This guide will give you an overview of streaming services that allow users to watch videos legally for free.
Nowadays, a couple of companies offer streaming services that allow users to watch the latest movies and TV shows.
Some of these companies include famous names like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney +, and Hulu.
These companies permit users to stream content by paying a subscription fee. The rise in demand and popularity of streaming services caused the continuous spike in the price offerings for these subscriptions.
Given these, multiple companies provide free streaming services such as Crackle, Peacock, Kanopy, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Roku Channel. Xumo and Vudu.
Since the streaming services are free, there are a couple of limitations and trade-offs to the functionalities provided, such as:
- Multiple ads: free streaming services rely on ads to earn for their services
- Lack of support for 4K and HDR: most of the videos available on free streaming services are with regular HD quality
- New releases are not present: there is limited availability of recent shows and movies in free streaming services.
- Original shows produced by companies offering paid services are also not available.
While the functionalities are limited, these free streaming services are still a great alternative, especially for budget-conscious consumers. This guide will give you an overview of each of the companies allowing free streaming.
Crackle, previously an ad-supported service by Sony, is now under Chicken Soup for the Soul. It is now part of Crackle Plus. The following are some of the offerings and content available in Crackle:
- There are a lot of mainstream titles consisting of old TV shows and movies available. Some of these include “Fantasy Island,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Zodiac,” and a lot more.
- Soon, 200 hours of new original and exclusive content produced by Crackle will be available.
- New channels were added by Crackle, including Inspiration Athletes and Black Entertainment Channel.
- A Homeschool Channel was launched during the pandemic to support parents transitioning their children into homeschooling.
- Crackle is accessible to many devices, including smart TVs from LG, Hisense, Vizio, Samsung, Apple TVs, Amazon Fire TVs, Roku devices, gaming consoles, and mobile iOS and Android devices.
Fawesome.tv, a new ad-supported streaming service owned by FutureToday, provides movies and HD quality series.
- It has over 1,000 channels across a variety of genres.
- It also has above 10,000 movies and TV shows in HD quality.
- It provides theme-based sections which contain content related to the selected theme or event.
- Fawesome.tv is accessible to a couple of devices, including LG smart TVs, Apple TVs, Amazon Fire TVs, Roku devices, an app for Windows computers, and mobile iOS and Android devices.
Haystack News, previously Haystack TV, focuses on providing various news from more than its 350 partners.
- It offers local, global, and national news content, including weather coverage for 90% of the local U.S. market.
- A new feature, Newsline, contains content under different categories such as business, stock market, science and technology, entertainment, and local news headlines. Available content can be personalized per user.
- Haystack News is accessible to many devices, including smart TVs from LG, Sony, TCL, Hisense, Vizio, Samsung, Apple TVs, Android TVs, Amazon Fire TVs, Roku devices, mobile iOS, and Android devices, and an online web platform.
Hoopla allows users with a library card to access content from their local libraries. It focuses on providing content related to entertainment and education.
- Different types of media such as comics, audiobooks, ebooks, and music are available.
- It offers recommendations based on previously accessed and popular content.
- Similar to a library, there is a limit to the number of hours you can access a movie, as well as the number of movies you can access per month.
- Hoopla is accessible to a couple of devices, including Apple TVs, Amazon Fire TVs, Roku devices, Chromecast. There is also a downloadable mobile app available for iOS and Android devices that allow offline access to content.
IMDb TV, owned by Amazon, allows users to access content from IMDB’s database.
- It focuses on providing access to old movies and TV shows from IMDB and documentaries, celebrity interviews, and festivals and awards coverage.
- It has the free exclusive streaming rights to Star Trek movies.
- IMDb TV is accessible to many devices, including Amazon Fire TVs, the IMDb website, Echo screen devices, Roku devices, and mobile devices. An IMDb, Amazon, Google, or Facebook account is required to log in.
Kanopy allows users with a library card to access ad-free content from its partner universities, libraries, and learning institutions.
- It has 30,000 films that focus on art-house content.
- It contains 200 titles highlighted at the Tribeca Film Festival.
- Access for users from partner libraries is limited. However, users from partner universities have unlimited access to all its content.
Peacock, owned by NBC Universal, allows users to access news content for free through ads. It also offers paid subscription tiers.
- The free tier allows access to 10,000 shows in NBC’s library. It has also dealt with companies like Universal Pictures, DreamWorks, and Warner Bros to access some popular movies.
- The paid tier includes access to live sports events, as well as access to some original content.
- Peacock is accessible to a couple of devices, including Apple TVs and devices, Xfinity X1 and Flex, Android devices, Roku devices, Xbox One and PlayStation4. It is not available on Amazon Fire TVs.
ViacomCBS bought Pluto TV in 2019. Since then, the company has expanded and has redesigned its user interface to provide a better experience.
- It has a preview mode that allows users to view trailers and information about the content.
- It has around 200 curated channels spanning across different genres, including Bloomberg, NBC News, and CNN.
- It has a service called Pluto TV Latino, which contains 11 Spanish and Portuguese language channels.
- Pluto TV is accessible to a couple of devices, including Apple TVs, smart TVs, Amazon Fire TVs, Chromecast, Roku devices, TiVo devices, mobile devices, PlayStation, and Windows and Mac computers.
Tubi TV, recently owned by Fox, offers an ad-supported streaming service with over 20,000 content.
- It contains different content from popular companies such as Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., MGM, and the Lego franchise programs.
- It has a feature called “News on Tubi,” which showcases news content from Bloomberg, NBC, and Fox.
- It also has a channel that contains 1,200 content targeted explicitly for kids called “Tubi Kids.”
- It has “Tubi en Espanol,” which contains curated titles in the Spanish language.
- Tubi TV is accessible to many devices, including mobile devices, Apple TVs, Samsung and Sony smart TVs, Amazon Fire TVs, Roku devices, PlayStation, Xbox, and an online web platform.
Editor’s Note on How To Stream Videos For Free:
This article is published to inform you of the different companies offering free video streaming services.
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