Streaming Service Madness: Navigating New Platforms

Joe Adams, Staff Writer

A few weeks ago, as I sat and watched the Super Bowl, I laughed to myself as I watched Jeff Probst and Dora the Explorer walk up an icy mountain. Not only was I laughing because of how ridiculous the situation was, but I also found it funny that there was yet another streaming service being released called Paramount+.

Has anyone else felt overwhelmed by all of these streaming services that have been released? Gone are the days when virtually every show was on Netflix or Hulu. Now, we are forced to choose from a number of different services. 

I was devastated to find out that one of my all-time favorites, The Office, was recently removed from Netflix and moved to NBC’s new streaming service, Peacock. (Luckily, I found out that through Villanova and Xfinity on Campus, we can log into Peacock for free).

TV has monumentally changed since the childhood of our generation. Today’s kids will never understand how good the classics were back in the day, nor will they understand the rush of trying to get things done during a commercial break. Disney Channel and Nickelodeon shows reigned supreme. 

As I grow up, I find myself going back to classic TV shows or watching shows that have already been on the air that my parents might have watched. Sure, some hidden gems like Money Heist on Netflix are new, fresh and exciting. But, I always seem to gravitate towards the classics that were on years ago. 

Where does one find these classics? The answer used to be on Netflix or Hulu. But with the addition of Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, CBS All Access, Peacock, Apple TV+ and now Paramount+, you never know when a favorite show might be sent to another streaming service and viewers are forced to either pay up or make a bunch of free trials. 

It has been a bit annoying to see more and more streaming services being created over the years. It was inevitable, though. These companies saw how successful Netflix and Hulu were back in the day and have created their own, taking their shows with them. It’s a smart move, but with so many streaming services available, a lot of people now have to pick and choose what their favorite services are.

What’s the solution to this streaming service dilemma? I’ve thought long and hard about what to do so that if I want to watch a show, I can pretty much open an app and watch whatever, whenever. Here are a few tips.

First, as college students, we can sign up for a lot of these services with our Villanova credentials to get lower prices. Services such as Hulu, Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video offer discounts for students. This can be a great way to save money on an otherwise expensive monthly charge.

Something else that can be extremely helpful is to get a dedicated streaming service friend group. All of these streaming services allow 4-6 devices to log in and stream. If each member of a friend group pays for a separate service and then logs in as each other, one can have a plethora of TV shows and movies to watch anytime. Remember, sharing is caring.

Lastly, many streaming services offer bundles so one can get multiple services for a lower price. Be on the lookout for deals to save money and watch more. 

The madness of streaming services may continue to stress us out, but hopefully, some of these tips will help with navigating the rocky waters of streaming services.