Streaming has become an invaluable part of our lives. Whether it’s free video content, often accompanied by ads, a paid subscription service, or listening to audiobooks while commuting, it can a good portion of our day. And it’s becoming exclusive – for many, it has replaced watching television, a pastime activity ingrained in us for decades. And what’s even better – the streaming market has only started to grow! But, that also means there are too many options sometimes, and many well-known TV shows and/or movies are limited to certain streaming platforms. For that reason, here are some of the best Netflix alternatives to consider.
First on our list of services like Netflix is Hulu, one of its biggest competitors. You might have seen the logo while watching their top original show, The Handmaid’s Tale, or shows such as Little Fires Everywhere, Future Man, Castle Rock, and High Fidelity. There’s plenty of other content to watch for a small price of $5.99 per month. Keep in mind, you’ll still see ads. To completely get rid of them, you need an $11.99 per month subscription. Oh, and Hulu is limited to the United States area, so you have to use a VPN if you live outside or are on vacation.
In terms of services most similar to Netflix, Disney+ or Disney Plus is very close. Disney is a big-time production company, which carried over to their streaming service. You can watch all of the movies in the Star Wars franchise, for example, as well as Marvel, and Pixar. One of their best-known exclusive TV series is The Mandalorian which debuted in 2019 to critical acclaim. The service is relatively cheap, at $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year. Unlike Hulu, it is expanding outside of the USA, to certain European countries, India, and Japan.
If you haven’t heard of Amazon, you must be living under a rock. Well, the parent company has a streaming service since 2007. Amazon Prime members get it for free as part of their subscription, but newcomers have to pay $8.99 per month to use it. What can you watch on it? Plenty, but we will mention some of the best TV shows – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Man in the High Castle, Good Omens, Homecoming, Hanna, Carnival Row, Hunters, and many others.
4. Apple TV+
Apple, in its ever-present struggle to stay relevant and dabble in as many things as possible, has also moved into streaming. And, unlike the reputation they have, the streaming service is one of the cheapest you can find, excluding free, at only $4.99 per month. Granted, the number of movies and TV shows won’t be as large as already established services but is still sufficient for the price. We also need to mention that the service works outside of the United States – in more than 120 countries. With that said, you can watch Servant, Home Before Dark, See, Defending Jacob, The Morning Show, and more.
5. HBO Max
There are many similar services in the portfolio, such as HBO Now, HBO GO, and HBO Max, which confuses a lot of us. We’ll focus on HBO Max, which is, unfortunately, the most expensive service on our list, at $14.99 per month. That makes it slightly cheaper than Netflix’s Standard subscription. But it is comprehensive, allowing you to binge shows such as Westworld, Game of Thrones, Barry, Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Big Bang Theory, South Park, Doctor Who, Pretty Little Liars, and much more.
Vudu service is around since 2004 but was sold to Walmart in 2010. It focused on purchasing, renting, and watching movies and TV shows, digitally or physically, from the very beginning. It was sold to NBCUniversal in July 2020, and in so doing, expanded its goals on offering on-demand streaming services. Unlike Netflix, you can’t get a license and watch all of the content. But, if you have the patience to occasionally watch advertisements, you can also stream a lot of stuff for free. Otherwise, you’ll pay between $0.99 and $5.99 for renting, and between $4.99 and $24.99 for purchasing movies.
7. Pluto TV
Next on our list is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best free video streaming alternatives to Netflix. It was purchased by CBSViacom in 2019, which makes it all the more surprising they don’t charge a penny. In its core are two streaming services, Live TV and On Demand. The former allows you to see hundreds of live channels as if you were watching them on your TV, which is great. The latter is very close to Netflix, offering a wide variety of movies, TV shows (CSI, Star Trek), and certain content about sports, children, or even people speaking Spanish.
This streaming platform, released in 2020, focuses primarily on smart devices, both iOS, and Android. And, unlike Netflix, focuses only on shows lasting around 10 minutes each, hence the name, Qui(ck) Bi(tes). The platform has original series starring well-known actors such as Anna Kendrick, Liam Hemsworth, Christoph Waltz, Kevin Hart, Jennifer Lopez, Nish Kumar. You can also watch news and entertainment shows in a short-format, making it easy to stay updated without wasting your precious time. Quibi offers a 14-day free trial before you commit to paying $4.99 with ads, and $7.99 without.
9. Acorn TV
Here’s something different, at least when the United States audience is concerned. Acorn TV is based on movies and TV shows from the United Kingdom, exclusively. It has a good mix of original and licensed series from Great Britain and Ireland, such as Manhunt, Coastal Railways, Doc Martin, Agatha Raisin, Midsomer Murders, Line of Duty, Murdoch Mysteries, and much more. The service is only available in the United States and Canada and offers a 7-day free trial. After that, it’ll be $4.99 per month out of your pocket.
Do you consider yourself an old soul or a lover of old-school movies? Are you a patient person or someone who plans their budget meticulously? Then perfect, Crackle is for you! This platform offers streaming movies and TV shows free of charge. They are typically cult classics from between 1950 and 1990, but there are new things added all the time. The platform is supported by ads, hence the patience required. For a movie that lasts an hour and a half, you’ll need to watch a 30-seconds ad before it starts, and about 10 ads throughout the movie’s duration.