Here's a guide to all the TV streaming services you could ever want
Not long ago, it was crazy to imagine that there would be more than just the four major networks, and now, some of the best shows on television are being made on Sundance or FXX. Over the last few years, the overflow of TV has found its way to the internet, where Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video aren’t just putting out content, they are putting out A LOT of it, much of it to critical and commercial acclaim. While those three have separated themselves from the streaming competition, there are plenty of other places to go for content both old and new, whether you’re looking to watch anime, catch-up with some Jersey Shore alums, or find out when winter is finally coming.
Here is a rundown of your online streaming options.
SERVICES WITH ORIGINAL CONTENT
If British murder mysteries, comedies, and even documentaries are your cup of tea, then this American-based subscription service, with its extensive lineup of programming from across the pond, is perfect for you. Bonus: It also offers shows from Australia and Canada.
Sample Programming: And Then There Were None, Miranda, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
Cost: $4.99/month; $49.99/annual
We might know more about Apple’s streaming service as soon as next week, but for now, the tech giant remains characteristically tight-lipped. All we do know is that it will offer original content (Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell are headling a morning show-set drama) as well as access to third-party programs and individual channel subscriptions. On top of this, it may also offer some content that’s currently exclusive to other platforms like Netflix and Hulu, although this depends also on those two company’s willingness to part with the exclusivity of some of its content. No official price has been released, and predictions currently range from $15 to $40 per month.
Do you remember little Daniel Radcliffe before he was Harry Potter? Oh, you don’t? Well, you can see him here, along with a slew of other stars (Helen Mirren, Emma Thompson, Tom Hiddleston, and so many more) in their early British works. BBC Worldwide and ITV have joined forces for this new subscription VOD service featuring the best of British TV past and present.
Sample Programming: Cracker, Miss Marple, EastEnders, Prime Suspect, Gavin & Stacey
CBS ALL ACCESS
Stream CBS live, plus watch old episodes of CBS shows on demand. The service offers up a library of more than 8,500 episodes, including current shows like Elementary and throwbacks like Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. You can also catch NFL games. Something tells us you’ll be signing up so you can watch exciting originals coming soon, too.
Original Series: The Good Fight, Star Trek: Discovery, Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone
Cost: $5.99/month for limited commercials, $9.99/month for commercial-free streaming
THE CRITERION COLLECTION
Miss FilmStruck? The Criterion Channel has you covered. The Criterion Collection’s new streaming service (launching April 8) will feature curated selections from the company’s library as well as original content, such as exclusive interviews with acclaimed filmmakers. Sign up now and you can watch a specially selected movie of the week, dropping online every Wednesday.
Cost: $9.99/month; $89.99/annual
Anime lovers can get their fix with this streaming platform, which features hundreds of Japanese series, including Bleach, Dragon Ball Super, and Naruto Shippuden. Crunchyroll is free, but for a small monthly fee, subscribers get the benefit of no ads and being able to stream many series within an hour of their broadcast in Japan.
Cost: $6.95 for premium membership per month, $11.95 for premium+ membership per month
Didn’t care for 2018’s Aquaman? Try the 2006 TV pilot! This service hosts all sorts of DC content, including original series like Titans and Doom Patrol, shows and movies both live-action and animated from DC’s catalog (including Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman show), and even selected comics.
Cost: $7.99/monthly; $74.99/annual
Disney’s much-hyped streaming service doesn’t have an official launch date yet, but once it debuts, Disney+ will be the exclusive streaming home of the company’s movie library, including Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel films. Disney also has a plethora of original content planned for the platform, such as the Star Wars series The Mandalorian and a remake of Lady and the Tramp.
Facebook’s free streaming platform has several original series available, including Queen America, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones (!), Will Smith’s Bucket List, and the news show Anderson Cooper Full Circle, as well as some live sports. Shows range in length from around 5 to 50 minutes. You can also stream every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly on the platform.
In the past, if you wanted to go inside the New Jersey mob or go north of the wall, you’d have to subscribe to HBO on your cable platform. But now, the network’s extensive catalog is being offered as a standalone service. HBO Now includes the full runs of historic series such as The Wire and The Sopranos, plus the current seasons of hits like Westworld and Last Week Tonight.
Sample Programming: None yet, but Jon Stewart has a development deal to create daily online content for the service.
With a 2020 launch date, the network’s service will be free to NBCUniversal pay-cable subscribers in the U.S., and paid for by advertising by default, but an ad-free version will also be available for a fee. Otherwise, non-pay-TV customers can pay around $12/month for the service. It will also be available to subscribers of both Comcast, NBCU’s parent company, and Europe’s Sky Television. It is expected to feature original content and programming from outside partners as well as material from the company’s archives.
This is the free streaming channel from PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly. Watch unlimited, full-length episodes at PEOPLE.com/PeopleTV or download the app for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, Xfinity, iOS, and Android devices.
Original Series: EW Reunites, Dirty Laundry, Couch Surfing, Hollywood’s Greatest Untold Stories
Viewers can subscribe to Showtime without paying for a cable package. The service allows users to access Showtime content on the internet as well as on Apple and Roku devices.
Sample Programming: The Affair, Homeland, Masters of Sex, Shameless
For those streaming on a budget, look no further. Sony’s Crackle is completely free and has a wide range of TV and movies, from the canceled-too-soon cult favorite Happy Endings to critically acclaimed flicks like Do the Right Thing.
Original Series: The Oath (starring Ryan Kwanten, Katrina Law, and Sean Bean), Rob Riggle’s Ski Master Academy
Sundance Now offers award-winning films, documentaries, and TV series — including Sundance Now Originals and hard-to-find classics — as well as curated collections by industry tastemakers.
Sample Programming: The Bureau, Nobu’s Japan, Iconoclasts
Set to launch in late 2019, the now-AT&T subsidiary’s streaming service will feature content from HBO as well as brands such as DC, Looney Tunes, Turner, The CW and CNN, along with its hallmark franchises Wonder Woman, Harry Potter, LEGO, and Lord of the Rings, plus a trove of classic films. It will be partially supported by ads, meaning it will include subscription-based, commercial-free programming on the high-end — like HBO or Netflix offers, but the entry-level echelon of content will be ad-supported.
This enhanced experience of the YouTube platform allows you to watch videos without ads and even download them onto mobile devices to watch offline. It also offers access to its slowly growing library of original content featuring series created by and featuring certain popular YouTubers. What’s more, videos on the mobile app keep playing uninterrupted — perfect for when you accidentally exit to answer a call or text.
Original Series: Cobra Kai, Escape the Night, Lazer Team
NO ORIGINAL CONTENT, BUT GREAT LIBRARIES
Theater fans, rejoice! This service works with Thirteen to round up filmed productions of plays and musicals in one place so you can experience Broadway without going broke. They also have plans to film even more shows under the BroadwayHD Originals banner.
Original Titles: Old Hats, The Woodsman
Cost: $8.99/month; $99.99/annual
- Part movie streaming service, part film publication, Fandor is committed to the community. You’ll find news, original video essays, and quality hand-picked films in all different genres. Fandor gives 50 percent of revenue to the films’ rights holders.
- Cost: $5.99/month; $49.99/annual
Mubi is the ultimate destination for film buffs — the service streams a curated selection of indie flicks, foreign films, and hundreds of critically acclaimed mainstream favorites like Pulp Fiction and Goodfellas. The site also has a magazine that showcases interviews, movie reviews, and behind-the-scenes peeks, and a digital platform for fans to discuss what they’re loving.
- Though you probably could’ve guessed by its name, we’ll reassure you that your chances of finding a cute romantic comedy on Screambox are pretty slim. That’s because Screambox is home to hundreds of uncut and commercial-free horror movies and television programs from all around the world. The service is currently available on Xbox 360, iPad, Roku, PlayStation, Android tablets, Samsung Smart TVs, and Kindle Fire TVs.
- Cost: $4.99/month; $35.88/annual
- Shudder has a library of films to satisfy any horror fanatic, whether your favorite subgenre is gore, slasher, supernatural, or psychological. Also included in the user experience is Shudder.TV, the app’s own channel with horror films and television shows personally picked by curators. Shudder is currently available on iOS and Android devices and Roku.
- Cost: $4.99/month
- Spuul offers 10,000 hours of Bollywood flicks in all different genres. The movies are available for streaming in more than six different Indian regional languages, and you can download any movie you want to watch offline.
- Cost: $4.99/month; $49.99 annual
Actors, directors, and more industry insiders curate this selection of must-watch movies.
Tubi TV offers an escape from subscription fees by allowing users to stream popular movies and television shows for the low, low cost of… well, absolutely nothing. But with a free streaming service comes ads, as you probably could’ve guessed. Tubi TV is available on Android and iOS mobile devices as well as OTT streaming devices such as Roku, Apple TV, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, and more.
- Viki specializes in Asian movies and TV shows (specifically Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Taiwanese content). The title is a combination of the words video and wiki and crowdsources subtitles in multiple languages from fans.
- Cost: Standard plan = $49.99/annual; Plus plan = $99.99/annual