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.
Read more: Best streaming services
Here are the best ones you should try out.
Best Netflix alternatives:
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, The Boys, 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 Max
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 The Nevers and The Undoing — check out a few others here.
In addition, HBO Max includes tons of additional content not found on HBO. That includes sitcoms like Friends, The Big Bang Theory, South Park, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and TV dramas like Doctor Who and Pretty Little Liars. It also has classic and current Warner Bros. movies that are not currently on the HBO cable channel. You can also stream shows from several of WarnerMedia’s other cable TV channels like TNT, TBS, TruTV, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and CNN. Finally, there are selections of movies from Criterion, along with anime from Crunchyroll and Studio Ghibli.
HBO Max 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 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 US and Japan. Unlike Netflix, the service isn’t available in other countries.
The main reason why Crackle is one of the best Netflix alternatives is that it’s completely free. It also offers plenty of great content including cult classics, critically acclaimed Hollywood films and popular TV shows. 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 US 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 US and Canada and, unlike Netflix, doesn’t support 4K or HDR streaming.
6. Disney Plus
If you don’t already know about Disney Plus, we’d be surprised. The service launched in mid-November in the US and other parts of the world. If you have kids, it is a great Netflix alternative, with tons of classic and current family movies and TV shows to watch under one service. You can watch nearly all the Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel Cinematic Universe movies on Disney Plus as well.
The price for Disney Plus on its own is $6.99 a month, or $69.99 for an annual subscription. There used to be a seven-day free trial but it was recently discontinued. However, you might also be able to get it free. It’s currently available currently in the US, India, Japan, and a number of European countries, and will expand to even more European territories in September.
7. 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 US 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 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, 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.
9. Pluto TV
Pluto TV has become hugely popular over the last year, mainly because it’s completely free to use. Pluto TV actually offers two streaming services. One is formatted like a cable TV provider, offering hundreds of channels to stream. You can watch live news coverage from several outlets, or watch classic films and TV shows. There are channels for sports fans, kids, and Spanish-language audiences. CBSViacom bought Pluto TV in 2019 and it’s been slowly adding content from its library, including most recently channels devoted to Star Trek and CSI, with more on the way. You can also watch movies and TV shows on demand. If you don’t want to spend any money, Pluto TV is one of the best Netflix alternatives.
Shudder is the best of the Netflix alternatives for horror movie fans. Even if you are not a fan of the genre, Shudder might make you one with its diverse programming. The service always has a number of original movies it debuts every month, and they almost always get great reviews for how they stretch the horror genre. The service also has classic horror films, along with little-seen gems. It’s also branching out into original TV shows, including the acclaimed anthology series Creepshows.
In the US, it costs $5.99 a month, or you can sign up for an annual subscription for $56.99, or $4.75 a month. It also has a seven-day free trial.
Like Acorn TV, Britbox is one of the best streaming services devoted to British TV content. You can watch tons of comedy, drama, and most especially the many great British detective dramas that have been released over the decades. Doctor Who fans can also watch all of the “classic” episodes from the sci-fi drama on Britbox. Best of all, fans of the classic British soap operas like Eastenders, Coronation Street, and more can watch new episodes on Britbox just hours after their UK debut. The service also continues to add new shows to its lineup.
In the US, you can get BritBox for $6.99 a month, or for $69.99 for an annual subscription. It’s a great bargain for people who want an alternative to Netflix, and you can bet almost none of Britbox’s content will be available on Netflix.
12. Apple TV Plus
Apple TV Plus is a great Netflix alternative right away because of its low price; it’s just $4.99 a month. For that price, you can get high quality shows made for families (Snoopy in Space, Helpsters) and series for adults (The Morning Show, See, For All Mankind, and more). Apple TV Plus continues to add new programs on a regular basis.
While its library of content can’t match Netflix, its quality is certainly solid. Another big plus for this service is that it’s available in over 120 countries right off the bat.
Quibi is a very different Netflix alternative. It’s made mainly for mobile devices (iOS and Android) but the service is working on casting content to supported TVs. Quibi offers new shows with episodes that are less than 10 minutes each. This is supposed to allow people on the go to watch Quibi episodes quickly. Over 50 shows are currently available to stream on the service, ranging from scripted dramas and comedies to reality shows, documentaries, and daily news programs. It costs $4.99 a month with ads, or $7.99 a month without ads. There’s a 14-day free trial available.
After months of waiting, NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service finally launched in mid- July. Its biggest feature is that much of its content is free to stream (with ads) so you can watch classic series like Parks and Recreation, Two and a Half Men, Battlestar Galactica, and more. It will also be the exclusive streaming home for The Office starting in January 2021. If you want to watch even more content, and Peacock originals like the very adult sci-fi series Brave New World, you can pay $4.99 a month for Peacock Premium (with ads) or $9.99 a month (without ads). There is a seven-day free trial
Bonus – Other Netflix alternatives
Other Netflix alternatives that are available include:
- Starz – The cable TV channel also has a streaming version. It offers thousands of movies, some classic TV shows, and recent shows like Power, Outlander, and many more.
- Showtime – Here’s another cable TV channel with a streaming component. It’s biggest drawn is its acclaimed list of exclusive shows, including Homeland, Billions, and many more.
There you have it, folks — these are the best current Netflix alternatives in our opinion. Most of 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.