It seems like every month there is a new streaming service to stream movies and tv, and each of these new services seems to require a monthly fee to stream video content. Sure, it’s nice to be able to watch premium television series and new movies on some of these paid services, but there are a number of great free streaming sites and apps available right now. In times of a struggling economy and ridiculous inflation, consider ditching the monthly subscription fees and checking some decent apps to watch free movies and shows.
The Lay of the Land
Once upon a time, Netflix dominated the streaming world. And then Amazon Prime and Hulu arrived, and suddenly Netflix faced competition. Once the premium cable channels launched apps to go with those paid subscriptions, you started to see HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz get in the game.Read More »
Seems counterintuitive, right?
It used to be that there were only a few cable services around and that those services may have been limited depending on where you live. Now there is a paradox of choice. The number of streaming services available to everyone is becoming too many to count, and content consumers seem to be having difficulty finding something to watch. And yet those “nominal” monthly fees continue to get pulled out of bank accounts, and the revenue that those premium streamers are pocketing serves only to encourage new streamers to launch.
Why keep lining the premium streamers’ pockets when there is plenty of free content available? Why not cut the cord AND cut the stream of revenue?
Free Streaming Sites Are Here… Maybe You Just Don’t Know About Them
What if I were to tell you that you could watch free content online, that there were enough free online movie sites, and that you could watch shows free without having to create an account or sign up for a newsletter or pay a monthly fee?
Free streaming sites are here, and they are here to stay. The only difference is that in most cases, these free streaming sites are ad-supported, which means you might have to stomach a few minutes of ads like you would need to if you were watching basic cable television or the economy level of Hulu. But the content is there, and you’d be surprised at the quality of some of these titles.
How to Watch Free Movies and TV Shows
There are a number of different ways you can watch free movies and tv shows. But as we mentioned, you just likely don’t know about them. Or maybe you’ve heard about them, but since you’re already paying for streaming services, maybe you feel obligated to be loyal to those.
The good news is that you can watch free movies and tv shows without spending any money. You don’t need a premium streaming service, and you don’t need to download anything to watch either. Whatever the case, here are some great services that provide free streaming for all.
Sure, Pluto.TV has kind of a cringy name, but the content it provides rivals basic cable and the majority of some of the garbage you can find on Netflix any day of the week. There are premium drama titles like “Dexter: New Blood,” “Billions,” and “The Affair.” For folks that love network TV procedurals, there are the “FBI” and “NCIS” franchises. There’s also classic television like “Gunsmoke” and “Matlock.” For the game show enthusiasts, you can watch episodes of “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune.” This is just the tip of the iceberg.
But it’s not only TV that Pluto.TV offers. There is a huge variety of movies and everything is nicely organized by genre. You can find some of the “Transformers” franchise films there. Action dramas like “Shooter” and “Midway” are available. There are modern comedies like “Pineapple Express” and “Don Jon,” as well as classic comedies like the “Beverly Hills Cop” series, “Major League,” and “Valley Girl.”
The Roku Channel
Here’s one that might have flown under the radar but is definitely worth a look. Most everyone knows what a Roku device is, but I’d bet that maybe half of all Roku owners know what The Roku Channel is. Similar to Pluto.TV, The Roku Channel offers a huge library of film, television, and children’s content for exactly zero dollars per month. Also an ad-supported platform, The Roku Channel can be accessed from an app or on the web. One of the big differences that set The Roku Channel apart is their Roku Originals — free original content found only on The Roku Channel. A lot of these titles were purchased from the embarrassing Quibi experiment for ten cents on the dollar (probably) and repurposed, but there are some new original series and movies that are comparable to Netflix and Amazon Prime. “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” stars Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al Yankovic and Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna. These are A-list stars we’re talking about.
Other surprisingly awesome content available on The Roku Channel right now includes “Apollo 13,” all of the “Jaws” movies, “The Devil Wears Prada,” and “Whiplash,” to name just a few movie titles. As for television, you can stream “Ugly Betty,” “Without A Trace,” “Rules of Engagement,” and “Chicago Med,” among many others.
Categories and genres on The Roku Channel are nicely organized, and there’s even a “Not On Netflix” category that throws some lol shade at the big streamer. And for those in the mood, there’s an entire category of karaoke sorted by genre or era.
Another free tv and movie streaming service that ranks up there in the silly name department is Tubi. As a young-ish streamer, Tubi offers a wide-ranging selection like its counterparts mentioned above, and also like Pluto and The Roku Channel, there are required account logins to access the content. You can simply navigate to the app or website and tap or click the play button.
Notable movies on Tubi right now are “Inception,” the “Fifty Shades of Grey” franchise films, the new “Planet of the Apes,” and “Focus,” to name a few. There are dozen of genres to choose from, and movies and television titles don’t seem to be separated, but that’s forgivable because the content is free.
Also noteworthy is the free live tv streaming option, which offers featured titles, news, and sports. While the user experience could use a little love, the content that Tubi offers makes up for it.
Crackle has been around for a while — maybe the longest of the bunch — and it is certainly worth a look for free movies and tv. Crackle offers a lot of the same features as its competitors: a wide variety of content, which is ad-supported, and you can watch from an app or the web. But where Crackle shines, similar to The Roku Channel, is in some of its original programming. You can watch “Priest” or “The Art of More” starring Dennis Quaid and Kate Bosworth, or “Party Boat” and “The Throwaways.”
There are a few drawbacks to Crackle. First, it is available in fewer countries than some of the others on this list. As of this writing, it is only available in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Brazil. Second, there are no live tv options like Tubi offers. But if you’re looking for movies and tv shows to watch on demand, Crackle is a great option.
Cut the Cord and Slice Those Paid Stream
While free streaming for movies and tv is not limited to the four mentioned here, these four are certainly leading the pack when it comes to some of the best free content available without requiring an account. That means anyone can access these free movies and tv so long as he or she has a computer, smart tv, or mobile device and an internet connection. With all of this free content available, it’s a wonder why people still pay north of $100 each month for cable or satellite tv. And it’s absurd that anyone would pay the monthly paid streamer fees when they can pay for a month here and there, watch what they want, cancel the subscription, and return to one of these free streamers.
Seriously, though, after “Stranger Things” ended, what reason did Netflix give us to keep paying them?
The future of streaming is free, and it’s about time. With so many options for paid streaming services, it only makes sense that free streaming would grow to meet the demand. Whether you’re looking for new original content, classic movies, or even live tv, there’s a free streamer out there with what you’re looking for. So cut the cord, cancel those paid subscriptions, and start streaming for free today.