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Netflix, HBO Go, Viu, iQiYi: Which Video Streaming Platform Suits Your Budget And Lifestyle?

Netflix, HBO Go, Viu, iQiYi: Which Video Streaming Platform Suits Your Budget And Lifestyle?
Image by Nicolas J Leclercq / Unsplash

Binge-watching films and series has been one of our favorite pastimes during the pandemic. Aside from it being an activity you can share with family, it also serves as an escape from the (sometimes) dull reality of staying home every single day.

But now comes the question: Which among these streaming apps is worth your money? To get the best value, it’s important for us to determine which subscription suits our lifestyle, budget, and preferences best. Here, we compare four streaming platforms to help you choose the perfect one for you!

Netflix

One of the widely used video subscription services in the Philippines is the streaming giant Netflix, which was founded in 1997. The company initially sold and rented DVDs until they introduced video on demand streaming in 2007.

Today, Netflix produces their own original shows through their in-house production team, while also streaming independent films from across the globe.

Here are Netflix’s monthly subscription fees:

  • Php 149 for the mobile plan (limited to one screen on the Netflix mobile app)
  • Pho 369 for the basic plan (limited to one screen, both on mobile and the Netflix website)
  • Php 459 for the standard plan (up to two screens at the same time)
  • Php 549 for the premium plan (up to four screens at the same time)

Subscribing to Netflix is a great option if you want to watch their original shows, such as “Squid Game,” “Money Heist,” “Bridgerton,” “YOU,” and many more. However, it limits the number of screens available to watch at a time, so if you’re sharing an account with your family, you may need to pay additional fees for a plan upgrade.

The Netflix mobile app, on the other hand, is ideal for those who are always on-the-go, as it gives you the option to download certain films and series episodes to watch even if you’re offline.

Twenty-one-year-old college student Bianca Salonga has been a long-time Netflix user, and she likes that the platform has a wide variety of movies to choose from anytime.

“The [subscription fee] is worth it depending on how often you use it. If gamit na gamit mo, then sulit naman ‘yung monthly payment,” she says. “If you’re like me na weekends lang kinakaya manood, okay na ‘yung basic plan.”

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HBO Go

Another international video on demand streaming service is HBO Go, a product of the American cable network HBO, which caters to viewers outside the United States.

Here are HBO Go’s subscription fees:

  • Php 149 per month
  • Php 229 for three months

Compared to other streaming platforms, HBO Go is an affordable video on demand streaming option. For only Php 149 per month, you have unlimited access to HBO Originals and exclusives, as well as international films. It also allows you to watch on up to three screens at the same time.

In addition, they also have partner operators in the Philippines, such as Sky Cable, Cignal, and Globe. Subscribing to HBO Go through these partner operators gives you package options and even lower monthly fees!

Do note, however, that original shows from other streaming platforms may not be included in the HBO Go slate.

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Viu

If you’re into Asian shows, we’ve got options for you too! Viu is a Hong Kong-based video streaming provider that offers a wide genre of Asian content, with subtitles catering to viewers from all over the world. They even have some of your favorite shows dubbed in the local dialect!

While it does have a free version, this has advertisements, lower viewing resolutions, and other limitations that may interrupt your movie night. You can subscribe to their premium version if you want unlimited and uninterrupted viewing.

Here are Viu’s subscription fees:

  • Php 49 for your first three months. The plan will auto-renew for Php 129 per month after three months.
  • Php 999 for one year

Viu Originals like the K-Drama “Lovers of the Red Sky” and the Thai series “Voice in the Rain” are exclusively available on the platform. While they prioritize Asian content, you can also stream western shows here, such as “Pretty Little Liars” and “The Bridge.”

iQIYI

iQIYI is home to several Asian shows, with its own slate of original dramas as well. The streaming platform was launched in 2010 and is one of the largest online video sites today. For unlimited and ad-free streaming, you can upgrade to their VIP plan!

Here are iQIYI’s subscription fees:

  • Php 29 for the first month, renewed at Php 99 a month (two devices)
  • Php 999 for one year (two devices)
  • Php 249 per month (four devices)
  • Php 2,490 for one year (four devices)

According to Justine Lachica, who uses both iQIYI and Viu, the subscription fees for both platforms are worth it.

“I can say that the subscriptions are worth it because there’ll be no ads and you can watch recently uploaded episodes immediately. Without a subscription, you still have to wait a few more days before you can watch the episode,” she says. “Also, the subscription allows members to log in to multiple devices. Furthermore, there are movies and series that can only be viewed by premium members.”

However, Viu’s Php 49 starting price that’s good for three months was the selling point for Justine, as it’s relatively cheaper than iQIYI’s monthly subscription fee.

“It’s like Php 16 per month. Much cheaper than iQIYI’s Php 29 starting price. Also, you can unsubscribe after consuming the first 3 months to avoid spending Php 129 per month,” she explains.

iQIYI, on the other hand, has better video quality and user interface, according to her.

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