2023 Streaming Roundup

    With Strikes And Crackdowns On Password Sharing, Here's What You Watched This Year.

    2023 is coming to a close, and with it, one of the rockiest times in streaming. Crackdowns on password sharing, platform buyouts, and industry halting strikes colored this year’s entertainment.

    Netflix tried to cut down its password-sharing by adding measures like account verification. Users had 15 minutes to enter a code, otherwise, the streaming service recognized the device as new and could boot it from the account. It also offered a password-sharing plan for an additional $7.99 a month.

    Some streaming services were combined through buyouts and acquisitions. HBO Max merged with Discovery+ before changing its name to Max in May. Disney+ took control of Hulu, which ten years ago streamed shows across competitor networks. You can now access the premium channel, Showtime, through the Paramount+ app. Even so, you can find many of these apps in one place on Amazon Prime for an add-on fee.

    This year’s most extensive hurdle streaming services faced was the SAG-AFTRA and Writer’s Guild of America strikes. Union members from both groups were striking for more competitive wages, higher residuals, and industry protections from AI-made work.

    During the strikes, all production halted. By the time the SAG-AFTRA one was lifted, many fans were already experiencing a lack of content. This meant that older shows that had been on streaming for a while were given a second life. Suits was one of those shows.

    Even with all the tumult, certain shows stood out to viewers. Here are five popular favorites, according to ExpressVPN’s research.

    Jury Duty

    The unexpected Freevee hit had everyone rooting for Ronald, an average guy who had no idea he was part of a fake trial. Created by producers from The Officethe show followed a regular man as he served on the jury for a criminal trial. He didn’t know, however, that everyone else in the courtroom, including the judge, were actors. James Marsden pops up as an inflated version of himself, but Ronald is the true star as we see him make choices that better his fellow jurors.

    The Last of Us

    The earliest months of streaming in 2023 were marked by The Last of Us. Starring Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal, the show focused on what life would be like if fungi developed the ability to take over human bodies, thus creating a zombie apocalypse. The key to salvation might be Ramsey’s Ellie who must trek across the United States with Pascal’s reluctant and surly Joel.

    Ted Lasso

    The beloved Apple TV+ show returned for a third and final season this year. In it Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) faced a choice to stay and coach his beloved Richmond Grayhounds or return to the US to be with his son. The season polarized fans who felt that, because of production delays and issues, the show lost direction in the second half.


    Following up its first season in 2021, Loki returned to Disney+ this year. This time Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan joined the mix as TVA agent Ouroboros. This new season found everyone’s favorite reformed Trickster dealing with the fallout of destroying He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors). The second installment ended with great fanfare from fans, who pointed out this may be the last time we see Tom Hiddleston as Loki.


    The Suits viewing surge made waves on social media as fans returned to the show and new ones watched for the first time. Being on both Peacock and Netflix made the show more accessible to viewers.

    Starring Patrick J. Adams, Gabriel Macht, Sarah Rafferty, Meghan Markle, and Rick Hoffman the show followed a genius who scored a job at a prestigious law firm despite lying about his degree.

    What Did You Watch Last Year?

    Though the above five are just a few of our favorites, many more shows captivated audiences. ExpressVPN found that Ginny and Georgia, You, New Amsterdam, Ahsoka, and One Piece all made waves in the streaming world. Those last two make perfect sense as streaming adaptations were a major trend in 2024. Hopefully, the industry-defining shift that happened this year can blossom and prosper in the new year.