Looking for the best and most cost-effective way to cut the cord and join the streaming revolution, or just want to add another service to your already active streaming lineup? There is a large (and growing) field of streaming apps and platforms to choose from today and there are almost always cheap streaming deals on tap, but if you’re having trouble finding the right bargain, we’ve got you covered. We’ve rounded up the best streaming deals for Disney+, Netflix, HBO Max, and Peacock right here, along with a short guide to help you figure out which of these is right for your viewing habits.
Disney+ is the digital platform for all things belonging to the House of Mouse, and in 2021, that covers a lot more than the company’s catalog of animated films (although that alone is pretty exhaustive). The Disney+ streaming stable contains all that plus everything else from Disney subsidiaries including Pixel, Marvel, and Star Wars, which includes a ton of movies as well as exclusive shows like The Mandalorian. Disney+ is also airing exclusive new National Geographic productions and has been adding new content to its library regularly. It recently added the entire 30-season catalog of The Simpsons, for example.
If you’re curious about how to get Disney+, then you should start by signing up for the free 7-day trial first. That’s arguably better than looking through the best streaming deals right off the bat, as you can give it a spin first with no commitment. After that, it costs $8 per month; however, the best streaming deal here is the Disney Bundle, which includes Disney+ along with basic Hulu and ESPN+ for $13 per month. That’s a 25% savings on what you’d pay for each service separately (and if you already have any of them, you can still upgrade to the Disney Bundle and get the discount).
Like Disney+, Peacock is a newer streaming platform that’s already taken off in a big way — and it also happens to be the cheapest one on our list. Named after the network’s iconic multi-colored logo, Peacock is home to classic and current NBC shows from The Office and Saturday Night Live to exclusive productions like Psych 2 and the new Saved By The Bell reboot. Peacock is also the best choice on this list if you like news and sports, two things NBC has always been good for and that are notably lacking from services like Netflix. Of all the best streaming deals, Peacock Premium is the most affordable as well.
There are three different Peacock plans, including a free one that gives you access to a limited selection of ad-supported content in lieu of a free trial period. That’s a great way to give it a try and see if you like it; after that, Peacock Premium rings in at just $5 per month which gets you the entire library of content with ads, or you can upgrade to Peacock Premium Plus for $10 per month and get rid of the ads entirely. Right now, you can grab your first four months of Peacock Premium for just $10 — a nice 50% discount — which comes to $2.50 a month, making this our favorite cheap streaming deal.
HBO, true to its moniker (an acronym for “Home Box Office,” in case you were unaware), has been a staple for film enthusiasts for decades and it wasn’t exactly a shock when the premium subscription service jumped onto the streaming bandwagon with HBO Max. HBO was always a premium channel and HBO Max isn’t really any different: For $15 per month, you get full on-demand access to a huge and growing selection of movies as well as HBO original productions like The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, and Chernobyl, among many others. HBO Max also airs new releases for Warner Bros. films as soon as they hit theaters.
HBO Max is the most expensive one on this roundup, and it’s similar to Netflix in that the best place to find cheap streaming deals for this service is by bundling it with other subscriptions. Look to your current TV, internet, or mobile service provider and see if they have any HBO Max discount offers — even free trials — on tap for new or existing customers right now. Many streaming packages offer HBO Max as a premium add-on and let you save some cash by bundling. Hulu also has aoffer going right now. Otherwise, you’ll have to pony up the $15 per month, but given the great selection of content you get with HBO Max (including many new movie releases that are otherwise available only in theaters), it’s worth it.
You certainly already know about Netflix — its name is practically synonymous with streaming, although you probably remember the days when this streaming giant was mailing out physical DVD rentals. It was as a few years before this movie-by-mail service got into streaming, but as one of the leaders of that digital revolution, it still stands among the biggest platforms out there for shows, films, documentaries, and more, and has one of the best libraries out there. Netflix has also been cranking out some fantastic in-house productions which include new seasons of Black Mirror, Arrested Development, and Trailer Park Boys, Stranger Things, and Peaky Blinders, to name just a small handful of what’s on tap.
Netflix has different plans ranging from $9 to $18 per month (the upgraded packages including things like 4K streaming and letting you watch Netflix on multiple screens simultaneously), placing it on the pricier end of the streaming spectrum. But being such a popular service, it’s often bundled with other subscriptions that are a good way to save if you’re looking for cheap streaming deals. Check and see if your current TV, internet, or phone provider has a bundle offer that includes Netflix — don’t be shy about contacting them and asking — and sometimes, new smart TVs and streaming sticks will include several months of Netflix as well. That’s a good way to stack savings if you’re also in the market for 4K TV deals.
Which streaming services should I get?
New to all this and having decision paralysis right about now? That’s normal when shopping for the best streaming deals, especially in 2021 when you have a veritable buffet of platforms to pick through. The good news is that having so many choices is actually a blessing. Unlike cable and satellite packages where you typically end up paying for a bunch of stuff you don’t really watch, these individual streaming services let you shop “a la carte” so you get what you want without the fluff. You can just get one, such as Netflix, if you’re a casual TV and movie watcher, or you can stack two or more services together to enjoy a more complete array of content (and you’ll probably still end up paying less than you would for cable or satellite TV).
Netflix is a very good all-around option for watching TV shows and movies, but it lacks comprehensive news and sports coverage. For those, you’ll want to consider adding another cheap streaming deal like a Peacock Premium subscription to your lineup. Or, if you mostly just watch news or sports but also like to enjoy some comedy shows or movies here and there, maybe Peacock alone is sufficient for your needs. If you’re a die-hard film buff, then HBO Max is an obvious must-have for your streaming arsenal, while Disney+ is essential if you can’t get enough of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and/or Star Wars.
Naturally, there will be a little overlap between these streaming services, but not as much as you might think as they have diverged more and more in recent years. Most platforms now have a lot of exclusive content as companies like Netflix are producing their own films and shows along with offering their massive library of third-party entertainment. NBC and HBO were producing their own shows and movies long before streaming was even a thing, and it goes without saying that Disney+ is the only place you’re going to find content from Disney and its numerous subsidiaries.
When shopping for the best streaming deals, you’ll want to tailor your lineup to your viewing habits — but with numerous choices available to you, that’s actually pretty easy once you know what each platform provides. Also know that all of these streaming platforms work with pretty much any streaming-capable device, from computer web browsers and mobile devices to smart TVs and gaming consoles, so you’ve got plenty of viewing options and that alone isn’t likely to limit your choices too much.
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