Many websites provide clips or full episodes of past "American Idol" performances, including Hulu, Fox and YouTube. Websites such as Watch Series also provide episode streaming. Other sites, such as Amazon, sell DVDs featuring the show's past performances.
Some of these options focus more on the performances from recent "American Idol" seasons, such as season 14, as of 2015. Hulu, for example, began to provide full-length episodes from season 14 the day after the original air date on its website. To access these episodes, however, a subscription to Hulu Plus is necessary. YouTube contains videos of performances spanning the entire "American Idol" series, free of charge with no subscription required. Streaming performances from sites such as Watch Series is also free, but the videos often lack in quality and may even leave computers more susceptible to viruses.
Available performances include solo and group contestants as well as guest artists. While there are plenty of free viewing options, those who value quality may opt to pay instead. Subscription services, such as Hulu Plus, typically offer full-length episodes rather than short clips. DVD options also provide lengthier material without the buffering and pixelation frequently caused by Internet sources.
"American Idol" originally aired in 2002 and has helped launch the careers of successful singers, such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks and Phillip Phillips.