. Thus, if you really want to enjoy the money you pay, make sure to choose a service that doesn’t have a limited number of titles.
Step 4: Go for a feature that offers multiple users.
This feature is useful for a group of people, especially families since it allows every member to stream shows and music on their own devices. If you don’t want to stream the same content as the other members, you can pick an account and stream in peace. This is only possible with a plan that offers multiple users.
Step 5: Compare prices.
Once you have tried different streaming platforms through their free trial offers, compare the prices and ask yourself “Which one is worth it?”, “Which one offers quality content?”. From there, you will know which one does not waste your money.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No. The very first requirement for you to use any kind of online streaming service is a stable Internet connection. Though you are able to view contents offline, first you have to download those contents to your device while still connected to the Internet.
Each type of online streaming service caters differently to your needs and interests. They offer a wide range of options for their services, so it’s really up to you to choose the best online streaming service to avail that suits your interests and could maximize your needs. Research is the key to finding the best type of online streaming service for you.
Yes. Most online streaming services offer free trials during the first month of subscription. After that, you have to decide if you are going to continue your subscription to a paid one. On the other hand, there are still online streaming services that offer totally free access whenever you want but it limits you to what features you can use and control. Aside from that, it sits you through commercials, because that's how most of these services pay the bills.
There are so many online streaming services to choose from, sometimes it can get overwhelming and burdensome. What you need to do is go to the Internet and do your research, do a compare and contrast, and ask someone for recommendations regarding different online streaming services and their providers.
The most common payment methods of online streaming services are through credit and debit cards, prepaid cards, PayPal, gift cards, or any other partner billing depending on the specific service provider.
Yes. Most of the service providers don’t require you to commit to their services for a long time and they let you have the freedom to cancel your subscription anytime.
Yes. Most of the service providers let you change your current plan or subscription into a different one, may it be into an upgrade or downgrade of the service.
Yes. But you have to use a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs are particularly useful for streaming services since they can sometimes grant access to content and features that are region-locked.
Yes. One main feature of online video, TV, and music streaming services is their ability to have multiple user profiles that enable users to stream their desired content simultaneously. These services can also keep track of the activities you do on the app or website, enabling users to pick up where they left off on their current content.
Yes. Online streaming services give you the freedom to start, stop, and skip viewing or listening to their content whenever you like. You are not required to sit through content that you don’t like.
Yes. Our world today greatly revolves around social media, that is why most service providers offer a feature where you can share the content you are making or consuming by directly linking it to your social media accounts or by copying and pasting its link.
Yes. This feature is often overlooked, but most service providers actually allow users to request or suggest a specific content to be added to their libraries by visiting their request pages and filling out a request and suggestion forms.
Yes. There are third-party apps and web browser extensions that are developed that you can install on your devices in order to communicate with other people, sync contents, and view or listen to them together online while being physically apart.
Yes. Service providers see to it that they regularly cater to the needs of their customers in order to provide them with a better service and continue subscribing to them. Whether by email, phone, or their personal help center or support page, they find a way to give solutions for every customer quickly and easily.
There are different ways to protect your private information when streaming online:
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
This is a type of encryption software that allows you to hide your IP address. This means that your Internet provider, along with the government, will not be able to see what you are doing.
Stream only from legit websites and service providers
When you are on the search for a new streaming service, you should only consider those that are reputable. You can distinguish a legit service provider from a fake one by doing research and asking for recommendations from trusted sources.
Use strong account security
This means using legit email addresses, strong passwords, having backup email addresses, saving and updating your passwords regularly using a password manager, and enabling two-factor authentication whenever possible.
Avoid sharing your personal information to others
Sharing any kind of personal information to other people is a very risky business. This doesn’t just put your online streaming account at risk of doing activities you did not allow, but it could also threaten your privacy and safety as a whole.