The Best Video Streaming Subscription for 2020: Netflix vs Amazon vs Apple vs HBO vs Viu & More
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The Best Video Streaming Subscription for 2020: Netflix vs Amazon vs Apple vs HBO vs Viu & More

Cherie Tan
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Walao… Where did the time go sia… I just Netflix-ed my whole weekend away.

Sounds familiar?

Oh, how popular video streaming subscriptions are, that they have become a verb you use unknowingly in your everyday life.

Netflix Logo Unfurling
Source: Giphy

And ever since we all have to stay at home during this Circuit Breaker Period.

It’s not just my weekends that are being Netflix-ed away…

(Editor’s note: this girl has watched EVERY single Korean drama featuring Park Seo-Joon, at least twice)

While Netflix might be the most popular video streaming subscription service, it’s not the only one available in Singapore.

Depending on what’s your poison and how deep your pockets are, there’re options like Amazon Prime, HBO, Viu, HOOQ, meWATCH, and more.

So.

Which is the cheapest video streaming service right now?

And more importantly, are there any free trials?


TL;DR: Free Video Streaming Subscription for 2020

Now that we’re stuck at home ALL the time.

We’ve gotta find ways to keep ourselves sane while keeping the entertainment budget low.

Thankfully, local service providers Singtel and StarHub are providing free previews of cable channels!

1) Free Apple TV+ Apple Originals For All Singaporeans (till TBA)

As long as you have a device which can support the Apple TV app.

All users, including those without a paid Apple TV+ subscription, can watch select Apple Originals.

Here’s what you can catch:

 Free Apple Originals
DickinsonStars Hailee Steinfeld
For All MankindAn alternate timeline space race saga
Little AmericaA Kumail Nanjiani-produced anthology
ServantAn M. Night Shyamalan thriller
Snoopy in SpaceAs stated in the title
The Elephant QueenA documentary about a 50-year-old elephant and her herd
HelpstersFrom the makers of Sesame Street
GhostwriterA group of mystery-solving kids who receive help from an invisible presence they call Ghostwriter

2) Free Singtel CAST For All Singaporeans (till 30 June 2020)

If you aren’t a Singtel Postpaid Mobile customer or an existing CAST subscriber, all you have to do is create a free Singtel CAST account.

To watch on your desktop, log in with your free CAST ID.

To watch on your mobile device, download the CAST app on the App Store or Google Play and log in.

Then click on any channel under ‘Free Live TV’ to start watching!

Here’s the list of 30 channels anyone can enjoy:

 Free Singtel CAST Channels
Chinese EntertainmentcHK
(Cantonese)
CCTV-4
(Mandarin)
CTI Asia
(Mandarin)
ETTV Asia News
(Mandarin)
Jia Le
(Hokkien & Mandarin)
EducationAnimal Planet
Crime and Investigation
Discovery
Discovery Asia
Discovery Science
HISTORY
HISTORY2
EntertainmentBlue Ant Entertainment
Comedy Central
HITS
KIX
Lifetime
MTV
MTV Live
IndonesianMNC Drama Channel
JapaneseGEM
KidsBoomerang
Cartoon Network
Miao Mi
(Mandarin)
Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon Junior
KoreanONE
LifestyleAsian Food Network
DMAX
TamilColours Tamil

3) Free StarHub Channels For StarHub Customers Only (till 4 May 2020, 12pm)

Unfortunately, this is only applicable if you’re a StarHub customer.

Here’s the list of 32 channels which can enjoy on StarHub Entertainment and StarHub GO:

 Free StarHub Entertainment Channels
Chinese EntertainmentTVB Jade
TVB Xing He
DocumentariesBBC Earth
BBC Lifestyle
BBC World News
CuriosityStream
NewsCNN
EntertainmentDreamWorks
Gusto TV
PeopleTV
Warner TV
MTV Asia
IndonesianCitra Entertainment
Kids EntertainmentBoomerang
Cartoon Network
Cbeebies
Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon Junior
KoreanKBS World
Oh!K
ONE
tvN
MalayHub Sensasi
Karisma
ONE
(Malay)
TamilSun Music
Sun TV
Vanna Thirai
Zee Cinema
Zee Thirai
TechnologyTechStorm
Taiwanese, Japanese, and Korean Dramas and Entertainment dubbed in MandarinHub E City

4) Free HBO GO Shows For All Singaporeans (till TBA)

The first season of select iconic HBO shows are currently free to watch on HBO GO.

No registration required. Just head over to HBO GO and click play.

 Free HBO GO Movies
SuccessionSeason 1
Silicon ValleySeason 1
BarrySeason 1
The SopranosSeason 1
The WireSeason 1
The InventorSeason 1
VeepSeason 1
Miss SherlockSeason 1
The Teenage PsychicSeason 1
The World Between UsSeason 1
BallersSeason 1
McMillionsSeason 1
Invisible StoriesSeason 1
FolkloreSeason 1
Jane Fonda in Five ActsSeason 1

Comparison of Video Streaming Subscription Fees in Singapore 2020

Video Streaming ServiceSubscription Fee
(Monthly)
Free Trial? Good For
Netflix$11.9830 daysNetflix Originals and pretty much everything else
Amazon Prime Video$2.9930 daysOlder American movies and shows
Apple TV+$6.987 daysOriginal Apple TV content
Disney+TBATBADisney shows
Marvel movies
Pixar movies
Star Wars movies
20th Century Fox movies
hayu $4.981 monthLive telecast of Reality TV shows
HBO GO$10 (with meWATCH)7 days (with meWATCH)HBO
HBO Family
HBO Hits
HBO Signature
HBO Originals
Red
HOOQ $2.9230 daysHollywood and Asian shows
meWATCH Prime$5.94NoWatching Mediacorp dramas in advance
Viu Premium$7.987 daysKorean dramas & variety shows
Video Streaming Service Consolidation
Singtel TV GO Plan 1$6.90No130 live and 30 catch-up channels
Singtel CAST$13.98 (HBO GO)
$11.98 (Netflix)
$4.90 (Viu Premium)
NoLower monthly subscription of various streaming services
StarHub GO Select$9.901 monthStream shows without data charges

It’s hard to find out which is the cheapest video streaming subscription fee because the various platforms offer different content.

But if you read the breakdowns below, I’ve included tips and recommendations for you to get the most bang for your buck!


Netflix

Netflix Logo

Netflix is the video streaming service that pretty much made free-to-air TV obsolete.

And it’s not surprising given their diverse catalogue of award-winning TV series, movies, dramas, and Netflix Originals like Kingdom, Stranger Things, Money Heist, and Witcher.

Netflix Subscription Fees in Singapore

Netflix Subscription Fee in SingaporePriceDetails
Netflix Free Trial
(30 days)
$0Unlimited TV shows and movies for 30 days.
Netflix Basic
(Monthly)
$11.98Watch on 1 screen at a time in Standard Definition. Download videos on 1 phone or tablet.
Netflix Standard
(Monthly)
$13.98Watch on 2 screens at a time. Full HD (1080p) available. Download videos on 2 phones or tablets.
Netflix Premium
(Monthly)
$19.98Watch on 4 screens at a time. Full HD (1080p) and Ultra HD (4K) available. Download videos on 4 phones or tablets.

How to Get Netflix for Free

Unfortunately, there’s no legal way to watch Netflix for free but there’re some Netflix hacks to get the most bang for your buck…

(winks conspiratorially)

At the very least, there’s a 30-day free trial.

If you choose to continue, the cheapest plan is $11.98 per month.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video Logo

At $2.99 a month, Amazon Prime Video is the cheapest video streaming subscription in this list.

So I guess you can’t really complain if Amazon Prime Video does not offer as many TV shows and movies as say… Netflix does.

However, you’ll still find a healthy library of Amazon Originals like The Grand Tour, The Man in the High Castle, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, and Jack Ryan.

If you already have an existing Amazon Prime subscription (for groceries, for example).

Then you might want to consider getting Amazon Prime Video since it’s about the price of a plate of chicken rice for now.

Amazon Prime Video Subscription Fees in Singapore

Amazon Prime Video Subscription Fee in SingaporePriceDetails
Amazon Prime Video Free Trial
(30 days)
$0Exclusive Amazon Originals as well as popular movies and TV shows
Amazon Prime Video
(Monthly)
$2.99 Comes with Amazon Prime subscription (free delivery, early access to deals, and more).

How to Get Amazon Prime Video for Free

The only way is through the 30-day free trial, after that it’s $2.99 per month.

Apple TV+

Apple TV Plus Logo

Like Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+ has one of the smallest libraries amongst all the video streaming services.

But as with anything new, you have to give them time to accumulate stuff which people will want to watch.

Some Apple Originals include Oprah’s Book ClubThe Morning Show (starring Jennifer Aniston), and See (starring Jason Momoa).

Critics have been pretty savage with the last two shows but I guess you have to watch it yourself to be the judge…

Apple TV+ Subscription Fees in Singapore

Apple TV+ Subscription Fee in SingaporePriceDetails
Apple TV+ Free Trial
(7 days)
$0$6.98 per month after (no contract)
Apple TV+
(Monthly)
$6.98No contract

How to Get Apple TV+ for Free

If you buy a new Apple device, you can get a free year’s subscription of Apple TV+.

You just need to activate the subscription after setting up your device.

Other than that, there’s no way you’re getting Apple content for free.

Pro-tip: to save big, you can share the monthly subscription of $6.98 between six different family members or friends — each with their own unique Apple IDs — through Family Sharing.

Disney+

After Netflix, Disney+ is probably the next biggest household name.

It’s got tonnes of movies and shows from Disney, Marvel (meaning ALL the Marvel movies…), National Geographic, Pixar, Star Wars, The Simpsons, and 20th Century Fox.

And on top of this, you’ll also get access to new, original content like The Mandalorian, which features Baby Yoda:

Baby Yoda Drinking Out Of A Cup
Source: Star Wars | Giphy

Unfortunately, Disney+ isn’t available in Singapore yet.

Disney+ Subscription Fees in Singapore

Disney+ hasn’t been officially launched in Singapore yet, but here are the prices in USD.

Disney+ Subscription Fee in SingaporePriceDetails
Disney Plus Free Trial
(7 days)
USD$0USD$6.99 per month after
Disney Plus
(Monthly)
USD$6.99-
Disney Plus
(Monthly)
USD$5.83USD$69.99 for 12 months

I’ll update as soon as Disney+ hits our shores!

hayu

If you love trashy reality TV, then you’ll love hayu.

You can choose from over 200 shows which are available on the same day as they are available in the US.

From Real Housewives to Keeping Up With The Kardashians, hayu is sure to give you your daily dose of gossip and drama.

hayu Subscription Fees in Singapore

hayu Subscription Fee in SingaporePriceDetails
hayu Free Trial
(1 month)
$0$4.98 per month after
hayu
(Monthly)
$4.98No contract

Watch over 200 shows, any time, anywhere. Available on the same day as the U.S. telecast

How to Get hayu for Free

The only way to watch hayu for free is through the 1-month free trial.

HBO GO

HBO Go

HBO GO is an on-the-go streaming version which gives you access to the latest Hollywood blockbusters and movies through Cinemax, HBO, HBO Family, HBO Hits, HBO Signature, and Red by HBO.

And it’s available through Singtel, StarHub or meWATCH, without needing to get a cable TV subscription.

HBO GO also gives you access to HBO original series such as Game of Thrones, Watchmen, and Westworld.

If you’re not into those, then you’ll probably be catching up on blockbusters you missed throughout the years or rewatching old favourites like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

HBO GO Subscription Fees in Singapore

HBO GO Subscription Fee in SingaporePrice Details
Singtel - Combo 6, Combo 12, XO 78 and XO 108 postpaid plans
(Monthly)
$0Free trial for 24 months
(for subscriptions after 7 March 2019)
meWATCH - HBO GO
(7 days)
$0$13.98 per month after
meWATCH - HBO GO
(Monthly)
$10.00$119.98 upfront for 12 months
Singtel CAST - HBO GO
(Monthly)
$13.98$139.80 upfront for 12 months with 2 months free
StarHub - HBO GO
(Monthly)
$13.98No lock-in contract

How to Get HBO GO for Free

If you’re already on Combo 6, Combo 12, XO 78 and XO 108 Singtel postpaid plans, then you can get HBO GO for free for 24-months.

If not, the only way you can try HBO GO for free is via meWATCH, where you can get a 7-day free trial.

After that, it’s $13.98 per month.

For the cheapest option, I’d recommend paying $119.98 upfront (for 12 months) to stay with meWATCH, which will cost you about $10 per month.

HOOQ

HOOQ is a regional video streaming provider with a library that includes Hollywood and Asian shows.

They’re not as big as Netflix, but their library’s pretty decent as you get access to shows from the Marvel and DC franchises as well as their HOOQ Exclusives.

Note: the company applied for liquidation in March 2020 so I’m not sure how long they’ll still be around…

HOOQ Subscription Fees in Singapore

HOOQ Subscription Fee in SingaporePriceDetails
HOOQ Free Trial
(30 days)
$0Free trial if set up payment details upfront
HOOQ
(Monthly)
$3.33$10 for 3 months
HOOQ
(Monthly)
$2.92$34.98 for 12 months

How to Get HOOQ for Free

There’re a couple of shows which you can watch for free under the HOOQ Free tab.

Other than that, you can probably enjoy the other content through the $10 for 3 months promo.

But as mentioned earlier, I’m not sure how long this video streaming service will be around.

meWATCH

meWATCH logo

If you’re wondering what’s meWATCH, it’s basically Toggle, only it has been renamed since 30 January 2020.

With a meWATCH subscription, you can also add-on subscription plans like tvN (for Korean movies and blockbuster hits) or HBO GO.

meWATCH Subscription Fees in Singapore

meWATCH Subscription Fee in SingaporePrice Details
meWATCH
(Basic Tier)
$0Catch up with Mediacorp dramas and shows that you missed
meWATCH Prime
(Monthly)
$5.94$35.64 upfront for 6 months
meWATCH Prime
(Monthly)
$9.90No contract

Enjoy priority and ad-free access to the latest Mediacorp dramas before TV release

Unlimited download of shows for on-the-go viewing without data
meWATCH/meWATCH Prime + tvN Movies
(Monthly)
+ $4.90Includes access to Korean Blockbuster favourites across all genres, featuring the biggest stars, with new titles added every month

How to Get meWATCH for Free

I’m not a big fan of local TV but it’s nice that meWATCH is available for free.

But if you can’t wait till the next episode of whatever Mediacorp drama it is that you’re chasing, pay for meWATCH Prime and you’ll be able to catch it in advance.

Viu

viu

Ah… the Asian equivalent of Netflix.

Here you can find Korean dramas like Hotel Del Luna and Korean variety shows like Running Man.

Viu Subscription Fees in Singapore

Viu Subscription Fee in SingaporePriceDetails
Viu
(Basic Tier)
$0Limited access to dramas & variety shows in standard resolution

Get the latest shows 72 hours after Viu Premium

1 download at a time to watch even when offline

Ads
Viu Premium
(7 days)
$0Unlimited access to dramas, variety, movies & kids shows in full HD

Get the latest shows 8 hours after original telecast

Unlimited downloads to watch even when offline

Ad-free

$7.98 per month after
Viu Premium
(Monthly)
$7.98-
Singtel CAST - Viu Premium
(3 months)
$0$6.90 per month after
(No contract)
Singtel CAST - Viu Premium
(Monthly)
$4.9012-month contract with first 3 months free

How to Get Viu for Free

The basic tier can be assessed for free.

But if you want HD viewing and an ad-free experience, then you’ll have to pay for Viu Premium.

And your best option would be the Singtel – Viu Premium (No Contract Plan) which gives you a 3-month free trial.

After that, it’ll cost you $6.90 per month — that’s even cheaper than if you signed up on Viu direct.

If you wish to continue enjoying Viu Premium, the Singtel – Viu Premium (12-month Contract) is the cheapest at $4.90 a month.


So… What About Singtel and StarHub?

Since there’re so many video streaming subscription options available.

Does it still make sense to subscribe to traditional cable TV with service providers like Singtel and StarHub?

Let’s find out!

Singtel TV GO

SingtelTV Logo

With Singtel TV GO you get access to over 130 live channels and 30 catch-up channels including Discovery, HBO, Fox, KBS World and tvN.

Singtel TV GO Subscription Fees

Singtel TV GO Subscription Fee in SingaporePriceDetails
Singtel TV GO Plan 1
(Monthly)
$6.90Home View
1 device

On-The-Go
1 device
Singtel TV GO Plan 2
(Monthly)
$9.90Home View
3 devices concurrently watching different channels

On-The-Go
1 device

Singtel CAST

Singtel CAST Logo

Singtel CAST consolidates all other video streaming platforms like HBO GO, Netflix, and Viu Premium in one app.

They also promise lower monthly subscriptions and everything is consolidated in one Singtel bill.

Singtel CAST Subscription Fees

Singtel CAST Subscription Fee in SingaporePriceDetails
Singtel CAST - HBO GO
(Monthly)
$13.98$139.80 upfront for 12 months with 2 months free
Singtel CAST - Netflix
(Monthly)
$11.98 (Basic)
$15.98 (Standard)
$19.98 (Premium)
1 month free
Singtel CAST - Viu Premium
(Monthly)
$4.9012-month contract with first 3 months free

Note: the Singtel CAST – Netflix Standard option ($15.98) is actually slightly more expensive than the regular Netflix Standard option ($13.98).

StarHub GO

StarHub Go Logo

If you’re a StarHub customer, you have StarHub GO — which is kind of like Singtel GO.

StarHub GO Subscription Fees

StarHub GO Subscription Fee in SingaporePriceDetails
Go Select
(Monthly)
$9.901 month free

Mostly Asian dramas (Korea, China, Hong Kong)
Go Max
(Monthly)
$29.80$10 off for first 12 months

Over 80 channels

Stream on 2 devices
Partner Content
Go Disney
(Monthly)
$4.90Disney original series and movies

Marvel and Star Wars animated series
TVB Anywhere+ [Premium]
(Monthly)
$4.98Latest TVB (Hong Kong) dramas and variety shows
HBO GO
(Monthly)
$13.98Blockbuster movies and HBO Originals
FOX+
(Monthly)
$19.90Latest TV series, movies and LIVE sports

The coolest thing about StarHub GO is that you can stream your shows without any data charges if you’re a StarHub postpaid customer.

So even though I’m bummed that there’s no Netflix, being able to stream shows without any data charges is nice.

About Cherie Tan
Turning finance into boba-sized pieces. One iced milk boba tea, please!
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