Netflix may be one of the biggest and most well-known video streaming services globally, but it sure isn’t the only one. There are many Netflix alternatives out there that will keep you entertained every night on your smartphone, tablet, or smart TV. Some of those services are even free to access, although they do have ads.
Read more: The best streaming services
Here are the best Netflix alternatives you should try out.
The best Netflix alternatives:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Netflix alternatives regularly as new streaming services launch.
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.
HBO’s video streaming service has a lot to offer. You will always find something interesting to watch, from recent hit shows like Chernobyl to older ones like The Sopranos. Other great HBO shows worth mentioning include Westworld, Game of Thrones, and Barry. There are also several upcoming shows to get excited about. 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, 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 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 a month. There’s also a new, cheaper plan, at $9.99 a month, but it throws in up to four minutes of ads per hour. It also won’t let you access the 2021 Warner Bros. theatrical movie day-and-date slate. 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. On the other hand, Netflix 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.) starting at $64.99 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.
Formerly known as CBS All Access, Paramount Plus combines a ton of content from its parent company ViacomCBS into one product. You can watch tons of classic and current movies from Paramount Pictures, plus TV shows from CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, and much more.
In addition to content on-demand, the service offers live national and local news along with live sports like NFL football, soccer, NCAA basketball, and more. Pricing in the US starts at $4.99 a month, but it lacks the live CBS stream and throws in ads. You have to spend $9.99 a month to get the live CBS stream and get rid of ads.
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. It is a great Netflix alternative if you have kids, 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 currently $7.99 a month, or $79.99 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 in the US, Europe, and other international locations, and will expand to more countries in 2021.
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 vast.
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 many 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 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. You also have to deal with both video and banner ads, but you can sign up for YouTube Premium for $11.99 a month to get rid of those ads, along with background audio support and more.
Pluto TV has become hugely popular over the last year, mainly because it’s completely free to use. It 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.
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 some original movies it debuts every month, and they almost always get great reviews for how they stretch the horror genre.
It costs $5.99 a month in the US, 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 $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.
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 regularly.
While its library of content can’t match Netflix’s, its quality is certainly solid. Another big plus for this service is that it’s available in over 120 countries right off the bat.
After months of waiting, NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service finally launched in mid-July 2020. 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’s also the exclusive streaming home for Parks and Recreation and The Office in the US, and more recently, it added WWE pro wrestling, including access to its pay-per-view events.
If you want to watch even more content, and Peacock originals like the reboots of Saved by the Bell and Punky Brewster, 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 available.
Read: Our Peacock review
Discovery Plus is the most recently launched major streaming service. It includes programs from the huge Discovery lineup of cable TV channels, plus a few from Lifetime and A&E. People who love watching homes get restored, or see couples get married after 90 days will love this streaming service. It also has a growing number of original shows, including spin-offs of shows like 90-Day Fiance and Ghost Adventures. You can also see new episodes from the upcoming Magnolia cable network, focusing on Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna Gaines.
The price is much lower than that of Netflix, starting at $4.99 a month for an ad-based subscription and reaching $6.99 a month for an ad-free experience. There’s also a seven-day free trial. Additionally, you can get up to a year of service for free if you are a Verizon Wireless unlimited customer.
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. Its biggest draw is its acclaimed list of exclusive shows, including Homeland, Billions, and many more.
- Epix – This premium movie channel has many original and exclusive shows, including War of the Worlds, the Batman-themed drama Pennyworth, and Godfather of Harlem.