Remember the days of aimlessly flipping through TV channels, searching for a gem amidst a sea of static? Enter the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the invisible puppeteer pulling the strings in your entertainment world.
Platforms like Netflix, Spotify, and Disney+ have gone from digital libraries to personal concierges, using AI to curate your next movie night, fuel your full series binges, and personalize your viewing experiences.
But how do these platforms decide what to recommend in the first place? Well, AI insights play a crucial role, analyzing mountains of data gleaned from viewing habits, user interactions, social media trends, and even global events.
These insights reveal hidden patterns and predict future viewing trends, informing content acquisition and production decisions. Think of AI as a sort of crystal ball, allowing platforms to glimpse into the cultural zeitgeist and invest in the next potential hit before it even exists.
PS: None of the movies depicted on this page are real… yet. They’re all concepts generated by clever computers.
Personalized AI video streaming in your living room
The OG of content recommendation, Netflix has been using AI for over a decade. It’s smart, too — it pays attention to the movies you watch, noting things like the genres you prefer, your favorite actors, and the directors whose work you seem to enjoy.
But it’s not just only what you watch, but also how you watch it. Spend a lot of time on a sci-fi thriller? Netflix’s AI takes note. More into romantic comedies? It adjusts its suggestions accordingly.
The cool part is that it’s always learning from you and others with similar tastes, fine-tuning its recommendations to get better over time. This personalized touch is one of the reasons Netflix keeps us coming back for more.
Top picks: Stranger Things, Squid Game, The Queen’s Gambit
Pros: Unmatched depth of content; predictive accuracy; easy-to-use interface
Cons: Sometimes too pushy with original content; less diverse international libraries
Stepping into the magical world of Disney+ feels like entering a personalized castle. Its AI algorithms not only consider your watch history but also factor in your family dynamics, recommending age-appropriate content for everyone.
Whether it’s a weekend family movie night or a solo adventure in the world of Marvel or Star Wars, Disney Plus’s AI uses a delightful blend of nostalgia and digits to craft your watchlist.
Top picks: Andor, Hamilton, Avengers: Endgame
Pros: Huge library of family-friendly content; outstanding 4K HDR quality
Cons: Limited originals; parental controls can be restrictive
Paramount+ leverages its vast library of Paramount Pictures classics and new releases to personalize your binge-watching sessions. You might sink into a curated film noir marathon after AI detects your penchant for vintage thrillers, or you could skip straight to the latest Star Trek adventure based on your sci-fi fascination. This platform shows you the way through its content labyrinth, using AI as your digital Sherpa.
Top picks: Yellowstone, Star Trek: Discovery, The Good Fight
Pros: Extensive library of classic and contemporary shows; live sports and news
Cons: Inconsistent app performance; lack of major league sports exclusivity
NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock throws open the vault of iconic shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation, but AI helps you navigate the gold mine, suggesting shows like laugh-out-loud sitcoms based on your comedy preferences, or unearthing forgotten gems from your childhood based on your viewing history. Peacock utilizes artificial intelligence to dust off classics and present them anew, tailored to your unique entertainment palate.
Top picks: Mrs Davis, The Office, Dr Death
Pros: Free tier available; strong sports content
Cons: Interface can be clunky; limited 4K streaming
📺 HBO Max
HBO Max , like its streaming counterparts, leverages AI to tailor its content recommendations, but it brings its own flair to the table. What sets their approach apart is its focus on the rich and diverse catalog of content it offers, including iconic HBO series, blockbuster movies, and a wide range of exclusive Max Originals.
They have Game of Thrones-esque medieval epics if you devour fantasy, or Sopranos-style mob dramas if crime sagas hold your interest. HBO Max’s computer brain is like a seasoned film critic, offering recommendations that anticipate your cinematic desires… unless you want to watch their AI epic Westworld, which they unplugged in 2022.
Top picks: Game of Thrones, Chernobyl, Succession
Pros: High-quality original content; incredible library of movies; premiere theatrical releases
Cons: Higher subscription cost; issues with streaming quality at times
📺 Amazon Prime Video
The everything store does AI, and it’s a Prime watch list for Prime subs.
Prime Video’s AI uses your shopping habits (direct from Amazon) to suggest the content you didn’t know you needed. The ease of watch/buy integration via X-Ray makes for a seamless binge-and-shop experience only a tech behemoth could pull off.
Top picks: The Boys, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Jack Ryan
Pros: Hybrid subscription and viewing model; integration with Amazon ecosystem
Cons: Less intuitive UI; more ‘quantity’ than ‘quality’ argument persists
Hulu, while not shying away from AI-powered recommendations, takes a slightly different approach compared to some streaming giants. Their algorithms factor in your viewing history, but also lean heavily on human curation and editorial picks.
The result? A personalized selection that feels more like a friend’s well-meaning “you gotta see this!” than a cold, calculated algorithm’s suggestion. This hybrid approach balances the efficiency of AI with the serendipity of human touch, giving you a curated path through the vast streaming library while leaving room for discoveries along the way.
Top picks: Only Murders in the Building, The Orville, The Handmaid’s Tale
Pros: Vast library with live TV options; varied original programming
Cons: Ads can disrupt viewing; UI can be cluttered and less intuitive
📺 Apple TV+
AI-powered curation is the apple of Apple TV+’s eye, and it’s picking golden choices for you. With its modest original library, Apple TV+ focuses on quality over quantity. The AI integration, paired with strong human curation, ensures that each title is a handpicked gem that reflects better on your taste than the last.
Top picks: Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, Defending Jacob
Pros: High-quality originals; no ads; shared family profile
Cons: Small library; no back catalog of classics
The human and the digital working side-by-side
So, is this the dawn of a curated paradise where AI algorithms handpick our next binge-watch, knowing us better than ourselves? Not quite. The human touch remains an irreplaceable ingredient in the streaming cocktail.
Editors and curators, armed with years of experience and a finger on the pulse of cultural trends, still sift through the vast libraries, crafting personalized recommendations with a human touch. AI may be the data-driven chef, whisking up algorithms and crunching numbers, but the final dish — the curated playlist that speaks to your soul — is a delicious collaboration.
The big list: AI video streaming services to try
The AI revolution isn’t limited to the giants. Smaller platforms use AI to suggest obscure indie gems and cult classics based on your taste for arthouse cinema.
📺 TV & movie streaming services in the US
Here’s a comprehensive list of some of the biggest TV and movie streaming services in the US:
- Netflix: A dominant player in the streaming space, offering a wide range of TV shows, movies, and original content.
- Prime Video: Part of Amazon’s Prime subscription, it features a vast library of movies and TV shows along with original productions.
- Hulu: Known for its extensive library of current and past TV shows, movies, and original content.
- Disney+: Offers an extensive collection of Disney classics, along with Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content.
- HBO Max: Includes all HBO content, along with additional movies, shows, and Max Originals.
- Apple TV+: Apple’s entry into the streaming world, featuring a growing library of original content.
- Peacock: NBCUniversal’s streaming service offering a range of TV shows, movies, and original series.
- Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access): Provides live CBS channels, original series, classic CBS shows, and a movie library.
- YouTube TV: A live TV streaming service that also offers on-demand video and includes major broadcast and cable networks.
- Sling TV: An a la carte live-TV service that offers a more customizable approach to channel selection.
- Showtime: A streaming service for original Showtime series, movies, sports, and more.
- Starz: Known for a selection of movies and original series.
- Shudder: Specializes in horror, thriller, and supernatural content, offering both movies and TV series in the genre.
- Tubi: A free streaming service that offers a wide range of movies and TV shows, with advertisements.
📺 TV & movie streaming services in the UK
For British TV and library-offered streaming services, here’s a list that includes platforms known for their British content and those available through libraries:
- BritBox: A subscription service offering a vast selection of British TV shows, from classic series to recent broadcasts.
- Acorn TV: Specializes in British and international television, offering a wide range of dramas, mysteries, and comedies.
- BBC iPlayer: Provides a variety of BBC content, including current and classic TV shows, mainly available in the UK.
- ITV Hub: Offers a range of ITV content, from soaps to dramas and reality TV, primarily accessible in the UK.
- Channel 4+: Features a variety of Channel 4 content, including TV shows, movies, and documentaries, mainly for UK viewers.
- Sky Go: Provides access to a wide range of British TV content, including Sky originals, primarily for UK residents.
📺 Library-offered streaming services
- Kanopy: Offers a wide range of films and documentaries, available for free through many library and university memberships.
- Hoopla: Provides movies, TV shows, music, audiobooks, ebooks, and comics, accessible through library memberships.
- OverDrive/Libby: Primarily known for ebooks and audiobooks, but some libraries also offer streaming video content.
📺 TV & movie streaming services in Asia
Several streaming services specialize in Asian entertainment, offering a wide range of movies, TV shows, and other content from various Asian countries. Here’s a list of notable services that focus on Asian entertainment:
- Rakuten Viki: Known for its extensive selection of Asian dramas and movies, particularly from Korea, China, and Japan, with a community-driven approach to subtitles.
- Crunchyroll: Primarily focused on anime, this service offers a vast library of anime series and movies, as well as manga.
- AsianCrush: Offers a wide range of Asian films and TV shows, including Korean dramas, Chinese action movies, and Japanese anime.
- Kocowa+: A streaming service offering Korean TV shows and dramas, available in North and South America.
- Netflix: Has a growing library of Asian content, including original series and films from South Korea, Japan, India, and other Asian countries.
- Hulu: Offers a selection of Asian TV shows and movies, including popular anime series and Korean dramas.
- Amazon Prime Video: Includes a variety of Asian films and series as part of its international content.
- iQIYI: A Chinese online video platform offering a wide selection of movies, TV shows, and original content from China.
- Hotstar: Popular in India, it offers a wide range of local and international movies and TV shows, as well as live sports, in multiple regional languages.
These services cater to fans of Asian entertainment across the globe, offering content that ranges from Korean dramas and Bollywood movies to Japanese anime and Chinese historical dramas.
📺 TV & movie streaming services in Canada
Canada has several streaming services offering a wide range of movies and TV shows, catering to diverse tastes and preferences. Here’s a list of notable Canadian streaming movie and TV services:
- Crave: Offers a variety of content including HBO, Showtime, and Starz series, along with a selection of movies and Canadian shows.
- CBC Gem: CBC’s streaming service provides access to CBC programming, including local and national news, Canadian television shows, and international content.
- CTV GO: Offers on-demand access to CTV and CTV Two’s programming, including popular TV shows, news, and sports content.
- Global TV App: Provides live and on-demand content from the Global Television Network, including TV shows, news, and sports.
- Citytv Now: Offers on-demand access to shows from Citytv, including sitcoms, dramas, and reality TV.
- ICI TOU.TV: A French-language streaming service by Radio-Canada offering a variety of TV shows, movies, and exclusive content.
- Super Channel: A premium service offering a variety of movies, series, documentaries, and specials, as well as Super Channel original content.
- Hollywood Suite: Provides a selection of movies from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s, along with exclusive series and documentaries.
These services offer a mix of Canadian and international content, with options ranging from free ad-supported platforms to premium subscription services. They provide Canadian viewers with a broad spectrum of entertainment choices, from mainstream hits to niche genres.
📺 Classic movies & TV streaming services
For fans of classic movies and TV shows, there are several streaming services and platforms where you can find these timeless pieces of entertainment. Here’s a list of places that excel at providing classic movies and TV:
- Turner Classic Movies (TCM): Through the TCM channel or the TCM website with a cable subscription, you can access a vast library of classic films.
- Criterion Channel: Offers a large collection of classic and contemporary films, including rare and hard-to-find titles.
- Netflix: While known for original content, Netflix also has a selection of classic films in its catalog.
- Hulu: Provides a range of classic movies and TV shows, especially when combined with add-ons like the Criterion Collection.
- Amazon Prime Video: Features a variety of classic movies available for streaming as part of the subscription or for individual rental.
- Disney+: Ideal for classic Disney movies and older Disney content, including animated features and live-action classics.
- HBO Max: Offers a selection of timeless Warner Bros. movies, along with classics from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
- BritBox: A great source for classic British television, including dramas, comedies, and documentaries.
- Kanopy and Hoopla: Library-affiliated streaming services that often include classic films in their collections.
- Peacock: NBCUniversal’s streaming service offers a range of classic TV shows and movies from their extensive catalog.
- Mubi: Curates classic, independent, and award-winning films from around the world.
And what’s next?
This AI-powered concierge service for the entertainment world is just the beginning. As these algorithms grow and learn, the lines between recommendation and creation may blur even further. It probably won’t be long before AI-assisted screenwriters are crafting personalized narratives, or interactive documentaries that tailor stories to your interests in real time.
The future of entertainment might be a choose-your-own-adventure on steroids, where your viewing habits shape the very fabric of the stories you consume.
But amidst the excitement, a question remains: will these personalized experiences homogenize our tastes, or will they help us discover hidden gems we never knew we craved?
Perhaps the answer lies in finding the sweet spot between the curated and the chaotic, the familiar and the surprising. AI can be a powerful tool for discovery, but it’s up to us to ensure it enriches our viewing experience, not dictates it.
So let’s embrace the personalized recommendations, explore the curated corners, and keep one hand on the remote, guiding this journey through the ever-evolving landscape of AI-powered entertainment.