How to watch Contagion

Best way to watch Contagion (2011) 

Horror season is underway as the days grow shorter and the air crispens. There’s never been a better time to watch the horror/thriller classic, Contagion. There are a variety of apps that offer Contagion streaming through an HBO add-on, which is why we like HBO Max to watch Contagion. Although, if you already subscribe to a streaming service like Hulu, then you can simply add-on HBO Max for an extra $14.99/mo. — which is also the same rate HBO Max is valued as a standalone service.

Unsure if HBO Max is right for you? Don’t worry, you can give HBO’s new streaming app a try for seven days, absolutely free with its trial period.

All the ways to watch Contagion online

Not only is Contagion a prescient film, but it has a star-studded cast including Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow, among others. When a dangerous respiratory virus sweeps throughout the globe, researchers and public health officials race for a cure as public uncertainty festers.

If you don’t want to wait to watch Contagion on cable, you’re in luck! It’s available to stream on select streaming apps, as well as for rental and purchasing options. Contagion may be listed within Hulu’s catalog of available movies, but don’t let that fool you. You’ll need to add HBO to your Hulu subscription to watch. The same goes for YouTube TV. Or, you can sign up for HBO Max today to watch Contagion for no additional cost. Keep in mind, if Contagion appears on a network like AMC, for instance, you can simply sign into the network’s app and enter your TV provider’s information to stream.

Streaming servicePrice
HBO Max$14.99/mo.
Hulu With HBO MaxStarting at $5.99 + $14.99/mo.
YouTube TV With HBO$64.99 + $14.99/mo.

Streaming Contagion

As we mentioned above, HBO Max is the only service where you can currently find a Contagion stream. That said, you can subscribe to HBO Max through some other streaming services, making it convenient to add to your lineup.


HBO Max may be known for its exclusive content, but it also contains a heck of a lot more shows and movies than the traditional HBO app. Altogether, HBO Max offers 10,000+ hours worth of combined content, including HBO classics and timeless hits like Friends, Looney Tunes, South Park and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And if you’re a fan of anime, you’ll appreciate HBO Max’s collection of Miyazaki films like My Neighbor Totoro.

HBO Max costs $14.99/mo. — a buck less than Netflix’s premium plan — and offers numerous features like offline downloads and three simultaneous streams.


As of late, Hulu is known for its addition to the Disney+ bundle, alongside ESPN+, which amounts to only $12.99/mo. Hulu extends a dynamic range of tiers that include Hulu Basic ($5.99/mo.), Hulu Premium ($11.99/mo.), Hulu + Live TV ($54.99/mo.) and Hulu Premium + Live TV ($60.99/mo.).

Hulu picked up a ton of licensed shows from FX and FXX within the past few months, such as Atlanta, Devs, Mrs. America and What We Do in the Shadows. New episodes are available following their premiere on FX national broadcast. Bear in mind, you’ll need to purchase the HBO Max premium add-on ($14.99/mo.) to watch Contagion. There are also a number of horror and thriller movies like Contagion — stream Hostel, Parasite and The Omen without any extra add-ons.

YouTube TV

There’s a lot to appreciate about YouTube TV, like its limitless Cloud DVR storage feature, which lets you record and save content for up to nine months, and access to upwards of 85 channels without any contracts or hidden fees. At $64.99, YouTube TV costs roughly the same as Hulu + Live TV with the unlimited DVR add-on, but it doesn’t include league channels, PBS and Viacom Networks (BET, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon). 

Like with Hulu, you’ll need the $14.99/mo. HBO Max premium add-on to stream Contagion on YouTube TV.  You can also customize your subscription with a variety of other premium add-ons like Cinemax ($9.99/mo.), Showtime ($10.99/mo.), Shudder ($4.99/mo.) and Starz ($8.99/mo.).

Renting vs. buying Contagion

If you’re interested in having long-term access to Contagion, it makes more sense to buy the film. Or, if you just want to watch it once but don’t want to subscribe to HBO Max, a cheaper option is just to rent the film.

Amazon Prime Video

Contagion is available in high definition (HD) on Amazon Prime Video for either rental or purchase. Renting Contagion costs $3.99, and you have 30 days to watch and 48 hours once you press play. Or you can decide to purchase the movie for $9.99 to include in your electronic collection. There’s also an option to watch Contagion for free by signing up for HBO Max’s seven-day free trial.


Vudu provides you with up to two video qualities to watch Contagion, streaming in both standard definition (SD) and HD. The price between SD and HD doesn’t change regardless of which you choose. So, by renting the movie in HD for $3.99, you’re paying the same price as you would for SD. Contagion is available to buy on Vudu as well, priced the same as Amazon Prime Video at $9.99.


If you have your payment information hooked up with your YouTube account, then you can rent or purchase Contagion on the regular YouTube app. YouTube prices its rentals and purchases the same as Prime Video and Vudu, with a rental costing $3.99 and purchase for $9.99.

Our hot take

There are quite a few pipelines that carry Contagion, but they all lead to the same source. That’s why if you’re seeking where to watch Contagion, we think the best place is HBO Max. At least for the time being, the only streaming app to include the movie at no extra cost is HBO’s new video-on-demand (VOD) service. However, if you’d prefer to shell out a few bucks to rent or buy Contagion, consider platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Vudu or YouTube.

There’s also a way to watch Contagion for free. Simply sign up for HBO Max and you’ll get your first seven days free. If you’re unimpressed with its service after watching Contagion, just cancel before your trial period is up and you won’t be charged.

Zack Kulm

Zack Kulm is a writer and contributor of He covers a variety of topics from entertainment and gaming technologies to pop culture commentary. Kulm received a degree in English from Penn State University and Film Studies from Pittsburgh Filmmakers Institute. He also produces award-winning documentaries.