Streaming services are being tested: the best online video rental 2019

The increase in fast internet connections has triggered a media revolution that is still in full swing. Not only text and images, but also audio and video content are available at any time, quickly, easily and inexpensively.

As a result, the classic video library for rental has already gone the way of dinosaurs. At the same time, their successors became increasingly popular on the internet. These offer numerous films and series for immediate recall. This happens as part of a monthly subscription or as a purchase or loan of individual titles.

In most cases the user can pay comfortably with PayPal, credit card, direct debit or also via the portable radio bill. The double route to the video library for borrowing and spending has been eliminated, as well as the red position.

In addition to the standard program of popular films and series, leading streaming services offer exclusive self-produced titles – a trend that was stimulated in 2012 by streaming pioneer Netflix. Already in 2014, Amazon Prime Video followed the example and started producing a large selection of “Originals”.

Since 2018, even YouTube users have been trying to make them pay for their paid premium subscription with exclusive access to some of their own productions. The largest US streaming service Hulu has also successfully produced a series: ‘jerks’. With Christian Ulmen.

Do you want to watch films or TV programs on the internet and do you want a better overview of the available offers? Then you are here.

We tested the ten largest, most important and most interesting streaming services. Here we present the results. Further details can be found in the individual test reports, which are linked to the respective places.

Have fun with it!

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Winner test: Amazon Prime Video has the best overall package

With the best streaming service, someone inevitably faces a problem: which platform is the best recommendation depends on your wishes and habits.

Do you want more films, series or both?

Do you have certain pets that should be there?

Do you simply not want to watch a video often or every day?

Below I will elaborate on the criteria that you should consider to find the right one for your taste. But in the test victory, the total package counts. These include ease of use, content, functionality, quality and pricing.

If I balance all this, Amazon Prime Video is the best rating and is therefore our test winner.

The business model

Amazon Prime Video offers both subscription and video for one-time purchase and rental. This is ideal for a streaming service. Thanks to Abo you can watch many high-quality series and films at a low rate. You can also buy the latest Hollywood blockbusters, which are not included in a subscription due to their higher market value.

Following the example of Netflix, Amazon also produces high-quality series and films that have already celebrated their first critical and public success in the US. These “Amazon Originals” are included in the subscription price and are initially exclusively available from Amazon Prime Video.

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The best streaming platform for series: Netflix

Netflix takes a close second place behind Amazon Prime Video in the general classification. The fact that it wasn’t enough for the first is mainly because there is no retail sale at Netflix. As a result, a large proportion of current films are not available on the platform.

But the range of series and the technology and design of the platform itself are excellent. Among the service’s own productions are hits such as ‘House of Cards’, ‘Orange is the New Black’, ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Better Call Saul’ and ‘Black Mirror’ in an elegant, fun interface.

It presents you the series and films offered in the tile layout without many attributes. If you are interested in a title, touch the cover image with the mouse pointer and you will immediately get more information and a video preview. With just a few clicks you can view all the details about the title and start.

Although the presentation and operating logic are similar on all platforms, no one has such a user-friendly solution as Netflix.

In addition to its own productions, Netflix also offers high-profile series that the company buys from the respective TV channels, including “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad”.

More good streaming offers for series

Although Amazon Prime Video is already the overall winner, it must be mentioned here again. No other company has so firmly embraced the challenge of Netflix Originals.

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The best streaming platform for movies: Apple iTunes

Here I once focused strongly on the number: iTunes is preparing 112,000 films on its own and is outbidding the competition so far, as far as numbers are known.

With the next smaller stock of 65,000 films, Videobuster is clearly lagging behind. maxdome advertises with 50,000 films and series episodes.

But even otherwise, iTunes is a strong platform. It is impressive how keyword search promotes very different content on the subject – alongside films, music, audio books and radio plays, e-books and podcasts appear.

The software is also the user interface of the store, media management and player. Downloading movies is also possible on Mac and PC.

The biggest weakness of iTunes from the point of view of most computer users is the lack of compatibility. iTunes for Windows is a bit cumbersome and does not reveal much of the comfort and elegance that Apple is known for. There is no iTunes at all for Android.

Android users are recommended as an alternative to Google Play Movies & TV. Because the application is pre-installed anyway, it is usually the simplest and shortest way to film on the mobile device.

More good streaming offers for films

Although Apple users can confidently rely on iTunes for buying and renting videos, you will find good and similar (albeit smaller) ranges on Amazon, Google Play Movies & TV, YouTube Premium, Videoload, maxdome and video Buster.

The latter deserves special mention, although it is only partly about streaming. Videobuster is still busy renting DVDs and Blu-Ray by mail.

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Interesting novelty: Facebook Watch

The fact that video content on the internet is becoming increasingly important has not escaped the notice of social media giant Facebook. Moving images have the most noticeable effect in the news feed, and they also do something that is most important to Facebook: keep users on the pages of the network for as long as possible. This means more opportunities for advertising and therefore increases sales.

It is therefore a smart and consistent step that Facebook has launched the video service “Facebook Watch”. Just like YouTube Premium, you can view both your own productions and videos uploaded by users. However, the ability to publish your own videos on Facebook Watch is limited to those that Facebook has actively included in the program.

Facebook Watch started in the US in 2017, followed by Europe and Germany in 2018. As so often, the introduction is gradual. In the fall of 2018, Facebook Watch will not appear as a menu item or header in the desktop browser. However, under the field for new messages the option “View party” appears. So you can start a video and watch it together with Facebook friends in a kind of chat channel. Only in the Facebook Watch app already has its own prominent menu item. This is here (under Android) marked with the red frame:

Facebook watch mobile view

Facebook brings its watch platform to the people in the app

The “Watchlist” contains videos from sites to which I have subscribed, including recommendations compiled by Facebook.

Conclusion: the strategy of establishing Facebook as a video platform certainly has great potential and viewing parties are fun. But a second YouTube seems – at least not – to be the target, because the core idea of ​​YouTube has always been that everyone can upload videos. This is not the case here.

Similarly, Facebook Watch has so far not focused on feature films and high-quality drama series. It remains to be seen whether this will change in the future and so a new competitor for Netflix and Co. is coming.

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