In the world of on-demand TV, traditional television is starting to feel obsolete. Many people cannot even imagine going back to scrolling aimlessly through TV channels or sitting through commercials. With on-demand TV you can watch the shows you want to watch when you want to watch them.
It also brought us the sport of binge-watching which almost became an Olympic discipline after 2020.
Speaking of 2020, headlines such as “Netflix gets 16 million new sign-ups thanks to lockdown” or “Netflix Traffic Hits All-Time Highs Amid Coronavirus Pandemic” were a common occurrence. Netflix has been in the industry of bringing us movies since 1997 and doing it by streaming TV shows since 2007.
As of 2013, they started producing their TV shows and since then they have released many popular shows such as Stranger Things, The Crown, House of Cards, The Queen’s Gambit, Narcos, and many more.
This service is great in many ways – a rich library, a single account available on up to 4 devices, affordable pricing, offline playback, compatibility with multiple devices, an ad-free experience, etc. On top of that, they invest a lot of effort and are successful at providing an excellent user experience.
However, apart from wanting to have their options open, one might want to look into Netflix alternatives for the following reasons: geoblocking (unless you use a VPN) which limits the viewing library based on one’s location, slow episode updates, lack of live sports, the right they reserve to remove shows from their library (which can be a pain if you started watching something they chose to remove).
Luckily, there are many alternatives available, some are free, others are paid but they all come with a different set of features that may make them the right choice for you.
Free Netflix alternatives 😅
With free streaming alternatives, you will likely not get the same quality of user experience and you might even have a thing or two to say about the video quality.
On the other hand, some of the more popular streaming platforms pay attention to the impression they leave on the users and make sure their users have a good time while using the service.
You could also be limited due to the choice of devices a service is compatible with. Some don’t have mobile apps, while others are limited to mobile apps only. A great thing is that, with many of them, you can also cast the content to android TV.
Another downfall could be that a free library might not be as rich as Netflix’s library and it lacks some of the latest releases. However, depending on what your tastes are, the library you are looking at could even suit you better as smaller TV streaming services often feature independent movies and high-quality TV shows not available on Netflix. If libraries are your main concern, you're better off watching Netflix with a VPN than using a free streaming services.
Finally, since you are getting the content for free you will probably have to deal with a number of ads and pop-ups. However, at the end of the day, you will be able to stream TV shows and movies which is what you are in for.
Some of the streaming platforms worth looking into are:
With a dedicated free streaming section, on top of their movie and TV, shows rental
A great free option available on many smart TV makes. Their offer includes a vast variety of movies, TV shows, and TV channels.
More than 250 live channels combined with on-demand TV content, compatible with pretty much any device
Easy-to-use would be an understatement as they offer some of their titles on their YouTube channel.
TV streaming by the broadcast network, streaming their shows and some of the recent movies. Available on gaming consoles, streaming devices, mobile, and smart TVs.
Paid Netflix Alternatives
The arena of paid streaming platforms does not lack choices. With the many features they offer and their rich content, it is all in you getting your priorities right.
If your only reason to switch from Netflix is a show they're missing, you should try watching from a different geolocation using a VPN.
1. Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video Review 📘
Amazon Prime Video might be a fresh streaming platform, but it is a streaming platform brought to the vast audience of Amazon users. With original, as well as other TV shows and movies, Amazon Prime Video offers a subscription for the service, as well as the Amazon Prime membership.
Amazon Prime membership offers all-encompassing access to Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Prime Music, and Amazon online store including certain free shipping categories, etc.
Fandor Review 📚
Fandor is a great Netflix alternative for those that want to look into a slightly different video library. Fandor’s video library contains a variety of movies from around the world as well as indie movies.
The service is available on PC, as well as iOS and Android devices, Roku, Kindle Fire, etc.
Hulu Review 📕
Hulu is doing their best to cater to many customers which is why they’ve designed different subscriptions for different tier users.
- On-demand streaming with commercials
- On-demand streaming without commercials
- On-demand streaming + live TV
- Additional charges for additional premium channels and services such as Disney, HBO Max, ESPN, Cinemax, etc.
With Hulu, you’ll get easy access to most hit tv series as they have deals for exclusive content with several broadcasting networks.
Disney+ Review 📕
Disney+ is a video streaming service giving you access to an abundance of family-friendly content. If you are into the magical world of Disney, as well as Star Wars, Marvel, or Pixar, as well as National Geographic then this is the platform for you.
You can purchase their standalone subscription or buy a service combining Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+.
Shudder Review 📕
Do you like the rush you get from giving yourself a scare here and there?
If this is the case, Shudder is the service for you. It mainly focuses on the horror section bringing you both classics and more recent titles.
6. HBO Max
HBO Max Review 📕
HBO Max is practically an HBO upgrade. The HBO Go and HBO Now services were made obsolete. With HBO Max you can watch HBO programming topped with various Warner media’s content. With many extraordinary original titles, HBO is one of the most popular Netflix alternatives.
It also pairs up with other services, such as Hulu, where it acts like an add-on bringing the extra content.
Paramount+ Review 📕
Unlike some services from this list, Paramount + attracts a specific audience due to its content (not as an absolute rule). It features Star Trek and its follow-up shows.
Apart from that, this streaming service that is formerly known as CBS All Access also offers some of the most popular reality TV shows ever such as Survivor, Love Island, and Big Brother. Apart from the variety of CBS content, you will have access to content from Nickelodeon, The Smithsonian Channel, Comedy Central, MTV, and BET.
Similar to Netflix, some of these services are also geoblocked and are either not available in certain parts of the world, or offer different content in different parts of the world. If this is the hurdle you wanted to jump with a Netflix alternative, you can simply resort to using a VPN. With the right VPN, you could have access to a large network of servers allowing you to access a streaming platform from any location while providing a stable and secure connection.
While Netflix is the leader in its field, many competitors are worthy of being in the race for its title. The list of all streaming services cannot fit a single article. Some of them are free, some require subscriptions, while others have a pay-as-you-go model. It is all in finding the alternative which suits you the best with its features, layout, content, and pricing model.
It’s no secret that Netflix is a giant in the online video content industry. It has seemingly unlimited content that ranges from breaking news to children’s entertainment to live streaming content. The platform does a solid job of using algorithms to suggest new content to its users as well. Even if your geolocation is missing some of the shows you want to watch, it's not complicated to change your Netflix region.
Nonetheless, Netflix does have several strong competitors such as those mentioned above. If you’re worried about your digital privacy or interested in seeing what else the internet has to offer in terms of video and streaming content, check out the above options!