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Which Streaming Service Is the Best Value for Money?

TV streaming providers have transformed the entertainment industry and how we watch our favorite shows. In the U.S. today, the average household has 4.4 average paid subscriptions, and a previous survey conducted on behalf of Self Financial found that Americans spend an average of $52.97 per month on streaming services. [1] Self Financial: Cost of Unused Paid Subscriptions

It seems every few months there is a new TV streaming service asking us for a monthly subscription or confirming a price increase for the existing service. Subscribers seem to want new original shows, classic movies, and access to 4K HDR content on demand.

But which services offer consumers the best content for their money? This study analyzes the IMDb ratings of popular shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ (including Hulu), Apple TV+, Max (formerly HBO Max), Paramount+, and Peacock to find out


Key statistics

Which TV streaming service has the best value?

While Netflix sat as the king of content in previous iterations of this study, this research shows that Amazon’s Prime Video has surpassed it in terms of library size. For $8.99 per month, Prime Video will give you access to 13,827 rated movies and TV shows — more than double that of Netflix (6,471).

It should be noted that not all of Netflix’s content is rated. However, value for money shouldn’t be judged by the pure quantity of content available to viewers: it needs to factor in the quality of titles users are able to stream.

Total Contant Available on U.S. Streaming Services

*Based on a combined content library, with an estimated $9.99 monthly cost.

Using IMDb ratings in four score ranges the study shows that Prime Video also offers the most titles of ‘Excellent’ quality (817). Hulu on Disney+ (637) is second on the list following their merger, which launched its beta in December 2023. [2] The Walt Disney Company: Hulu on Disney+ Beta Launch: What You Need to Know Some analyses will look at the total number of content on these platforms (including paid-for movies and series) but this study only takes into account the content available to audiences at the price you pay per month.

The IMDb score ranges used were as follows:

Titles which had a ‘0’ IMDb score were discounted. 

Which streaming service gives you a better bang for your buck?

It may seem that Prime Video offers the most high-quality content while remaining at a similar price point against its competitors, therefore providing customers with the best value for money. But what exactly does this look like per dollar, and what is the best choice if you have children or want the most 4K/HDR content?

Movies per $1 spent

This analysis uses the lowest monthly cost you can pay to see how many movies and shows you get for every dollar you spend. For some platforms, this will include advertisements. These ad-supported services tend to cost less per month, and these packages are becoming more common since Netflix launched their ad-supported plan in 2022.

Prime Video again is on top with 42 ‘Excellent’ movies per $1, and 557 movies considered ‘Good’ in this category. The runner-up is Max (formerly HBO Max) offering 23 ‘Excellent’ movies, and 169 ‘Good’ movies per $1. Despite offering one of the cheapest basic packages at just $5.99 per month, NBCUniversal’s Peacock service 279 titles ranked ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’, more than Paramount+ (131) at the same price point.

Movies Per $1 Spend on each Streaming Service

*Based on a combined content library, with an estimated $9.99 monthly cost.

TV shows per $1 spent

While Prime Video has a library of movies to rival Netflix, when it comes to those binge-worthy seasons, it seems that no one is beating the big red streaming giant.

Netflix offers viewers 60 ‘Excellent’ shows for every $1, and 241 ‘Good’ shows (out of 2,430). Prime Video offers the second-most ‘Excellent’ shows per dollar, at 49 (out of 1,964), and 145 ‘Good shows’ per $1.

TV Shows Per $1 Spend on Each Streaming Service

*Based on a combined content library, with an estimated $9.99 monthly cost.

Which streaming service has the best 4K content?

If you judge 4K content by the average audience reviews, Apple TV+ comes out on top with a 7.18 average IMDb score for its 4K movies and series. With an 8.8 overall rating, the service’s flagship show ‘Ted Lasso’ is also one of its’ highest-rated programs, and has won multiple Emmy awards since its release in 2020.

Despite the wealth of content on Prime Video, it seems that it has the lowest quality 4K content (5.93), while its competitor Netflix has the vastly larger library of 4K content (696) with a higher-average quality rating (6.53).

All 4K Content Available on Streaming Service

*Estimates based on full merger of content libraries and duplicate content removed.

Best streaming platform for children

To determine which streaming platform offers the most, and best content for families and children the analysis used content suitable for ages 7 (TV-Y7/PG/etc) and below. Currently, the streaming service with the highest-quality family content is Apple TV+ (7.3/10) with shows like ‘Fraggle Rock’ and ‘Charlie Brown’ suitable for younger audiences.

With just 45 titles however, the options appear to be limited. If quantity is what you’re after, Prime Video is the clear winner with 1,302 child-friendly titles. Nickelodeon fan favorite ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ is the network’s highest-rated 7+ show, with an average IMDb rating of 9.3, but the top show is also available on Netflix and Paramount+.

In 2022, Disney+ was found to offer the most child-friendly content (1,139). However, Amazon’s Prime Video has since surpassed it, now offering 1,302 movies and TV shows rated Y7, PG or similar.

In terms of quality, on average Max’s catalog of 545 titles is rated higher (6.92) than all other platforms with over 50 titles, with shows such as ‘Tom and Jerry’ and ‘Batman: The Animated Series.’

Family content (suitable for ages 7 and under)

In 2021, HBO Max was found to offer the highest-rated child-friendly content (6.99) and offered the most (1,066), however, Disney+ is now the best value streaming service for children, offering over 1,100 titles suitable for younger audiences, beating 2021’s winner, HBO Max.

Our data shows that Netflix only added 122 titles suitable for children in the same time period, indicating a focus on more mature content. 

In terms of quality, on average HBO Max’s catalog of 1,066 titles is rated higher (6.87) than Disney+’s (6.63), with titles such as ‘Tom and Jerry’ and ‘Batman: The Animated Series.’ 

Average audience ratings of child-friendly content (ages 7 and below) on each streaming service:

Best streaming platform per genre

To take this analysis a step further the study also analyzed the impact of audience ratings per genre on each streaming platform. It reviews all movies/shows per genre on each platform and takes the average IMDb rating (out of 10) to see who is the best in each category. The bold scores highlight the winner(s) in each category. 

At the time of this analysis, Paramount+’s genre information was not available so is not included in the comparison table below. 

Genres Netflix Prime Disney+ Paramount+ HBO Max Apple TV Hulu Peacock Hulu on Disney+
Genres Action & Adventure Netflix 6.3 Prime 5.6 Disney+ 6.6 Paramount+ 6.3 HBO Max 6.6 Apple TV 7.0 Hulu 6.3 Peacock 5.6 Hulu on Disney+ 6.4
Genres Animation Netflix 6.6 Prime 6.3 Disney+ 6.7 Paramount+ 6.4 HBO Max 7.0 Apple TV 7.3 Hulu 6.5 Peacock 6.1 Hulu on Disney+ 6.6
Genres Based On True Story Netflix 7.1 Prime 6.5 Disney+ 7.1 Paramount+ 7.2 HBO Max 7.2 Apple TV 7.6* Hulu 6.9 Peacock 6.9 Hulu on Disney+ 6.9
Genres Biography Netflix 7.0 Prime 6.8 Disney+ 7.3 Paramount+ 7.4 HBO Max 7.3 Apple TV 7.4 Hulu 7.1 Peacock 7.1 Hulu on Disney+ 7.1
Genres Comedy Netflix 6.3 Prime 5.9 Disney+ 6.2 Paramount+ 6.4 HBO Max 6.8 Apple TV 7.0 Hulu 6.4 Peacock 5.9 Hulu on Disney+ 6.4
Genres Crime Netflix 6.7 Prime 6.0 Disney+ 6.9 Paramount+ 6.6 HBO Max 7.0 Apple TV 6.8 Hulu 6.6 Peacock 6.2 Hulu on Disney+ 6.6
Genres Documentary Netflix 7.0 Prime 7.1 Disney+ 7.1 Paramount+ 7.2 HBO Max 7.1 Apple TV 7.4 Hulu 7.0 Peacock 7.2 Hulu on Disney+ 7.0
Genres Drama Netflix 6.6 Prime 6.1 Disney+ 6.6 Paramount+ 6.4 HBO Max 7.1 Apple TV 7.1 Hulu 6.4 Peacock 6.1 Hulu on Disney+ 6.5
Genres Family Netflix 6.3 Prime 6.1 Disney+ 6.1 Paramount+ 6.3 HBO Max 6.8 Apple TV 6.8 Hulu 6.5 Peacock 6.1 Hulu on Disney+ 6.3
Genres Fantasy Netflix 6.4 Prime 5.7 Disney+ 6.8 Paramount+ 6.5 HBO Max 6.6 Apple TV 7.3* Hulu 6.6 Peacock 5.8 Hulu on Disney+ 6.7
Genres Game-Show Netflix 6.5 Prime 6.4 Disney+ 6.0* Paramount+ 6.3 HBO Max 6.9 Apple TV 6.4* Hulu 6.5 Peacock 6.5 Hulu on Disney+ 6.4
Genres History Netflix 7.2 Prime 6.9 Disney+ 7.1 Paramount+ 7.3 HBO Max 7.5 Apple TV 7.4* Hulu 7.3 Peacock 6.6 Hulu on Disney+ 7.2
Genres Horror Netflix 5.7 Prime 4.6 Disney+ 6.2* Paramount+ 5.6 HBO Max 6.0 Apple TV 6.9* Hulu 5.6 Peacock 5.7 Hulu on Disney+ 5.6
Genres LGBTQ+ Netflix 7.1 Prime 6.4 Disney+ 7.4* Paramount+ 6.9 HBO Max 7.1 Apple TV 8.0* Hulu 7.0 Peacock 6.5 Hulu on Disney+ 7.0
Genres Music Netflix 6.9 Prime 6.5 Disney+ 6.7 Paramount+ 6.6 HBO Max 7.0 Apple TV 7.3* Hulu 6.9 Peacock 6.7 Hulu on Disney+ 6.8
Genres Musical Netflix 6.7* Prime 5.9 Disney+ 6.4* Paramount+ 5.8* HBO Max 7.7* Apple TV 4.9* Hulu 5.0* Peacock 6.7* Hulu on Disney+ 5.5
Genres Mystery Netflix 6.2 Prime 5.4 Disney+ 6.9 Paramount+ 6.1 HBO Max 6.4 Apple TV 7.1* Hulu 6.1 Peacock 5.5 Hulu on Disney+ 6.1
Genres Psychology Netflix 6.7 Prime 6.3 Disney+ 7.0 Paramount+ 6.6 HBO Max 7.0 Apple TV 7.3* Hulu 6.5 Peacock 6.2 Hulu on Disney+ 6.5
Genres Romance Netflix 6.3 Prime 6.0 Disney+ 6.4 Paramount+ 6.1 HBO Max 6.8 Apple TV 6.9 Hulu 6.3 Peacock 6.0 Hulu on Disney+ 6.3
Genres Sci-Fi Netflix 5.9 Prime 4.6 Disney+ 6.9 Paramount+ 5.7 HBO Max 6.3 Apple TV 5.3* Hulu 5.6 Peacock 4.8 Hulu on Disney+ 6.1
Genres Serial killer Netflix 6.7 Prime 6.0 Disney+ N/A Paramount+ 6.5 HBO Max 6.7 Apple TV 7.6* Hulu 7.0 Peacock 6.0 Hulu on Disney+ 7.0
Genres Short Netflix 6.8 Prime 7.0* Disney+ 6.9 Paramount+ 8.3* HBO Max 6.9* Apple TV 5.8* Hulu 7.8* Peacock 7.0* Hulu on Disney+ 7.0
Genres Sports Netflix 6.9 Prime 6.8 Disney+ 6.7* Paramount+ 6.4 HBO Max 6.9 Apple TV 7.7* Hulu 7.4 Peacock 6.8 Hulu on Disney+ 6.7*
Genres Technology Netflix 7.0 Prime 6.1 Disney+ 6.4 Paramount+ 6.4 HBO Max 6.8 Apple TV 7.0* Hulu 6.6 Peacock 5.2 Hulu on Disney+ 6.6
Genres Thriller Netflix 5.9 Prime 5.1 Disney+ N/A Paramount+ 5.7 HBO Max 6.4 Apple TV 7.4* Hulu 5.7 Peacock 5.0 Hulu on Disney+ 5.7
Genres War Netflix 7.0 Prime 6.5 Disney+ 7.2 Paramount+ 6.9 HBO Max 7.2 Apple TV 7.4* Hulu 6.8 Peacock 6.4 Hulu on Disney+ 6.9
Genres Western Netflix 7.0 Prime 5.7 Disney+ 7.2* Paramount+ 6.5 HBO Max 6.8 Apple TV N/A Hulu 7.3 Peacock 6.2 Hulu on Disney+ 7.2

Notes on the IMDb genre data:

Key findings from genre analysis:

Streaming wars: 2022 vs 2024

This study was undertaken for the first time in 2021 and again in 2022 and 2024. Using the data from 2024, this analysis can now highlight some key changes in the ‘streaming wars’. Here are some of the findings.

Streaming quality and quantity: 2022 vs 2024

These streaming services add and remove lots of shows and movies every month. With new streaming services popping up, the licensing rights for products change all the time. ‘Downton Abbey’ the period drama, for example, has left Netflix two separate times in recent years. Here’s how the quantity and quality of content has changed from 2022 to 2024.

Quality of content on streaming services

On average, the quality of streaming shows and movies slightly declined, with 2024 content receiving an average IMDb score of 6.52, down from 6.71 in 2022.

Total Average IMDb Rating (2021 vs 2022)

Peacock saw the sharpest drop in quality (-0.72), while Amazon Prime’s explosion of content seems to have affected its quality — a 0.69 ratings drop overall compared to 2022. Meanwhile, Paramount+ saw the biggest improvement, with an increase of 0.52 compared to 2022. The inclusion of big hit shows like ‘Dexter’ and ‘The Good Wife’ helped its cause.

Quantity of content on streaming services

Prime Video’s meteoric rise is the overwhelming story of this research in 2024. Its content offering has increased by 639% since 2022, offering more than double the amount of movies and TV of its nearest competitor Netflix.

Despite the merger of Disney+ and Hulu, the new combined offering gives users less programming overall compared with Netflix and Amazon. Meanwhile, Prime’s content offering substantially benefited from an $8.5bn acquisition of MGM in 2022 [3] Amazon: Amazon and MGM have signed an agreement for Amazon to acquire MGM, which hadn’t been concluded at the last data analysis in 2022. This made legendary titles like Fast & Furious, Jurassic Park and Bourne available to stream on the platform.

Quantity of content on streaming services

*Combined library where duplicate content has been removed.

4K content on streaming platforms: 2022 vs 2024

Ultra-high-definition streaming is becoming more popular among American households. According to Statista, 44% of U.S. homes have a 4K capable TV, up from 31% in 2019. But which content service provider offers the most movies and shows in UHD?

Max has seen the largest increase in 4K content in the last two years, moving from just 23 ultra high-definition titles in 2022 to 130 in 2024 — a 465% increase. However, it is worth noting that 4K streaming is now only available for Max’s ‘ultimate’ package, costing $19.99 per month. [4]

AppleTV+’s 4K library remained nearly the same losing only a couple of titles from the last analysis which could be due to dropping some of its library as well as adding new 4K titles to the mix, such as WWII drama, Masters of the Air.

4K Content in 2021 vs 2022

N/A refers to instances where data was missing in the last iteration of the study.


The study included an analysis of 41,384 TV shows, movies, and documentaries, across all platforms. The list was compiled on 5th February 2024, with 2022 data from April 2022, therefore shows added after this will not be included in the analysis. Information relating to the genre, age ratings, audience reviews, and runtime were all sourced from IMDb.

For those streaming platforms that offer paid options on top of the content already available like Prime Video and Apple TV+ the study discounted any content that users needed to pay for on top of the existing subscription fee.

IMDb score

IMDb’s Top 250 content has scores of 8+ therefore this analysis used those with an IMDb score of 8+ for ‘Excellent’ and 6-7.99 for ‘Good’, with anything below this being deemed OK-Poor. IMDb weights its averages internally to ensure fairness and no manipulation of the system. You can read more about that here:

Age ratings

When analyzing age ratings from the IMDb data, some content had been ‘Not rated’ officially, and others lacked a rating on the IMDb listing. These were removed from any analysis related to age ratings.

Per dollar analysis

Per dollar analysis of the content was calculated using the number of movies and shows against the minimum/basic monthly subscription cost of the streaming service. In 2024, this includes plans that feature advertisements.

Family content analysis

For the analysis of ‘family content’ the study used the age ratings of all content suitable for ages 7 and under, not the content labeled as a ‘Family’ genre from IMDb. This is due to lots of content not being labeled as ‘Family’ in the IMDb listings, or where a listing already had 3 primary genre categories, therefore, ‘Family’ could not fit. Age ratings were deemed a better judgment of what is family-friendly than a genre tag.

IMDb rating/Audience score

Where multiple seasons exist of a series, the study used the overall TV show average score rather than repeated averages of each season or episode.


Movie and TV show information was analyzed from Reelgood, IMDb, and manual data collection of each streaming platform, as well as past data from this study from 2021/2022. To find out whether the content was available in 4K or HDR, the study used listings from HD Report as well as verifying with the streaming platforms first-hand.

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