We warned everyone that it was inevitable, and last month it happened: Netflix increased its subscription prices in the US.
It’s the latest in a long line of price hikes from Netflix, and it almost certainly won’t be the last one.
Here, we’ll tell you about 10 great Netflix alternatives that all stream movies and TV shows for free.
Remember back in September when we told you that it seemed pretty clear that Netflix was planning to increase its prices? Well, it happened. Beginning last month, Netflix’s standard plan got a $1 increase to $13.99 per month, while the premium plan that includes 4K streaming and more simultaneous streams was bumped up by $2 to $17.99 per month. The change impacted all new customers as well as all existing subscribers. $1 or $2 might not seem like a big deal, but Netflix’s subscription prices have been climbing consistently over the past few years.
Many people are more than willing to cough up the extra $12 to $24 per year in exchange for access to all of Netflix’s fantastic original programming. After all, original movies and shows account for the lion’s share of Netflix’s expenses these days. But if you’re tired of the price hikes and you don’t think Netflix’s originals are worth it anymore, we’ve got some good news: There are plenty of other fish in the sea when it comes to streaming services, and some of the best Netflix alternatives out there are completely free.
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It’s true that there’s nothing else out there quite like Netflix. Everyone knows that. The streamer’s original content is in a league of its own, and fantastic new original movies and shows come out all the time. A fantastic recent example is The Queen’s Gambit, a limited series that was released by Netflix in October. It flew in under the radar ahead of its premiere and ended up being the best new series we’ve seen all year. If you’re a Netflix subscriber and you haven’t yet watched it, definitely make sure it’s the next series on your list.
The fact that Netflix is among the best of the best is something that’s not going to change anytime soon, but it’s also true that there’s more good content out there in general right now than ever before. That means that while Netflix is great to have, it’s hardly an absolute necessity in this day and age.
If you’ve had enough of Netflix’s price hikes and You’re looking for other options to check out, we’ve got you covered. You’ll find our 10 favorite free Netflix alternatives from our earlier coverage down below.
If there’s one service among the free Netflix alternatives that has tons of high-quality movies, it’s Tubi TV. In fact, there’s so much content to stream that you won’t believe you’re not paying for it. Studios including Paramount, Lionsgate, MGM, and Starz provide content to Tubi TV, and new movies are every single month.
Watch Tubi TV
A lot of people think of Plex as a media server that people use to watch movies and TV shows that they have downloaded illegally. That’s certainly one way the platform is used, but there’s plenty more than that to Plex. In addition to using it as a server to stream your own digital movies, TV shows, and music that you’ve downloaded — legally or otherwise — Plex is also home to a fairly sizeable catalog of content that you can stream for free.
IMDb TV is a new free streaming service that we told you about earlier this year, and people have really been loving it. This emerging streamer has a bunch of popular movies and TV shows that you can stream for free without paying a dime. It works in your web browser of course, but also in IMDb’s apps, which means you can stream all this free content straight to your iOS or Android device!
Watch IMDb TV
Redbox Free Live TV
Another brand new service we just told you about back in February comes from Redbox, and it’s unlike any of the other Netflix alternatives we’re going to cover in this roundup. Whereas every other streamer we’re covering is like Netflix in that it uses an on-demand streaming model, Redbox Live Free TV uses a more traditional television model.
There are a bunch of different channels and they all stream live TV, just like the name of the service suggests. You’ll find news, web culture content, comedy shows, and even a bunch of popular TV series like America’s Funniest Home Videos, Forensic Files, Family Feud, and Unsolved Mysteries. It’s all totally free to watch even without a login, and you can stream it from the Redbox site or from within the Redbox app on any platform.
Watch Redbox Free Live TV
Crackle has been around for a long time and yet it’s still one of the best places to stream content for free. As is always the case with free streaming services, you’re not going to find any brand new releases. But there are plenty of movies and TV shows to choose from. The selection includes plenty of things you’ve never heard of, but you’ll also find popular favorites. You can watch every single episode of 3rd Rock From the Sun for free! How great is that?!
Kanopy is probably the greatest streaming service you’ve never heard of. And the best part is, you already have access to it without even knowing it! If you have a library card or attend college, you probably have access to Kanopy’s huge library of thousands of streaming movies. If you don’t have a library card, this is a terrific reason to go get one. You’ll be shocked at how impressive the streaming selection is, and there are Kanopy apps for every major platform including iOS, Android, Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and more.
Hoopla is just like Kanopy in that you can access it for free as long as you have a library card and your local public library participates. What’s crazy is that you might find even more popular movies and TV shows here than you did on Kanopy. I just streamed Ex Machina on Hoopla the other day to get ready for Devs, Alex Garland’s new limited series that hits Hulu next month. Hoopla is great, it’s free, and the apps even allow downloads for offline viewing when you travel. Just remember, Kanopy and Hoopla work just like the library, so you only have a certain amount of time to stream content before you have to “return” it.
Vudu isn’t an entirely free service, but it makes the list because it has a rather large catalog of free content. In fact, there are more than 1,000 different movies you can stream for free. All of Vudu’s free content is ad-supported, but so are all the other free streaming services included in this roundup other than the ones supported by public libraries. Trust us, you’ll be shocked at how many awesome movies you can stream on Vudu without paying a single cent.
The Roku Channel
The Roku Channel doesn’t license any content directly like all these other services do. Instead, it aggregates free streaming movies, shows, and even live TV channels from other services so you can find all that great content in one place. Needless to say, it’s only available on Roku devices. But since Roku devices are the most popular dedicated streaming media devices in the world, it’s probably safe to assume that many people reading this roundup have one.
Watch The Roku Channel
Last but certainly not least, Pluto TV is a fantastic free Netflix alternative. It’s also a fantastic free pay TV alternative because it combines both consumption models into a single service. First, you’ll find a bunch of live TV channels that stream totally free, including tons of movie channels, NBC News Now, CNN, CBS News, MTV channels, Fail Army, and more. There are hundreds of them. Then on top of that, you’ll also find on-demand movies and TV series that you can stream whenever you want.
Watch Pluto TV
Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world’s top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine’s top-30 Internet of Things experts.