Having a fast internet connection is indeed a boon for any household. Not only does it facilitate an efficient interaction between the user and the internet, it also ensures that multimedia is delivered without lag as well. At the right pre-configured setup, this means being able to stream videos on the internet, among other things.
In the Philippines, that day is already ripe which brought a handful of streaming or video-on-demand services to the locals. However, dissimilar to YouTube, this kind of service does not come for free. It is like having a subscription to a cable that provides you your wanted media entertainment, but only better in some ways.
Streaming or video-on-demand services provide subscribers a convenient means of amusement by giving them control of what to view and whenever, among other perks, which is much unlike what traditional pre-programmed TV does. More than anything, to stream has become synonymous with total control binging which many of us like to do during our free time outside of work.
Here are the best streaming services you can avail in the Philippines:
After years of its existence and us Filipinos envying those living abroad, Disney+ has finally made its way to the Philippines. It comes in two tiers: Mobile only for Php159 while the Premium one costs Php369. The latter can be used with up to 4 screens and has up to 4K Ultra HD quality.
We personally got a subscription and were impressed by its vast and wide variety. This isn’t surprising since Disney also owns Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and Star.
Pros: Vast content library of both classic and new movies and TV shows.
Cons: Limited features, at least initially, for the Philippines.
Netflix is a “giant” brand when it comes to its streaming services, primarily influenced by its own-produced movie titles that are also exclusive to its showcase. But these are not your typical “B-movie” films that were made simply for the sake of just film-making.
Whether its TV series favorites like House of Cards, Stranger Things, etc. or movies like 1922, Triple Frontier, Outlaw King, etc., if you see “Netflix” at the start and around the credits, you bet such a film is amazing.
Now, for a company which spends lots and lots of money trying to make high-quality films to add to its list of exclusive titles, you can expect Netflix to ask for “premium” prices for its service—ranging between Php149 to Php549, depending on the scope of service. Also, since the password crackdown, you have to pay Php149 for each accounts not living in the same household as you (applicable to Standard and Premium)
Pros: The exclusive Netflix-produced titles and tons of other new content are being added.
Cons: Licensed contents are constantly in the state of being added and removed, not just aggregated.
The Apple TV+ is another contender in the Philippines. As of writing, the subscription costs Php369 per month, comes with a seven-day free trial and can be shared with up to five family members. Buyers of new Apple products like iPhones will also get a free subscription for up to 3 months.
Apple has created original content for the service, some winning awards, and accolades.
Pros: Award-winning original content and easily tied with your Apple account if you and your family are deep in the Apple Ecosystem.
Cons: Limited content library.
The Discovery+ lands in the Philippines at a price of Php129 per month. The service’s library will consist of shows from the Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Food Network, Travel Channel, Asian Food Network, BBC, Animal Planet, and History Channel.
Pros: Affordable with content geared towards learning.
Cons: Content selection is quite limited compared to others.
One of the biggest home-grown streaming services in the Philippines, Vivamax has a wide variety of Filipino films and shows, primarily ones produced by its parent company, Viva Entertainment. The service also makes original content and recently launched an app on Google TV and Android TV for better access. A couple of foreign and Hollywood content is also available.
Vivamax’s cheapest plan only costs Php69 for 7 days. You can also get it with a One PH Plan for Php219/mo, or just the Vivamax for Php169/mo.
Pros: Affordable and great for Filipino film fans.
Cons: International and foreign selections are quite limited.
Lionsgate Play will offer content from its media company, Lionsgate Entertainment. It also imported shows and movies from other distributors. Some content available on the service is the John Wick series, Atomic Blonde, La La Land, Dune, and more.
Until June 1, 2023, subscribers of the PLDT Home Fiber Plan 1699 and up have exclusive access to Lionsgate Play without additional charges.
Pros: Free on select PLDT Home Fiber subscribers.
Cons: Exclusive to PLDT subscribers and the content selection is quite limited.
Sharing an almost the same business model as HOOQ, iFlix is a streaming service which caters to both local and international films. In addition, iFlix also showcases a handful of foreign language films which adds interest to a broader open-minded demographics. As of 2017, iFlix is the exclusive provider of the applauded titles, Fargo and Mr. Robot.
Pros: Enables simultaneous viewing for up to two unique devices; considered very cheap in cost when compared to other streaming services in the list; enables download for later offline watching.
Cons: Lacks UHD (4K) display support.
Featuring not only shows aimed at the international market, HOOQ also showcases a gallery of locally-produced movies, like the highly-anticipated sequel to Erik Matti’s “On the Job” film of 2013 which is due for release in June 2019.
Pros: You get the best of both worlds (local and international films); Allows for simultaneous streaming for up to two unique devices and enables offline viewing.
Cons: Currently lacks Ultra High Definition (4K) video support; rental feature requires further purchases of certain contents locked behind a paywall.
Essentially ABS-CBN’s, the largest TV network in the country, entry into the foray of streaming services, iwantTV curates all of the network own produced shows, movies, etc. while also giving subscribers the ability to livestream all of the network’s channels through mobile devices.
Ideally, this is a streaming service for the fans but do not have the privilege of being in front of the TV every time to keep up with their following on programs or shows.
Pros: Everything from the network is in.
Cons: Cannot do simultaneous streaming on multiple devices.
HBO Go has a cornucopia of content including talk shows, documentaries, sporting events, movies, and shows. But not everything is original to HBO Go as some of it is licensed content it willingly shares with its competitors in the business.
Pros: It enables subscribers to livestream all of its channels; can run simultaneous streams for up to two unique devices.
Cons: Like Fox+, the contents in HBO Go is considered significantly “scarce” or just limited.
Fox+ is, as you guessed it, the Fox Broadcasting Company’s take on the streaming service business. Although having a gallery of movies and shows (like Homeland and The Walking Dead) are Fox+ mainstays, it also caters to live streaming of sports events, including 3 Fox Sports, which essentially makes it essentially the local home for entertainment.
Pros: It enables simultaneous streaming for up to two unique devices; also allows for download for later offline watching.
Cons: On-demand content is relatively limited when compared to other business brands currently mentioned in the list.
Amazon Prime Video
Like Netflix, Amazon also dabbles in the creation of its own exclusive titles such that it managed to produce award-winning content such as The American Gods, Mozart in the Jungle, and Transparent. But it also holds licensed content coming from its competitors, too, like Game of Thrones from HBO and The Handmaid’s Tale from Hulu.
Pros: Offers cheaper subscription cost than Netflix; active subscription to Amazon Prime Video also ties an active Twitch Prime membership which gives members exclusive content as well as streams; enables simultaneous streaming for up to 3 unique devices; has “watch offline” feature.
Cons: Shares similarity with Netflix where new content is constantly being added and subsequently being removed; There are “a la carte” contents that do not come with the subscription and require added payment.
The internet is littered with platforms that provide an “illegal” streaming of anime titles ever released. But, for real anime fans, nothing beats loyal support and, hence, why people consider Crunchyroll. Essentially a streaming service aimed at catering to anime fans and enthusiasts alike, Crunchyroll features Japanese animation and anime-inspired live-action shows, including the ability to do simulcast.
Pros: Premium subscribers are eligible for direct access to digital manga (term for Japanese comics); and lots and lots of Japanese anime.
Cons: UI functionality is not up-to-point and UI design can be cluttered.
Fans of Korean and Japanese actors have a special place in Viu which is essentially a streaming powerhouse of teledramas coming from the East. Although the addition of each episode is not up-to-date as “real-time,” they do nonetheless appear merely hours after the first and original TV airing.
Pros: The service is free for those who could “stomach” the poor-quality display (480p) and presence of running advertisements; large selection of Korean and Japanese teledramas.
Cons: Premium subscription does not necessarily rid the service from unwanted ads.
So, there you go. The 9 best streaming services in the Philippines for 2020.
Which streaming service are you currently enrolled in? What did you like best about it?
Is there a streaming service that was recently-introduced in the country that we might have missed? What is it? What is so good about it?
Let us know about it by leaving your comments below.