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What is the Best Streaming Service for Each Movie and TV Genre?

Aubrey Meister

There are many factors that come into play when deciding which streaming services to subscribe to. One way to make a decision is by finding the service that offers the best content available in your favorite genre of shows or movies. A recent study from Self Financial uses IMDb genres and ratings to determine which platforms are best for each genre.

Here are the top streaming platforms and their average IMDb score by genre. Any genre noted in bold signifies it as the top-rated service for that category.

HBO Max

The study shows that HBO Max offers the top documentaries. The platform offers 299 documentaries, giving viewers a wide selection to choose from. Some great titles worth checking out include “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind,” “Hoop Dreams,” “Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals,” and “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.”

While HBO Max doesn’t offer the largest number of horror titles, the service does offer higher-rated content in this genre. Sports ranked highly on HBO Max as well. While Hulu ranks higher, that platform only offers two pieces of content in the sports genre.

  • Action (6.96)
  • Adventure (6.61)
  • Animation (7.01)
  • Biography (7.43)
  • Comedy (6.59)
  • Crime (6.76)
  • Documentary (7.29)
  • Drama (6.92)
  • Family (6.73)
  • Fantasy (6.19)
  • Film-Noir (7.74)
  • Game-Show (5.44)
  • History (7.59)
  • Horror (6.21)
  • Music (6.44)
  • Musical (6.34)
  • Mystery (7.20)
  • News (7.22)
  • Reality-TV (6.52)
  • Romance (5.04)
  • Sci-Fi (6.28)
  • Short (6.93)
  • Sport (6.84)
  • Talk-Show (4.32)
  • Thriller (5.70)
  • War (7.38)
  • Western (7.09)

While HBO Max ranks highest for documentaries, horror, and sports, it also received high ratings for film-noir (7.74), history (7.59), and biography (7.43).

Netflix

Netflix only out-performed its competitors in just one genre. The game show selection on Netflix received an IMDb rating of 6.75. Notably, all of the other streaming services included in the study offer fewer than 15 game shows, so there’s not much competition. Netflix is your home to binge great game shows like “Jeopardy,” “The Great British Baking Show,” and “Ultimate Beastmaster.”

  • Action (6.39)
  • Adventure (6.09)
  • Animation (5.63)
  • Biography (6.70)
  • Comedy (6.13)
  • Crime (6.37)
  • Documentary (6.81)
  • Drama (6.37)
  • Family (5.90)
  • Fantasy (5.55)
  • Film-Noir (7.07)
  • Game-Show (6.75)
  • History (5.63)
  • Horror (5.19)
  • Music (5.95)
  • Musical (4.24)
  • Mystery (5.79)
  • News (6.01)
  • Reality-TV (6.02)
  • Romance (6.31)
  • Sci-Fi (4.63)
  • Short (4.64)
  • Sport (6.33)
  • Talk-Show (5.04)
  • Thriller (4.68)
  • War (7.26)
  • Western (5.86)

In addition to the game show genre, Netflix ranked well in war (7.26), film-noir (7.07), and documentary (6.81) categories.

Hulu

If you’re looking for a comedy to watch, Hulu is the best place to look, according to the study. Comedies on Hulu receive an average rating of 6.85. Though Hulu has fewer comedies than its competitors Netflix and HBO Max, it offers higher quality selections. If you need a laugh, check out “Deadpool,” “The Princess Bride,” “Young Frankenstein,” or “Scrooged.”

Adventure content on Hulu also tops the charts with a rating of 7.10. “Die Hard,” “Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol,” and “28 Days Later” fit the bill here.

Another genre that Hulu performs well in is animation. (Better than Disney+!) The animated content on Hulu receives an overall rating of 7.41.

  • Action (6.90)
  • Adventure (7.10)
  • Animation (7.41)
  • Biography (7.05)
  • Comedy (6.85)
  • Crime (6.70)
  • Documentary (6.98)
  • Drama (6.96)
  • Family (6.92)
  • Fantasy (6.36)
  • Film-Noir (0.00)
  • Game-Show (5.10)
  • History (7.50)
  • Horror (5.50)
  • Music (6.51)
  • Musical (8.20)
  • Mystery (6.15)
  • News (7.80)
  • Reality-TV (7.03)
  • Romance (7.15)
  • Sci-Fi (6.63)
  • Short (6.65)
  • Sport (7.31)
  • Talk-Show (7.05)
  • Thriller (5.37)
  • War (7.33)
  • Western (6.80)

Other genres that perform well on Hulu include musical (8.20), news (7.80), and history (7.50).

Disney+

Disney+ is home to the highest-rated sci-fi shows and movies with an average IMDb rating of 6.48. “Star Wars” films and the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies check the boxes here. There’s also “Avatar” and “John Carter.”

The platform also performs well in the musical category with a rating of 6.54. (“Hamilton” is the star here, along with all the Disney animated classics.) Note that Hulu receives a musical rating of 8.20 but offers fewer than 15 musicals. Another area that Disney+ exceeds in is thrillers with a rating of 7.13. The service doesn’t offer a wide selection of thrillers though.

  • Action (6.24)
  • Adventure (5.84)
  • Animation (5.88)
  • Biography (6.82)
  • Comedy (5.95)
  • Crime (6.22)
  • Documentary (6.22)
  • Drama (5.85)
  • Family (5.96)
  • Fantasy (5.78)
  • Film-Noir (N/A)
  • Game-Show (4.93)
  • History (7.29)
  • Horror (5.85)
  • Music (4.47)
  • Musical (6.54)
  • Mystery (6.44)
  • News (4.00)
  • Reality-TV (4.65)
  • Romance (6.26)
  • Sci-Fi (6.48)
  • Short (4.99)
  • Sport (3.15)
  • Talk-Show (2.90)
  • Thriller (7.13)
  • War (8.80)
  • Western (6.30)

Disney+ offers a variety of other high-performing genres, including war (8.80), history (7.29), and biography (6.82).

Other Services

Apple TV+ doesn’t top the list in any genres, but the platform’s content does rank highly overall.

Amazon Prime Video doesn’t out-perform any of its competitors in this study, but that’s because they have such a ridiculous amount of content, the average skews lower because of the low budget clutter. Apologies to fans of “Space Mutiny,” “Tail Sting,” and “Avalanche Sharks,” but you’re dragging down the average IMDb score from “Inception” and “Back to the Future.”

Every streaming service has something different to offer, so this data may help you to make a decision about which subscriptions you need and which you can skip.

The Streamable

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