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Quality entertainment can be hard to come by, especially for those who are actively trying to stick to a budget. When household expenses need to be slashed, entertainment is usually the first thing to go — and that’s no fun for anybody.

You can help your friends and family out by gifting them a form of entertainment to make up for what they’re missing out on. In this article we explore all kinds of gift cards, subscriptions, and gadgets that are perfect for this, and most of them work just fine as last-minute ideas!

1. Netflix or Hulu

Netflix is one of the safest options for gifting. Its library may be shrinking, but most of what remains is top-notch stuff and there’s something to watch for everyone. Even if you don’t watch dramas or comedies, you can still enjoy documentaries and “slow TV“.

Image Credit: Kaspars Grinvalds via Shutterstock
Image Credit: Kaspars Grinvalds via Shutterstock

Gifting Netflix is easy. Just buy a Netflix Gift Card off Amazon (if you want to do it electronically) or buy a physical gift card available from most major retailers (if you want it to be more personal).

If you think Hulu is more their style — check out our comparison if you aren’t sure Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Which Should You Choose? Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Which Should You Choose? It has been years since we've compared heavy-hitting streaming services, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. And with changes in pricing, content, quality, and interface, we thought it was time to revisit the topic. Read More — then you can purchase a physical gift card from locations like Target, Best Buy, and Walmart. As of this writing, Hulu’s digital gift card program is temporarily suspended due to the system undergoing a revamp.

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2. Spotify, Pandora, Google Music, and iTunes

For the entertainment freak who’s more into music than movies or TV, it doesn’t get much better than Spotify. You can purchase a Spotify Gift Card directly on the website, or you can get a physical card at a major retailer.

Other music-related gift cards include:

  • iTunes Gift Card for purchasing individual songs and albums for keeps. Digital and physical versions available.
  • Apple Music Gift Card for full access to stream Apple’s entire library of music. Digital cards only.
  • Google Play Music Gift Card for full access to stream Google’s entire library of music. Digital cards only.
  • Pandora One Gift Card for ad-free listening to Pandora. It may not be as popular now due to the rise of on-demand music streaming, but it’s still great. Digital and physical cards available.

Not sure which streaming service is the right one to gift? We have an in-depth comparison of Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music you may find insightful, but they’re all pretty good so it’s hard to go wrong here. Go with Pandora only if you know the recipient actively listens to Pandora already.

Note that while many of these services offer Family Plans or other shared plans that can be cheaper overall, such plans are usually excluded from gift card redemptions. Also note that these cards are usually only redeemable in the same country in which they were bought.

3. Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime may not be for everyone, but it’s extremely useful for many! And chances are, gifting Prime to a friend or family member will be met with much gratitude. There are so many benefits to Amazon Prime that this may just be the safest gift idea ever, second only to the Amazon Gift Card.

What kind of entertainment does Prime provide?

Amazon Prime can only be gifted as a one-year subscription for $99 (CA). But for anyone who loves digital entertainment, that price is easily justified.

4. Scribd

Scribd is an excellent choice for someone who prefers reading over other forms of entertainment that involve watching or listening. Its library consists of hundreds of thousands of eBooks, comics, academic papers, and other documents.

Image Credit: Yuganov Konstantin via Shutterstock
Image Credit: Yuganov Konstantin via Shutterstock

What’s nice is that Scribd has special agreements with several major publishing houses, which lend to its massive library size. Some Kindle exclusives aren’t available though. See our comparison of Scribd and Kindle Unlimited to learn more.

Give the gift of Scribd using the dedicated webpage.

5. Audible

If you know someone who loves reading (fiction or non-fiction, it doesn’t matter) but doesn’t have enough time these days to sit back and block out segments of the day for it, then audiobooks can be life-changing What's the Difference Between Podcasts and Audiobooks? What's the Difference Between Podcasts and Audiobooks? It may sound like a simple question, but do you actually know the difference between podcasts and audiobooks? You will if you read this article. Read More — they can be listened to while driving, cleaning, cooking, exercising, or anything else.

Audible is the industry leader for audiobooks, and the nice thing about its gifting program is that you can either gift full memberships or individual titles.

6. Amazon Echo

For music lovers, the Amazon Echo is paradise encased in a cylinder. It provides immersive audio in 360 degrees, responds to hundreds of voice commands, and can stream music from all kinds of services including Spotify, Pandora, Amazon, and more.

But the Echo can be used in lots of other ways too 7 Creative Uses for Amazon Echo and Alexa 7 Creative Uses for Amazon Echo and Alexa You’ve seen the ads starring Alec Baldwin, but you're still not sure what Amazon Echo does or whether you need one in your home. We’re about to find out. Read More , so it’s not just for music lovers. It’s extremely entertaining in its own right.

Amazon Echo - Black Amazon Echo - Black Plays all your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more using just your voice Buy Now At Amazon $179.99

7. Roku or Chromecast

For someone who wants to stream Netflix or Hulu to their TV, there are many media streaming devices The 8 Best Devices for Streaming Movies to Your TV The 8 Best Devices for Streaming Movies to Your TV There are several ways to stream media to your TV, and deciding which way is right for you can be overwhelming. Let us help you explore what's currently available. Read More to choose from — but without a doubt the Roku and the Chromecast are the two strongest options, and we recommend the Roku because it has a slight edge in usability and features.

Not sure which Roku to get? Check out our overview of all Roku devices Which Roku Media Streamer Should You Buy? Which Roku Media Streamer Should You Buy? The current offering is split into five products – the Roku Streaming Stick, and the Roku 1, 2, 3, and 4. This article looks at what each product can offer, and tries to ascertain which... Read More . And whoever you gift it to, be sure to share with them these essential Roku tips Get More Out of Your Roku With These 10 Tips Get More Out of Your Roku With These 10 Tips OK, so you've got your Roku up and running, but you're probably not maximising its usefulness. These 10 tips should help you get the most out of your Roku. Read More and these clever Roku tricks 10 Clever Tricks for Your Roku 10 Clever Tricks for Your Roku Roku boxes are incredibly easy to set up and use, but there are lots of little tips and tricks that will vastly improve your experience. Here are 10 of the best... Read More .

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8. Amazon Kindle

A Kindle is the perfect gift for any avid reader — even those who may think they prefer “real” books Books Suck: Why I Love My Kindle More Than Dead Trees Books Suck: Why I Love My Kindle More Than Dead Trees Modern e-readers hold thousands of novels, weigh next to nothing, have built in lights, and don't give you a concussion when they hit your nose. Read More . The e-Ink technology that powers Kindle screens is nothing like reading on a smartphone or tablet, and some even think it’s superior to paper.

The nice thing about the Kindle is that there are several different models to choose between How to Choose the Right Kindle for You in 2016 How to Choose the Right Kindle for You in 2016 There are currently four different Kindle e-Readers available to buy, from the budget Basic model to the pricey Oasis. But which one is right for you? Let us help you decide... Read More . But if you’re gifting and if you can afford it, the Kindle Oasis is a luxury that’s arguably worth its steep price 3 Compelling Reasons to Buy an Amazon Kindle Oasis 3 Compelling Reasons to Buy an Amazon Kindle Oasis Once you get over the shock of the price of the Kindle Oasis, you'll find that it actually offers a lot of bang for your buck. Here are three reasons to consider buying one. Read More .

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9. GameStop Gift Card

Games are tough to gift. You never know whether a person is going to like a game or not. Even if you know someone’s favorite genres, not all games in that genre are the same.

So if you’re buying a gift for a gamer this year, don’t buy them individual games unless they’ve specifically asked for one. It’s too risky. Just get them a GameStop Gift Card and let them decide. Digital and physical cards are available.

10. Amazon Gift Card

When all else fails, you can always rely on a trusty Amazon Gift Card (CA). This thing is so versatile and valuable that it’s almost equivalent to cold hard cash — the benefit being that it doesn’t feel as impersonal or as desperate as cash.

If you don’t want to gift it electronically, you can opt for the Print-at-Home Amazon Gift Card. Or you could just buy a physical card from any major retailer.

Amazon eGift Card - Winter Scene Amazon eGift Card - Winter Scene Amazon.com Gift Cards never expire and carry no fees. Buy Now At Amazon $50.00

Will You Be Gifting Entertainment This Christmas?

Whatever you do, just make sure you don’t go overboard and ruin your finances just because it’s Christmas 10 Ways to Ruin Your Budget This Christmas 10 Ways to Ruin Your Budget This Christmas Christmas can be a difficult time of the year for your budget. Stick to these tips to make good financial decisions this holiday season. Read More . While it’s always nice to receive gifts, nobody wants that to happen to you.

So tell us, which of these, if any, are you giving as gifts this year? Do you know of any other entertainment-related gifts that we have overlooked? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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