Which Streaming Service Offers the Best Original Content?

Anecdotally and through surveys, many consider Netflix to be the leader in original streaming content. It certainly set the trend with House of Cards in 2013 and has only gone from strength to strength since then.

But while Netflix has long been the leader, the competition has been catching up. Services like Disney+, Hulu, and HBO Max all produce their own great movies and shows. We’re going to explore which streaming service really has the best original content.


It’s unsurprising that many viewers consider Netflix to be the leader in original content among streaming services. The company has been around longer than its rivals and really set the tone for what a streaming service, and a streaming show, is.

The service has produced a long list of hits, including House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Stranger Things, The Queen’s Gambit, Tiger King, Bridgerton, and much more.

It’s also in the Oscar mix every year, with such prestige fare as Roma, The Irishman, and The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Netflix’s original shows tend to stay on Netflix forever, leaving subscribers plenty of time to catch up. And you can also watch them offline, thanks to Netflix’s downloading capabilities.


When Disney+ launched in late 2019, its major selling point was that it offered a massive amount of older content, from the Disney movie library, along with all or most of the history of Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars.

However, Disney+ also launched with the original mega hit The Mandalorian, and debuted the popular Marvel-associated show WandaVision in early 2021. Plus, Disney+ continues to announce lots of original projects, associated with Star Wars, Marvel, and other Disney franchises, that will debut on Disney+. This combination has allowed Disney+ to add subscribers at a very fast rate.

On top of those, Disney+ regularly debuts original documentaries about Disney, as well as original shorts, sitcoms, and other steady streams of original programming. And the channel, perhaps unsurprisingly, offers the best content for kids.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon’s video arm has pumped out a great deal of original content since its launch, occasionally striking gold with a show like Transparent, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Man in the High Castle, Patriot, and Bosch. In 2021, Amazon debuted the acclaimed drama series The Underground Railroad.

Prime Video has also become associated with popular comedy movies, including the long-awaited sequels to Coming to America and Borat.

Amazon Prime doesn’t have as much volume as Netflix when it comes to original shows, but it certainly offers plenty of quality.


Hulu’s identity has changed quite a bit over the course of its history. Once Disney took control of it, it became the home of programming from FX, as well as Disney-controlled movies and shows considered too mature for Disney+.

But Hulu is also a top producer of original shows, led by The Handmaid’s Tale, and also offering such prestigious fare as Castle Rock, The Looming Tower, Little Fires Everywhere, Devs, and the miniseries Mrs. America. Other notable Hulu originals include Ramy, Pen15, and the remake of High Fidelity.

Related: Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime Video: The Best Streaming Service for You


HBO Max hasn’t been around as long as some of its rivals but the streaming service offers both the entirety of HBO’s past library of huge shows. It also has a much larger library of older movies than that of Netflix and most of its other rivals.

HBO Max offers access to every new HBO show as it debuts, as well as original shows that are unique to HBO Max, like the hit mystery The Flight Attendant, the Anna Kendrick-starring Love Life, Cristin Milioti’s Made For Love, and the Mark Wahlberg reality show Wahl Street.

Also debuting on HBO Max since its launch have been original films like Seth Rogen’s An American Pickle, Meryl Streep’s Let Them All Talk, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

Apple TV+

Apple+, which debuted in late 2019, is almost entirely about original content. Apple invested in deals with well-known talent and brought them to its service; anyone who buys an Apple device gets a year of the service for free.

Apple started with such shows as The Morning Show, Dickinson, See, and For All Mankind, before later adding the likes of Servant, Mythic Quest, and Home Before Dark.

The service really began to break through in its second year, with the beloved hit Ted Lasso and the whodunit series Defending Jacob. That was in addition to movies like On the Rocks, and new documentaries about Bruce Springsteen, the Beastie Boys, and Billie Eilish.

The company went on to invest in additional original programming, including a new show with Jon Stewart and a World War II series produced by Tom Hanks.

Related: What Is Apple TV+? Everything You Need to Know


The streaming service that was formerly known as CBS All Access relaunched in early 2021, while also expanding internationally. Paramount+ is focused mostly on providing a streaming home for various programming from across ViacomCBS, including shows that originated on MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, Paramount Pictures, and other arms of that corporation.

The major original shows on Paramount+ are new Star Trek shows, including Discovery and Picard, which exist alongside all of the classic Trek shows. There’s also The Good Fight, The Stand, and spinoffs related to 60 Minutes, The Real World, SpongeBob SquarePants, and more.

Related: Paramount+: Everything You Need to Know About the Streaming Service


NBC’s streaming service, which debuted in 2020, is mostly focused on older programming, including the back catalog of The Office and other legacy shows.

However, Peacock does offer some original shows, if you can call reboots of Saved by the Bell and Punky Brewster original.

The service also offers Mehdi Hasan’s news show and comedy from Amber Ruffin, and the folding of the WWE Network into Peacock has meant regular original content for fans of pro wrestling.

That said, original content is far from Peacock’s bread-and-butter, at least compared to most of its rivals.

The Best Streaming Service for Original Content

Netflix, on volume alone, is the real winner, with the most original shows of different kinds. It also provides a steady flow of new content over the year.

However, the streaming wars have never been about choosing one service over all of the others, so there’s still plenty of fine original stuff to offer from Amazon, Hulu, HBO Max, and Apple. That said, when it comes to original content, Paramount+ and Peacock are lacking, though perhaps they will grow in time.

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/which-streaming-service-has-the-best-original-content/

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