Netflix may be one of the biggest and most well-known video streaming services in the world, but it sure isn’t the only one. There are a lot of Netflix alternatives out there that will keep you entertained every night, some of which are even free. Here are the best ones you should try out.
Best Netflix alternatives:
- Amazon Prime Video
- HBO Now
- CBS All Access
- Acorn TV
- Tubi TV
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Netflix alternatives regularly as new streaming services launch.
1. Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is one of the best — if not the best — Netflix alternatives. It offers plenty of popular movies and TV shows, and has great original programming. The shows that stand out are The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Man In The High Castle, and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, to name a few. You can check out more original series available on Amazon Prime Video in our dedicated article here.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, the Prime Video service is included in your subscription. Amazon Prime costs $12.99 per month and also includes free shipping on a bunch of products sold by the retailer, Amazon’s Prime Reading service, and more. Amazon Prime Video is also available as a standalone service and goes for $8.99 per month.
2. HBO Now
HBO’s video streaming service has a lot to offer. From the latest hit shows like Chernobyl to older ones like The Sopranos, you will always find something interesting to watch. Other great HBO shows worth mentioning include Westworld, Game of Thrones, and Barry. There are also a number of upcoming shows to get excited about such as His Dark Materials and The Outsider — check out a few others here.
HBO Now retails for $14.99, making it $2 more expensive than Netflix’s standard plan and a dollar cheaper than the premium plan that offers 4K streaming. It’s definitely not the cheapest service on this list, but it’s still worth the money because of all the great content it offers.
Hulu is home to old and new hit TV series like the Simpsons, Seinfeld, ER, and Futurama. There are also a few original shows available, including the popular The Handmaid’s Tale. What makes Hulu special is that it releases new episodes of some of the most popular shows around a day or so after they are aired on TV. Netflix, on the other hand, generally releases an entire season of a certain show at once, so you have to wait longer to start watching it.
Hulu starts at just $5.99 per month but includes ads. There’s also an ad-free plan available, which will set you back $11.99 per month. You can also customize Hulu with add-ons including Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, and HBO or even get a plan with Live TV channels (ABC, FOX, CNN, etc.) for $45.99 per month. Hulu truly is a great Netflix alternative, but only in the U.S. and Japan. Unlike Netflix, the service isn’t available in other countries.
The main reason why Sony’s Crackle is one of the best Netflix alternatives is because it’s completely free. It also offers plenty of great content including cult classics like Starship Troopers, critically acclaimed Hollywood films like Whiplash, and popular shows like Seinfeld. There are around 150 feature-length movies and 75 shows available on the platform.
There are a few drawbacks to consider, with the biggest one being that the service is ad-supported. You will usually have to sit through a 30-second commercial before your movie or show begins, followed by up to three additional ads for shows and nine for movies longer than an hour and a half.
5. CBS All Access
If you’re a fan of CBS shows, this is the Netflix alternative to go with. It’s doesn’t offer nearly as much content as Netflix, but it has a lot of great shows on offer including NCIS, Blue Bloods, The Big Bang Theory, and Young Sheldon, among others. There are also a number of classic shows you can watch like Frasier and a few originals including The Twilight Zone. Combined, there are over 10,000 episodes available.
In addition to content on demand, the service offers live sports streams and local news coverage. Pricing in the U.S. starts at $5.99 and goes up to $9.99 if you want an ad-free experience. CBS All Access is only available in the U.S. and Canada and, unlike Netflix, doesn’t support 4K or HDR streaming.
6. Acorn TV
Acorn TV is home to classic and current shows from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and a few other countries. It’s a fantastic Netflix alternative, offering popular TV shows like Inspector George Gently, Doc Martin, Midsomer Murders, and plenty of others. Most Americans are not familiar with these shows, but trust me, they are definitely worth watching. There are also a few movies available, but the selection isn’t very big.
Acorn TV isn’t as widely available as Netflix, as you can only get it in the U.S. and Canada. It costs $5.99 per month in the states and doesn’t include ads. The biggest drawback of the service is that, unlike with Netflix, you can’t download content to watch it offline.
YouTube is a great free Netflix alternative, although it’s a bit different than the other options on this list. You’ll find a few great movies on the platform including Better Off Dead and The Blair Witch Project, as well as a number of episodes from various TV shows like the hilarious Mr. Bean and the classy crime-fighting Columbo.
However, the overall selection of movies and TV shows isn’t nearly as good as what you get with Netflix and other streaming services like Hulu. But you do get to watch other types of content including vlogs from popular creators like Casey Neistat, funny cat videos, or smartphone reviews. Sometimes, these types of videos are more entertaining than the latest episode of Stranger Things.
Fandor is aimed at movie buffs. It offers over 4,000 indie, foreign, and documentary films, most of which you likely won’t find on streaming services like Netflix. You have a selection of both new and old titles and can filter them by the country of production. There are 28 of them available including Australia, Germany, Japan, and Spain, to mention a few.
Fandor isn’t the best option for those looking to watch the latest mainstream movies. For that, you’re better of staying with a service like Netflix. But if you’re into independent and classic movies, Fandor might just be up your alley. The monthly subscription will set you back $5.99.
9. Tubi TV
Like Crackle, Tubi TV is a free and ad-supported video streaming service. But unlike Crackle, Tubi TV doesn’t have any original programming and has no intention of going down that road. The service has over 50,000 titles in its library it secured in partnerships with studios like Lionsgate, Paramount, and MGM.
As this is a free service, don’t expect to see the latest and greatest movies or any current high-profile TV shows. But there’s still a lot of great content to watch, no matter which genre you’re into. You can watch old gangster movies like Juice starring Tupac or the Japanese film Battle Royale, which inspired games like PUBG and Fortnite. Tubi TV also has a dedicated section on its site called “Not on Netflix” which basically shows you the content you won’t find on the rival platform.
Unlike Netflix and most other streaming services, Mubi doesn’t offer a lot of content. It only has a rotating collection of 30 titles that change daily — Mubi adds a new movie every day and deletes one at the same time. It offers classic, independent, as well as award-winning films from around the globe. And in case you run out of things to watch before the month ends, you can rent an extra movie or two from Mubi.
Rentals start at $2.99 and go up to $5.99 per movie, while a monthly subscription for the service will set you back $10.99. Mubi is a great Netflix alternative overall, although the lack of content may be a deal-breaker for some. But on the other hand, with only 30 movies available, it’s easier and faster to choose the one you want to watch.
Bonus: Upcoming Netflix alternatives
Netflix will be facing even more competition soon, with a number of great video streaming services launching in the near future. The ones worth mentioning include HBO Max, which is expected to either be a replacement or an upgraded version of HBO Now. It’s said to offer 10,000 hours of content that will include shows like Pretty Little Liars, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Friends, in addition to all current HBO original series and movies. The service should launch in spring 2020 in the U.S. — learn more here.
Next up is Disney Plus, which will be home for lots of exclusive movies and TV series including new Pixar, Marvel Studios, and Star Wars content. It will also offer all the popular movies from the Disney brand like Mickey Mouse, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, and more. Disney Plus will launch first in the U.S. on November 12 and will retail for $6.99 a month.
The iPhone maker is also gearing up to launch its streaming service, which will be called Apple TV Plus. The company plans to spend billions on original programming to rival Netflix and other platforms. It already shared a few shows we can expect, which fall into different genres — check them out here. The service will launch this fall.
The last upcoming Netflix alternative worth mentioning is NBCUniversal, which will launch a streaming service supported by ads sometime next year. It will be free for those with a subscription to NBC, Comcast Cable, or Sky, while others will have to pay a monthly free. You’ll be able to watch all the best shows from the network including Parks and Recreation, This Is Us, and Chicago Med, just to name a few.
There you have it, folks — these are the best current and upcoming Netflix alternatives in our opinion. All the paid options on this list offer free trials, so we suggest you take advantage of them to figure out which one is right for you.
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