Even in an embittered economy, there is a high demand for movies, television and more recently, online content. Today the world of
media is fusing with the Internet ever more, leading to new ways to advertise. Additionally, Internet
reviews are being posted straight onto original content, and the world of
television is morphing into an Internet entity. With so many emerging sites,
there is a lot of overlap when it comes to your movie choices. Some sites cater
exclusively to certain kinds of films and others have exclusive deals with
certain studios that keep you from watching new releases with the click of a
button. There is one particular service that pays upwards of $100 per
month, and for that kind of money you want to know what kind of service you’re
paying for. Looking solely at the big pay sites in the medium of film, I’m going
to look at which sites are best for certain viewers, and who is getting what
for their money.
For those who have tried to find seasons of television shows from this powerhouse
television network, they know there is only one place where you can find “Game
of Thrones,” “Sex and the City,” “Big Love” and a wide array of films you
usually can’t find anywhere else. Home Box Network (HBO) revolutionized the way
we watch television by introducing uncensored films, provocative shows and
changed the face of the award show season to reflect TV audience’s love of the
lewd and supposedly tasteless. All that juicy content and more can only be seen
via reruns on the cable network, or through HBO GO. Having come out two years
ago, this online service is not a standalone but instead an accompaniment to
your regular cable bundle, meaning you save nothing on cost.
Who Is This Best For?
As for films, there isn’t as wide an array of films
as Netflix, but content-wise it does have some of the bigger and newer films Netflix just doesn’t have the rights to. There are new films such as
“Chronicle” and “The Thing,” as well as classics such as “The French
Connection” and “Pulp Fiction.” It also features the original film “Game
Change,” a boon for the network during awards season. Therefore this site is
for infrequent theatergoers who don’t want to pay a lot for new releases.
The new baron of media, Netflix is doing the most
for online movie databases, and is the prebearer to the other sites listed
here. Netflix was at first only an ingenious innovation. Launched in 1997 and
gaining traction at the beginning of the millennium, Netflix was originally a mail-order rental service for DVDs. Since 2007 the giant has left its original
business model and is now much more focused on streaming their content via the Internet than sending out DVDs in the mail. Netflix continues to gain
subscribers because it contains a wide variety of titles, both old and new, and
is quickly becoming a verb in place of its original noun.
Who is This Best For?
Netflix is best for the movie buff. It has almost every type of film. Directors range from Billy Wilder to Lars Von Trier, with
much trash in between. Not only does the website contain many critically-lauded
films any movie expert would approve of, but there is a broad array of
genres, from gory independent horror films to Italian romantic dramas. Using a
finely tuned algorithm, the site recommends films that usually fall in with
what you’re already watching or entice you to an extent. It has such a broad appeal to so many people when it comes to
television, but other sites have newer episodes and more pull with major
networks. Netflix is truly about films, and there’s definitely enough for any
procrastinating college student to marvel at.
The original Hulu Company is one of the younger
movie sites, and the least expensive. The site is free to join, and you can put
aside any shows’ episodes or films to watch in your queue before they expire in
a month or so. Hulu makes back its money through heavy advertising, sometimes
three to four commercials in a row, several times over. Hulu Plus, in turn, is
the pay option for the site, and has some perks that regular subscribers are
not included in.
Who is This Best For?
Surprisingly for a site that caters to television, Hulu
has built up an impressive film database with the acquisition of the Criterion
Collection from Netflix. The collection is made up of classic and obscure
national and foreign films, completely restored from their original prints,
usually only available in commemorative and very expensive box sets. The site
also has some past Oscar contenders and a slew of documentaries, but it is this
collection that surely puts it over the top. This site is certainly for the
aspiring director, who wants to see everything from Godard to Polanski to
Bergman and a little Chaplin as well.
Most of these sites only cost about 20 bucks a
month. Many people who don’t have cable are turning to these sites for their
television needs as well as their movie needs. If you are only in it for films, though, you want bulk for your buck, and for that you want to go with Netflix.
It has many titles, can be watched on many mobile devices and usually is
linked through many websites. It is simply the biggest and so far, the best
option for a college student.