5 Free Alternatives To Netflix and Amazon
The streaming wars have been hotting up for years, and now they’re at boiling point. Everybody wants your money. Everybody is competing as hard as they can to get it. With so many exclusive shows and films on so many different platforms, many of us have resorted to taking out multiple subscriptions to make sure we always have access to the best content. When you add the cost of those subscriptions together, it’s becoming more expensive than cable television used to be!
If you’re feeling the pinch of maintaining a Netflix account along with your Amazon Prime account, your Disney Plus account, and your HBO Max account (along with whatever else you might have signed up to), we’re not surprised. This situation has been created by intense competition. The way that streaming companies market their wares is very similar to the way that online slots websites market their games. In the beginning, there were only a handful of online slots companies and a limited number of games. Back then, choices were easy to make. Now there are hundreds of online slots websites and thousands of games. Many of the same slots like Fluffy Favourites appear on the websites. The online slots websites have had to start competing on prices and incentives to stay ahead of the competition, just as the TV and streaming companies have, and it’s turned into a race. Races are exhausting. If you feel a little overwhelmed by it all, we’re not surprised.
What if there was another way to look at this, though? What if you could have access to thousands of great TV shows and movies on demand without spending a single dollar? Well, actually, you can – and here are five platforms that can provide you with that exact service.
Tubi has existed below the radar for quite some time but started to attract greater attention after a sudden explosion in popularity in April 2020. At the time we’re writing this article, it’s one of the ten most downloaded streaming apps in the world. The secret of Tubi might not be fully out yet, but it’s getting there. Maybe it’s time you got in on the secret, too. Tubi is owned by Fox but is run as a standalone service. The variety of TV shows isn’t fantastic, but it has a lot of movies to offer and several choices for fans of every genre and theme. The platform makes money by running commercials, so you’ll have to put up with that, but it’s no different from watching something on television. A limited number of shows and films come without adverts, but they tend to be the less popular offerings. There’s enough on Tubi to keep you occupied for quite a while.
Anything Fox can do, ViacomCBS would like to believe they can do better. Pluto is their product and operates in a broadly similar manner to Tubi. It offers a wide range of films and television shows and supports itself by airing commercials. Rather than allowing you a totally free choice of what to watch and when to watch it, Pluto offers a range of exclusive channels that have broadcasting schedules. Don’t let that put you off, though. Some channels air the same shows on repeat every day. As the reputation of the platform (and the number of people watching it) grows, Pluto is taking on more content from elsewhere. Netflix surprised everybody a few weeks ago by allowing Pluto to start airing the Netflix-exclusive TV series ‘Narcos,’ so who knows what other formerly-exclusive properties might be next up?
Samsung TV Plus
The bad news about Samsung TV Plus is that, as the name implies, you need to own a Samsung television to get access to it. Not every television in the Samsung range works for this either – it has to be a smart TV. The plus side is that Samsung TV is made up of more than one hundred channels you won’t get anywhere else. It’s in its early days as a platform, so not every single one of the channels offers great content (some of them almost look homemade), but there are some classic shows on there in addition to some exclusive sports broadcasts. In what’s becoming a recurring theme in this article, the channels are supported by advertising. This is more of a television platform than a movie platform, but if you’re after something new to watch – something you wouldn’t normally see, perhaps – this is one way to find it.
Who remembers Redbox? The company was around at the same time that Love Film (and, later on, Netflix) were in the business of physically renting out DVDs through the mail. Most people assumed that the company disappeared when Netflix went into streaming and destroyed the DVD rental market, but that wasn’t the case. Redbox went quiet for a while but quietly reorganized and has now rebooted itself as a streaming platform. Unlike Samsung TV and Pluto, this is an on-demand service. It can currently only be accessed through the Redbox website, although that’s not a problem if you have a smart TV to access it with or even a laptop you could hook up to an HDMI cable. Redbox has a small but steadily-expanding number of movies and television shows on offer. It’s a little low-key at the moment, but it’s likely to expand over time.
When Sony launched Crackle, they probably expected it to become a bigger deal than it’s been so far. It’s a small miracle that the enormous media company hasn’t just shut the little-known platform down, but it’s still there for now, and so Sony has presumably decided to back it for the foreseeable future. In terms of both look and style, Crackle is a lot like Hulu. Aside from offering you a range of films and TV shows to choose from at your leisure, there’s also a small amount of exclusive content produced by Crackle. That exclusive content isn’t necessarily the high-budget stuff that you’ll get from Netflix or Amazon Prime, but it’s impressive considering the fact that there’s almost no audience. We don’t know how long Crackle will last for unless it receives a dramatic upswing in market share, but until anything changes, it’s as solid a ‘free’ version of Netflix as you’ll find.