The streaming wars reached new levels of competitive zeal in 2020 with the arrival of yet more services—most notably, HBO Max and Peacock—thus ratcheting up the need for players to prove their distinctiveness to customers overwhelmed by a dizzying array of choices. Over the course of the year came surprise hits in the form of an eccentric tiger trainer, an enigmatic chess champion, and an irrepressibly upbeat (yet totally unskilled) soccer coach, and surprise showings of meant-for-theaters movies such as Hamilton and the Borat sequel.
Indeed, viewers greatly benefited from Hollywood’s increasing need to rely on streamers to launch movies (see item 7) in the midst of COVID-19, as theaters closed down around the world, a trend that will likely continue even once the pandemic passes.
Having arrived at the tail end of all the jostling, here’s how the streaming services rank as we go into 2021:
Netflix continues to be the bonkers, rich uncle who shows up for dinner…