As part of IGN’s State of Streaming event, we take a fresh look at the major streaming services and what they offer subscribers in 2022. You can take a look at our initial thoughts on the Netflix streaming platform as of 2019and see what has changed (for better or for worse) in this updated review.
After pioneering the video streaming business e accumulating 220.67 million global subscribers, Netflix is the reigning king of the streaming world. With its diverse range of original and licensed content, including hugely popular original series such as The Witcher, Stranger Things and Squid Game, all presented in a stylish interface, as well as dabbling with interactive content and mobile games, Netflix has a lot of firepower in its arsenal. But all of that comes at a cost, and that makes the $ 19.99-per-month premium tier the most expensive streaming option around. As a result of that price hike, emerging competitors like Disney + are looking a lot more attractive lately, but Netflix is still the streaming service to beat.
Netflix TV shows and movies
One of the nice things about Netflix’s vast library of content is that there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for its original shows and movies – you never know what you’re going to get. In a matter of hours, you can watch an action-packed episode of Stranger Things, an Emmy Award-winning release with The Crown, a gripping documentary featuring Icarus, and excellent animated children’s shows like Hilda. There is plenty of content for kitchen and home remodeling enthusiasts too: Dream Home Makeover and Junior Baking Show are some of my personal favorites.
Plus, Netflix has never been shy about leaving some cash to keep its millions of users happy. While not quite as recognizable as HBO Max’s hooded Crusaders or Disney’s lightsaber-wielding Jedi and the Green Hulks, Stranger Things’ massive fourth season budget paid off when it broke audience records and popped up. wowed critics last summer. At the top of that pile is the never-ending parade of original films, ranging from tepid Adam Sandler comedies to Oscar-winning lure like The Irishman and Don’t Look Up, family-friendly dishes like The Mitchells vs The Machines, and unexpected sensations. of cabarets such as Inside by Bo Burnhams.
Something you will only find on Netflix is an ongoing experiment with interactive shows in the style of choose your own adventure. Most are relegated to kid programming, like Johnny Quest and Stretch Armstrong, but Netflix has ventured into more mature content with Escape the Undertaker and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. While these interactive adventures are only a small part of the library, it’s nice to see Netflix stretch its creative wings with something different.
Netflix is also dabbling with games, promising to provide the “best ever” gaming service. While it’s still early days, subscribers currently have access to 24 games on iOS and Android, including highlights like Into the Breach and Immortality, with adaptations of Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit and Shadow and Bone developing.
The one aspect of the Netflix library that he doesn’t seem keen to invest in is live sports; there’s nothing here to rival NFL Thursday Night Football on Prime Video, MLB Friday Night Baseball Doubleheaders on Apple TV +, and English Premier League Football (AKA football) on Peacock.
Netflix’s user interface (or UI) is the best in the business and remains as easy to use as ever, with an eye-catching layout that displays your curated list and even a list of the top 10 trending shows and movies when you get a strong case of FOMO. All the basics you probably expect are here too, like a download option for offline viewing, Dolby Atmos, and parental controls. But again, keep in mind that 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision aren’t included in the standard $ 15.49 plan – for those you need to upgrade to the $ 19.99 premium plan.
Netflix Spotlight: September 2022
One of the best additions from ours first reviewed in 2019, is the option to enable or disable “Auto Play”. Gone are the days when you might fall asleep during the Cobra Kai Season 5 Premiere just to wake up during the finale and be pampered. It’s a small change, but a welcome one.
After all these years, it’s easy to assume that Netflix is perfect on most devices. Whether you’re streaming to a tablet or phone, smart TV, game console, desktop computer, or other streaming device, it just works. While other platforms such as Amazon Prime Video is making big changes to feel more modern and less clunky, Netflix was already at the top of its game in 2019 and has only gotten better since then.
The price of Netflix
One of the biggest drawbacks of Netflix, compared to other streaming platforms, is the price. Unlike Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV +, Disney +, Hulu, and HBO Max (among others), Netflix loves to belittle its subscribers for 4K + HDR content, with a top tier plan costing a whopping $ 19.99 USD per month. Let’s compare this price with the competition.
Amazon charges just $ 8.99 per month for a Prime Video subscription, which comes with 4K + HDR included, and you can even upgrade your subscription to include free two-day shipping for around $ 12 per month (or $ 139 all ‘year). Apple is even cheaper (which is appropriate given that it offers less content) at $ 4.99 per month, but it also comes with 4K + HDR included. Disney + will increase its price in December 2022 to $ 10.99 per month for its ad-free premium tier, but that too includes 4K + HDR at no additional cost. It’s a bit of a headache. I mean, for $ 9.99 a month you can’t even stream Netflix at 1080p – the Standard plan costs $ 15.49. Netflix’s high prices are likely the result of this $ 17 billion investment annually in new TV shows and moviesbut it’s a hard pill to swallow.
It is important to note that Netflix is developing an ad-supported tier to compete with Disney +. Although no price has been confirmed, Variety reports it The cheapest, ad-supported tier of Netflix will launch in the US, Canada, UK, France and Germany on November 1, 2022. So, if you don’t mind some publicity, relief is on the way.