Netflix is an American corporation that allows its users to have a continuous download (streaming) of a wide variety of television shows and movies online and to receive rental movies in the mail for a monthly fee. Although its main competition Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010, there are several companies that offer online streaming for a monthly membership, pay-per-view system (pay per view), payment for a rental period, or even the possibility of buying exclusive streaming content.
Amazon is a very popular online store that sells everything from video games to furniture, food, and music. In 2006, the company began offering Amazon Video On Demand (VOD), a continuous video download service (streaming) that was initially only available in the United States. VOD allows users to rent or buy movies and TV shows to watch online and download. Users can only watch the shows on the Amazon page or download them to the VOD player. VOD is different from other video streaming companies in that users pay for movies and TV shows separately rather than providing a monthly payment.
Hulu Plus is an expanded version of the Hulu continuous download website, where users can have full access for a monthly fee. Launched in November 2010, Hulu Plus allows users to view whatever content is available in its extensive archive (although after a few weeks most episodes and movies will no longer be available for free) on their computer, smartphone (phone smart), or iPod using the free Hulu app. It also allows users to watch all seasons of most TV shows for a fixed monthly price just like Netflix, instead of paying for each season like on Amazon VOD and iTunes.
Blockbuster On Demand is a service that offers users to watch TV shows and movies without a fixed monthly cost like Amazon VOD. Users pay separately for each TV show or movie they want to rent or buy. Blockbuster On Demand allows users to view or download content to TVs, Blu-ray players, TiVos, smartphones, and computers. However, it is not available for Apple computers or devices as Blockbuster operates under Microsoft Windows digital rights management which only allows the material to be viewed on devices using Microsoft technology.
YouTube owned by Google is known as a popular video-sharing website where users can upload and watch videos for free. Movies and TV show episodes, trailers, and music videos are among the licensed content that corporations upload to promote them. Many users also use the site to have a video blog or post their own original videos. In January 2010 YouTube launched a pay-per-view rental service that allows users to watch videos online. Its archive is not as extensive as other services, but it mainly offers independent films and Lionsgate films.