This article shows a fast and easy way to get the best movie streaming price hands down, every time.
Frustrated by the hunt for the best movie streaming price? You’re not alone. Tech is great and home entertainment gets more exciting all the time. What’s not exciting is the way streaming has driven movie rental prices up, not down.
This article explains why movie streaming prices are so high. It also compares the different movie streaming price options and gives an easy way to get the best movie streaming price whether you’re into Hobbits and Avengers or Lake Houses and Silver Linings Playbooks.
The Best Movie Streaming Price: An Elusive Beast
As the table below shows, there are more movie streaming options now than ever before. While that may sound like a good thing, what it really translates to is frustration. That’s because there are about 20 different places to look for any movie you might want to stream. Any given one of them might have the lowest price. We show the top 9 below:
Best Movie Streaming Price List
|Movie Streaming Service||Price||All Movies Stream?||What's the Catch?|
|Amazon Instant Video||$1.99 to $14.99||Yes||Expensive. Best movie streaming price is $1.99 to $5.99. Some movies are only available to buy for streaming. Hence the $14.99 upper price.|
|iTunes||$2.99 to $19.99||Yes||Expensive. Best movie streaming price is $3.99 to $4.99. Some movies are only available to buy for streaming. Hence the $19.99 upper price.|
|Netflix||$8.99/mo||No||Great movie streaming price but only a limited selection of movies stream. The rest are available only on DVD.|
|VidAngel||$1||Yes||Must buy movies for full price, then "sell back." Legal, but kind of shady. The site encourages users to buy streaming movies outright, then sell them back. The net movie streaming price is $1. They say it's legal. If so, why not just do the same thing with Amazon and skip the $1?|
|Hulu Plus||$7.99/mo||No||Like Netflix streaming, streaming movie price is low, but selection is limited.|
|Google Play||$2.99 to $14.99||Yes||Expensive. Best movie streaming price is $2.99 to $4.99. Some movies are only available to buy for streaming. Hence the $19.99 upper price.|
|PlayStation Video||$2.99 to $14.99||Yes||Expensive. Best movie streaming price is $2.99 to $4.99. Some movies are only available to buy for streaming. Hence the $19.99 upper price.|
|Vudu||$2.99 to $14.99||Yes||Expensive. Best movie streaming price is $2.99 to $4.99. Some movies are only available to buy for streaming. Hence the $19.99 upper price.|
|XBox Video||$3.99 to $14.99||Yes||Expensive. Best movie streaming price is $3.99 to $4.99. Some movies are only available to buy for streaming. Hence the $19.99 upper price.|
Yes, we know. The table above does not help find the best movie streaming price. If anything, it makes the search more frustrating. Using only the table above, anyone in search of watching say, The Hobbit, Battle of the Five Armies would have their work cut out for them. They’d have to check each option above. Some may rent the movie for $5.99. Some may only sell it for $14.99 or $19.99. Some may not have it available at all. Yuck, right?
Who wants to go through all that work. You might as well just pay the extra money, except that’s frustrating too. As we explain below, there is a reason streaming prices are so high. That said, they should be lower. The good news is, we also show a way to cut the frustration and get to the best movie streaming price, right away.
JustWatch: The Best Movie Streaming Price Tool
What if there was a way to find the best movie streaming price at all the above movie options in one place? It’s called JustWatch and it’ll make saving money on streaming movies a whole different animal. A small, fluffy, easy to manage animal, like a housebroken kitten or a sleeping baby bunny.
The way JustWatch works is, it keeps a current database of the prices at several of the various movie streaming options. Viewers just visit JustWatch.com. The site lets users select up to 18 movie streaming sites. Then just type in a movie title and JustWatch delivers the goods: a list of the cheapest places to stream the movie.
How to Use JustWatch to Get the Best Movie Streaming Price
|1||Go to JustWatch.com or use their app|
|2||Select up to 18 online movie streaming services to search|
|3||Type the name of any movie|
|4||See the best movie streaming price, from free to $14.99|
Saving money on streaming movies has never been easier. Why pay $14.99 to buy The Avengers: Age of Ultron on Amazon if Google Play streams the movie for $3.99? The problem has been that there was no way to know this before. JustWatch offers that quick, easy knowledge.
The Best Movie Streaming Price App
JustWatch also has an app for their best movie streaming price tool. The app is a great way to save money on streaming movies any time. The real power of the app is that it’s always at your fingertips. There’s not need to sit down at a computer or spend a lot of time. Any movie fan hankering for a certain title can almost instantly see the price ranges and the cheapest place to watch their flick.
The Best Movie Streaming Price Isn’t Always Good
The big problem with the JustWatch method of finding the best movie streaming price listed above is that “best” sometimes isn’t “good.” What if every movie streaming site’s lowest price is $14.99? That was the case if you tried to stream The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on 2/11/16. There was no “rent” option yet, and the only streaming choice available was to buy the movie. However, HBO Now subscribers will happily see that the movie streams free on their service.
The beauty of using JustWatch is, there’s no guessing. Movie lovers instantly see where the best price is. Not a subscriber to HBO Now? Then you know your best option is, sadly, the $14.99 “buy” price. That’s no consolation, but as a consolation price, try out the bonus methods to save money on movie streaming below.
The Best Movie Streaming Price Hybrid Option
The JustWatch method is great for finding that best movie streaming price. That said, what if the best price is $14.99? Sadly, that happens a lot with new releases. Instead of being available to rent for a reasonable price like $2.99, they’re only offered for sale at first. A new streaming release might start out with a price of $14.99 to buy. A month or two later, viewers can rent it for $5.99. A few months later that price drops to $4.99. After several years, the price will finally drop to $2.99. But who wants to wait?
The cheapest movie streaming option we’ve found is a hybrid method. It requires a little DVD action, but not too much, and it’s truly the cheapest way for movie geeks to get their geek on. The method is pretty simple. Subscribe to Netflix’s “streaming only” service for $8.99 per month or $7.99 for existing members. Then add a two disc per month plan for $4.99. That’s just $13 to $14 dollars for an unlimited selection of movies with most of them streaming.
The Netflix Best Movie Streaming Price Hybrid Method
|Netflix Streaming||$7.99 to $8.99/mo||Limited to selected movies and TV shows|
|Netflix 2 Discs/mo||$4.99/mo||Unlimited movies and TV shows|
|Total best movie streaming price + DVD Netflix method||$13 to $14/mo||Unlimited movies and TV shows|
Obviously this method won’t work for people who want to stream movies exclusively. But for everyone else, it combines the ease of Netflix’s great streaming service with an unlimited selection for a great price. Put another way, it’s a $5/mo way to plug the holes in Netflix’s limited selection of otherwise great movies. It turns Netflix into an unlimited selection streaming service with a couple of DVDs to round everything out. The price of just $13 to $14 per month is pretty hard to beat.
Also see: Marvel Movies Are Worth More Than Belize
Why Are Movie Streaming Prices so High?
One question that’s been nagging movie lovers since online streaming began is, why are movie streaming prices so high? Why aren’t the best movie streaming prices a lot lower?
The reason is the studios. They’re a bit reluctant to drop their prices just now. Take a look at the evolution of movie prices below and how it’s stalled.
The Evolution of Best Movie Streaming Prices
|Movie Rental Method||Average Price||Reason|
|DVD Rentals from Stores||$2.99||The price covers the cost of stores, employees and physical discs, plus profit.|
|Redbox||$1.00||The price covers physical disks, kiosks and profit, but cuts out stores and most employees.|
|Online Streaming||$4.99||The price could be a lot lower since it only needs to cover servers. But the studios have set the license prices very high to make up for money lost to piracy.|
There you have it. The best movie streaming prices should be a lot lower. They don’t have to cover stores and retail employees. They don’t even have to cover kiosk placement and stocking. They just have to cover servers, which are cheap. So it’s not Amazon, Google Play and iTunes that have set the cost of online movie streaming so high. It’s the studios. They’re worried about piracy, and they’re making honest viewers make up for it by setting the price high. As a result, the best movie streaming prices can be found with JustWatch and with the Netflix hybrid option mentioned above.
Also see: How Much Does a Super Bowl Ad Cost?
VidAngel: Best Movie Streaming Price Ever or Shadyland?
For those who don’t want to stoop to outright piracy but aren’t above stooping slightly higher to a shady grey area, there’s VidAngel. VidAngel encourages users to buy movies for full price (say, $14.99 each). Then, VidAngel tells customers to go ahead and sell the movies back. Return them. Customers get their money back, except for a $1 processing fee. The end result? VidAngel users “rent” movies online for just $1.
$1 each is arguably the best movie streaming price on the market. VidAngel also makes a big effort to make sure users know their service is legal. It’s protected by the constitution. But is it moral?
If VidAngel’s method of buying movies for streaming, watching them and then returning them is so above board, why not just do it at Amazon or Google Play? Why not just buy the movie for $14.99, return it, and skip VidAngel’s $1 fee?
The answer seems to be that Amazon and the others would frown on the buy-and-return-as-rent method. VidAngel encourages it. The problem is, the studios frown on VidAngel. Is it legal? Probably. Is it ethical? That depends how strong your rationalization muscles are. The best movie streaming price it may be. It’s real way to save money on streaming movies too. Whether it’s piracy in sheep’s clothing is another matter.
Best Movie Streaming Price: How JustWatch Works
We couldn’t wrap up this article without asking JustWatch how they update their movie database. Turns out they do it automatically. An algorithm keeps their list of the best streaming movie prices in all the land fresh daily. That’s according to David Croyé at JustWatch.com.
“We update our whole database at least once a day automatically,” says Croyé. “We have direct partnerships with iTunes and others and use their structured data feeds, or APIs. Additionally we automatically crawl websites like Google and other search engines.”
That means their price list doesn’t rely on people to keep current, and that means their online movie streaming price search tool won’t leave you paying more than you have to.