Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime—the Holy Trinity of streaming. This may be an unpopular opinion, BUT there are a ton of low-key streaming services out there that may actually be better than The Big Three.
I’ll be straight, I still pledge my allegiance to the three and probably always will. That said, now that I’ve broadened my streaming horizons, I can be super picky when it comes to what I want to watch. Maybe I’m in the mood for a classic cult movie, or perhaps I want to give the world of anime a go. Heck, how about I just throw caution to the wind and tap into that documentary niche.
When the ‘flix, Hulu, and APrime don’t cut it for me, I’ll now turn my TV-viewing options over to one of these bad boys below. There is so much great content to choose from that binge-watching is basically a given. Grab yourself a portable charger on the way out the door and squeeze into the open seat on the train, then sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
Pegged as the “Netflix for Nonfiction,” the platform offers more than 1,800 titles that cover science, technology, history, nature, and more. It feeds into a whole new kind of community that can’t get enough of docu-binging (yes, this is a thing). Not sure where to begin? Try Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places, which was a hit among critics and fans alike.
Platforms? Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Android, iPhone, iPad, Amazon Fire TV, Smart TVs and Xbox One, Xfinity (Comcast), Sling TV, VRV, and Layer3TV
How much? Packages start at $2.99/month
Oh, the horror! No, really. This platform is all about horror, thrillers, and suspense. Created by the gang over at AMC Networks, the service feeds into the superfans of horror dramas. From movies to original series, let’s just say, you’ll be sleeping with the lights on for a while.
Platforms? iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, and smart TVs (Samsung)
How much? $3.99/month
If you are #TeamBBC, this one goes out to you. Acorn TV streams mysteries, dramas, and comedies from Britain and beyond. With new shows added weekly, it’s easy to discover a favorite flick from the dozens of programs available.
Platforms? Desktop, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and smart TVs (Samsung)
How much? $4.99/month
Crunchyroll really puts the “me” in anime. It offers fans a personalized experience with an entire library of anime and manga. Popular hits include Naruto Shippuden, Attack on Titan, and Dragon Ball Super.
Platforms? Desktop, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Wii U
How much? Free with ads, or $6.99/month for non-ads
Not everyone has an eye for cinema quite like a movie critic. That’s why, when awards season rolls in, most people can’t understand how some movies rack up all the noms. What one commoner may see as a snooze fest, someone with a more refined taste may look at as a cinematic masterpiece. If you fall in with the latter group, Fandor is the platform for you.
Platforms? Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android, iOS, and Kindle
How much? $10/month
With each scroll, this streaming service gives the feel of browsing the aisles of a video or DVD rental. The brand offers about 350 movies and dozens of TV series that have long been declared cult favorites. Think: ‘90s cult classic Mystery Science Theater 3000, as well as Rifftrax, Film Crew, and Cinematic Titanic. Maybe you’re familiar with these titles, or perhaps they don’t ring a bell. Either way, if you’re a pop culture aficionado, this is what you need to be watching.
Platforms? Desktop and mobile/tablet web browser, Roku, Apple TV, Twitch, Amazon Prime, Samsung Smart TV, Xumo, Vewd, Comcast Xfinity
How much? Free with ads, or $2.99 via Amazon Channels
Every gamer should know all about Twitch, but if not, prepare to be enlightened. The site lets users create conversations as they watch TV series marathons, esport tournaments, and all kinds of video game streaming—including epic tournaments.
Platforms? iOS, Android, NVIDIA SHIELD, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Chromecast.
How much? Free with ads, or $9/month for non-ads.