Streaming platforms are always great because it means that a ton of content is available for you whenever you want it. This time around, we’re interested to see how the brand new Paramount Plus compares to Disney Plus, Discovery Plus, ESPN Plus, Peacock, Hulu, and HBO Max.
Lately, the number of available platforms has been growing considerably, which is concerning to some people who believe we’re slowly turning towards paying for every bit of content separately rather than in bulk, like with a cable subscription. Of course, the benefits are higher to this model since you have access to your favorite content around the clock, rather than only when the show airs on TV.
In early March, CBS All Access is turning into Paramount Plus, expanding to include content from more networks, as well hundreds of movies from Paramount Pictures.
Whether or not this move will be enough to make Paramount Plus a true competitor to some of the biggest names on the market remains to be seen, but we’re here to help you sift through all the noise.
Price & Bundles
The prices of these services reflect the content they have available and the quality of the service. Let’s see how much you can get these for.
|Paramount Plus||Ad-supported: $5.99/mo |
|Disney Plus||$7.99/mo, $79.99/year|
|Discovery Plus||Ad-supported: $4.99/mo |
|Peacock||Free: $0 |
Ad-supported (Premium): $4.99/mo
Ad-free (Premium Plus): $9.99/mo
|Hulu||Ad-supported: $5.99/mo |
Paramount Plus hasn’t announced any specific prices as of yet, but we do know they’re following in the footsteps of CBS All Access. This means there will be two subscription plans available – one for $5.99 per month for the ad-supported version and $9.99 per month for the ad-free version. The annual fees run up to $59.99 and $99.99.
Paramount Plus offers a free trial for 7 days.
Disney Plus currently costs $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year, but the price will go up in March by $1 for the monthly subscription and $10 for the yearly one.
You can also get Disney Plus in several combinations. Disney+, ESPN+, and (ad-supported) Hulu currently go for $12.99 per month, while Disney+, ESPN+, and ad-free Hulu cost $18.99 per month. The price will go up in March for these too.
Disney Plus does not come with a free trial.
Discovery Plus has two subscription options. One will cost you $4.99 per month, but it comes with ads, while the second one comes ad-free for $6.99 per month. A week-long trial is available for new subscribers.
ESPN+ currently costs $5.99 per month and $59.99 per year. You can also get ESPN+ via the bundles that include Disney Plus and Hulu. The one that features the ad-supported version of Hulu costs $12.99 per month, while the one with the ad-free Hulu costs $18.99 per month. Prices will go up a bit when the Disney Plus price goes up.
Coming from NBC, Peacock is an interesting platform that comes with multiple tiers – Free, Premium, and Premium Plus. Anyone can sign up for an account for the free tier, and they’ll get access to a lot of content without paying a dime. Then, the Premium subscription goes for $4.99 per month and includes live sports, next-day access to NBC shows, and generally more content, but it is ad-supported. The Premium Plus account costs $9.99 per month, but it is ad-free and also allows users to download content for offline watching on mobile devices.
A 7-day free trial is available for new subscribers.
On Hulu, you will find multiple plans you can subscribe to. The ad-supported version of Hulu costs $5.99 per month, while the ad-free version is $11.99 per month. There are also bundles that include Hulu+Live TV and On-Demand. The Live TV service and the ad-supported On-Demand plan goes for $64.99 per month, while the ad-free one costs $70.99 per month.
Hulu with ads is also available bundled up with Disney+ and ESPN+ for $12.99 per month, while the Adfree Hulu version costs $18.99 per month. Prices will go up a bit when Disney+ prices go up.
HBO Max has a single subscription option – $14.99 per month. Sometimes, they have various offers, cutting the price if you choose to pay for a longer period of time, like six months.
The platforms often come with various services you can add, whether they come in the form of premium networks or add-ons. Let’s see what they have to offer.
On Paramount Plus, you can’t add extra channel packs or premium networks in any way, and you also can’t make any changes to your subscription.
You can’t add extra channel packs or premium networks to watch on Disney Plus, but there’s plenty of that already.
Discovery Plus does not offer any extra options for you to add to your account, so the subscription price is all you have to pay.
You can’t add extra channel packs or premium networks on ESPN+, but you can buy UFC PPV events if you are an MMA fan. Subscribing to ESPN+ when a UFC PPV event is up will drive your prices down, but you can also add the PPV event and purchase it from your account.
There are no extra channels or premium networks to add to your account here, so there’s nothing but the subscription to pay for.
On Hulu, you can add subscriptions to Showtime ($10.99 per month), HBO Max ($14.99 per month), Cinemax ($9.99 per month), and STARZ ($8.99 per month).
HBO Max is a premium service and you cannot add any other services on top of it.
Streaming & Live TV Content
The main reason people subscribe to all these services is the content they provide. Whether they also offer live streams or just a ton of shows, these services are here to compete. Each of them has something you’ll want, so decide what matters most!
With the expansion, Paramount Plus will add more content. Starting with March 4th, Paramount Plus will feature streaming content from CBS, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, Smithsonian Channel, and BET, as well as old CBS All Access originals and newly announced shows. They’re also offering a live stream for CBS, as well as for various sports events.
Content highlights: Star Trek: Discovery, The Stand, The Good Fight, The Twilight Zone, upcoming The Real Criminal Minds, Lioness, and The Offer
Disney Plus does not offer live streaming, but it does offer a ton of content from its in-home brands. You can find content from Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, Pixar, as well as regular Disney channels. Furthermore, they have a ton of originals. Subscribers from outside the US are also getting, starting in just a few weeks, more mature content via the Star app.
Content highlights: The Mandalorian, Mulan, Black Beauty, Soul, WandaVision, and incoming Loki, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Discovery Plus does not include any live streams, but it does offer content from several networks, namely Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, Animal Planet, and Magnolia Network. Furthermore, there are plenty of originals available too.
Content highlights: 90 Day Bares All, Amy Schumer Learns to Cook: Uncensored, American Detective with Lt. Joe Kenda, House Hunters: Comedians on Couches Unfiltered, Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines.
ESPN+ doesn’t offer any live streams that you can’t get with a regular live TV or cable account directly on the ESPN website. Still, you can enjoy some exclusive content that is worth noting, particularly access to sports events.
Access to various MLB, NHL, and MLS live games is made easy, and you can also watch UFC Fight Nights and plenty of other events. There are also exclusive articles and other content.
As far as the content goes, Peacock offers a lot of cool content, including kids shows and movies, The Office, thousands of hours of movies and TV shows, series in Spanish, live Sports, and a lot more. Also, there are exclusive Peacock originals for Premium subscribers.
Content highlights: Brave New World, Punky Brewster, Curious George, The Office.
As far as content goes, Hulu offers a ton of content from numerous networks, including ABC, History, Funimation, Fox, Bravo, NBC, HGTV, Discovery, Food Network, Animal Planet, and so on, as well as loads of originals.
Content highlights: The Handmaid’s Tale, The Sister, Taboo, The Great.
When it comes to content, you can expect exclusive streaming of Hollywood Blockbusters. Plus, HBO is known for the numerous original shows and movies it produces, from Sex and the City to The Undoing, Lovecraft Country, and Euphoria. HBO Max features movies and shows from 20th Century Fox, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, The CW, DC Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Warner Bros, and so on. They also secured rights for Sesame Street.
Content highlights: Game of Thrones, Euphoria, Westworld, His Dark Materials.
When you sign up for these services, you can also set up multiple profiles to reflect your watching habits and give you suggestions for the things you may want to watch. While some offer you a wide range, others don’t really need to.
On Paramount Plus, people can create up to six user profiles, each of them with its own Keep Watchlist list and recommended shows. There is also a Kids mode where you can define the rating of the content kids are allowed to watch.
On Disney Plus, subscribers are allowed to create up to seven profiles, each of them with its own history. Also, each profile can be transformed into a kids profile with a simple press of a button. Subscribers outside the US will also be getting further parent control features once the adult-oriented content lands, with pin-protected profiles.
Discovery Plus allows users to create up to five profiles. While you do have a watchlist history and recommendations for each of these profiles, there are no in-depth changes you can make. In fact, there are a few issues with how this feature is created for this platform, and you can read more about it here.
There are no profiles available on ESPN+, especially since the platform itself is focused on sports, rather than shows and movies like we’ve seen with other services on our list today.
On Peacock, there are no specific profiles available for you and your family, but you can access some parental controls based on your child’s age (Little Kids, Older Kids, Family, Teen, and Adults). It’s also possible to set a PIN to protect the account, which is quite useful.
On Hulu, users can create up to six different profiles, each of them with parental controls, watch history, and so on.
On HBO Max, you can have a total of five profiles, and you can set whether they’re for Adults or Kids.
One essential element to streaming platforms is how many devices you can stream content to simultaneously because it means you have the possibility to share your service with your family members. While you’re watching your favorite shows, the kids can watch their favorite shows too.
As far as the number of simultaneous streams permitted on Paramount Plus, users need to know that only three devices can work at the same time. It doesn’t matter if you’re streaming content or watching live TV.
While seven people are allowed to create profiles on Disney Plus, only four simultaneous streams are permitted. If you have issues with holding on to that number, you can always go ahead and log everyone out of the service.
On Discovery Plus, users are allowed to watch content on up to four devices at the same time.
Although there are no separate profiles on ESPN+, you can watch content on multiple devices simultaneously. More specifically, you can enjoy up to five simultaneous streams, which is quite the number among streaming platforms.
On Peacock, users can enjoy up to three simultaneous streams. It’s not as much as other services permit, but it should be enough for your family.
Hulu subscribers can watch content on up to two devices simultaneously. When you chose the Live TV service, you can also get the Unlimited Screens add-on for an additional stream.
As far as the simultaneous streams go, HBO Max can be enjoyed over three different devices. If you go above this number, the service will let you know.