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Every big entertainment company jumped on the streaming bandwagon, and the market gets more crowded every day. Consumers only have enough budget for a few subscriptions, but there is a ton of free content available on multiple platforms. Take a look at these free services that you can stream to your handheld device or your living room.
Recently, opinion articles complain that consumers must subscribe to so many streaming services that cordcutting costs as much as cable. The data shows otherwise; the average U.S. subscriber only pays for three services. Consumers don’t have to choose cable or a full load of subscription streaming services. Unlike cable, you’re not forced to buy bundles. Many consumers subscribe to Netflix and cable, or Hulu and Netflix, or another unique combination.
It’s hard to imagine, but Netflix has less than 1% of the movies and TV shows on the market. The free streaming companies access the large library of content sitting idle in the wake of canceled cable subscriptions. Most cordcutters pick and choose subscriptions carefully, saving money by adding on free or low-cost services to build a complete solution. That leaves plenty of room in the market for all of the free streaming providers.
Pluto TV is 100 channels of pure distraction, with some live news, thousands of movies and TV shows, and it won’t set you back a penny. There are commercials, traditional live sports are limited, and you won’t get broadcast channels, but you don’t even need to create an account. Download the free app or use a browser, and you’ll see an easy-to-use TV guide to select what you want to watch.
Pluto TV curates popular online videos into genre-based channels with names like Flicks of Fury, Horror 24/7, FailArmy, and StandUP. Viewers will also find a wide choice of movies and classic TV shows sorted into like channels, and some established news sources like CNBC, Cheddar, and NBC News. The Sports channels include Fight, Stadium, Sports News, World Poker Tour, FOX Sports reruns, and Impact! Choose from hip-hop, pop, electronic music, classic rock, soul, and jazz genre channels in the free internet radio section.
The non-stop free content is expertly curated and regularly updated to stay fresh. It’s no risk entertainment at your fingertips, on just about any device. Download free mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, or desktop apps for Windows or Mac computers. You can also use any popular streaming device like a Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV.
The Roku Channel delivers a mix of classic and current TV shows and films directly to your Roku device. No need to register or subscribe, and no login required. You’ll see award-winning films, big screen classics, and Hollywood hits. With 10,000+ free movies and TV shows, live news, sports, and entertainment, The Roku Channel always has something new to watch. The selection is expertly updated each month with new entertainment.
Watch live and linear news feeds from ABC News, Yahoo! News, Newsy, Newsmax TV, Cheddar News, TMX, and lifestyle news on PeopleTV. Satisfy your pop culture sweet tooth with reality programming from Tastemade, The Pet Collective, AFV, and People Are Awesome. Enjoy family movies and a massive selection of blockbusters on FilmRise, The Asylum, and The Works by MGM, before diving into FilmRise Classic TV for more favorites. Watch world-class sports and live games on Stadium, EDGEsport, the Adventure Sports Network, and more.
Free, ad-supported content on The Roku Channel is only available Roku devices and TVs in the U.S. and Canada. Viewers can also download the free Roku mobile app, or use a web browser.
Sony Crackle offers free full-length movies, TV shows, and original programming in the U.S. and Australia. Enjoy hundreds of family-friendly titles, blockbuster movies, and popular television entertainment with limited commercials. New full-length movies and TV shows added each week to keep things fresh and entertaining.
Viewers can create a free account to curate a Watch List and sync progress across devices. There’s plenty of stand-up comedy, kids’ cartoons, anime, documentaries, and award-winning classics and indies.
Vudu is available on a wide variety of platforms, including connected TVs, mobile devices, set-top boxes, video game consoles, and online at SonyCrackle.com. On many devices, the Sony Crackle app is pre-installed, but you can also download the app for free to any compatible device.
Download free mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, or desktop apps for Windows or Mac computers. You can also use any popular streaming device like a Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV.
Enjoy Vudu free movies & TV anytime, anywhere. Vudu boasts a hefty catalog of 10,000 movies and TV shows you can watch for free. You might also recognize the brand as WalMart’s online rental and purchase service for new and current releases, which number in the hundreds of thousands. There’s no subscription fee, no contract, and you can watch on any internet streaming device at home or on the go.
Stream thousands of free movies and shows in resolutions as high as 1080p. You can browse through genres like action, comedy, classic films, sci-fi & fantasy, horror, crime, drama, international and Spanish language titles. Or, use the search function to find your favorite titles.
After creating an account online, watch Vudu on smart TVs and popular streaming devices like Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV stick. Download the free app for Android and iOS devices or watch with an Xbox or PlayStation.
Watch amazing movies and TV shows for free on the streaming Tubi TV, which is used by 20 million others. Choose from more than 15,000 hours of movies and television shows from every major Hollywood studio. You’ll see your favorite TV shows that once showed on cable, a robust library of kids’ content, hit movies, and more sorted into genres with funny names like, “Not on Netflix.” Last month, the service launched Tubi Kids with more than 1200 age-appropriate titles.
The service gives fans of films and television programs an easy way to discover free content in the U.S. and Canada. After registering for an account, you can access free content on all of your devices, sync your queue, and continue watching anywhere.
Download the free Android or iOS app to watch on your mobile device. Watch at home on a streaming internet device like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, or use a smart TV or game console.
As a consumer, these free networks are the perfect supplement to your paid subscriptions. Take advantage of the commercial breaks to indulge in a nostalgic trip to the kitchen to make popcorn, or channel surf until it resumes. It’s hard to argue with a free streaming service that shows your old favorites.
Megan Southard is a writer, mom, technology enthusiast, and movie junkie. She dreads the day her kids have to explain gadgets to her and is old enough to say, "I was the remote for our TV growing up."
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