20 Alternatives to Netflix: Paid & Free

The use of traditional television is gradually declining following the introduction of OTT (over-the-top) platforms, which enable users to access content on demand over the Internet. These platforms are accessible on almost every modern electronic device, be it Android, iOS, or Windows. Netflix is one such platform and is widely used for video streaming purposes including TV shows and movies.


Founded in 1997 by two entrepreneurs named Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph, it was initially introduced as Kibble instead of Netflix. It used to sell DVDs in those days as the internet and streaming were not popular then. The Netflix domain was launched a year later, in 1998. However, the streaming service was mainly launched in 2007. Nowadays, Netflix is one of the most popular paid subscription platforms active in more than 37 languages in around 190 countries. Although in today's time, there are many other similar platforms like Netflix (called Netflix Alternatives).

Why do we need Netflix Alternative?

There is no doubt that Netflix is super impressive in almost all departments, be it its user interface, availability of TV series or movies, subscription plan variation, or anything else. However, having more than two options in a list is always better. There can be many reasons that may compel users to switch to another similar platform like Netflix.

For example, it is possible that most users have a tight budget, or users are looking for more content or variety in content topics, such as sports, news, or something else. Beyond that, users may want to try something that offers both contents and live TV. Although the reasons can be many, it is also advised not to depend on only one thing. It can also lead to boredom. So, it is better to explore and try new platforms, not just in the case of Netflix but others as well.

What are the alternatives to Netflix?

As there is a wide range of Netflix alternatives on the internet, it becomes difficult to find a good one as per the requirements. Furthermore, some are paid (also called "premium") and some are free (usually called "freeware"). Also, there are some that offer free access to limited content while users can always pay for their subscription plans to enjoy all the content. Such alternatives or platforms are considered "freemium".

Hence, we have listed all the notable alternatives to Netflix under categories such as paid, free, and freemium, making it easier for the users to choose the suitable one. They are as follows:


Alternatives to Netflix

Note: Before signing up or subscribing to any of the listed Netflix alternatives, make sure that the respective platform is available to use in your country or not. It is important to note that not all platforms are serviceable worldwide.

Paid Netflix Alternatives

Amazon Prime Video

Whenever we hear the name Amazon, the first thing that comes to our mind is an e-commerce site. However, Amazon is not just an e-commerce site. Instead, it is a family on the Internet-based ecosystem of multiple tools, services, and platforms. Amazon Prime Video is the video streaming platform of Amazon, which is a completely paid service. Surprisingly, it is offered in over 200 countries and territories.

Compared to Netflix, Prime Video offers slightly lower prices for its Prime membership subscription in most countries. Apart from this, the membership also provides additional benefits, such as free delivery on its e-commerce site, access to music, reading, gaming, etc. In addition, users can opt only for its Prime Video subscription at an even lower price.

Amazon Prime Video, Netflix's biggest rival, typically buys the streaming rights to theatrical releases earlier than other similar platforms. Hence, the user gets fast access to the latest content on demand on the Internet. Although it has over 200 original shows, series, and popular movies, it still lacks some series and movies that Netflix includes. To keep users engaged, it often shows advertisements for its upcoming or latest shows or movies.


Disney+

Disney has a long history as it was founded in 1923 by two brothers Walt and Roy O. Disney under the name of Walt Disney Studios. Since then, it has continued to follow the available mediums to serve entertaining content to the public. With increasing competition and traffic in digital platforms, Disney was forced to launch its own streaming service for Internet users, named Disney+. Disney+ was launched in 2019. However, it gained immense popularity in a very short span of time.

Disney+ is perfect for kids as it has a wide range of content from Disney along with other contract partners like Marvel, Pixar, National Geographic, etc. This on-demand streaming platform service is available at a cheaper price than Netflix. Much of its content is not even easily searchable on other platforms. Like Netflix, Disney+ also offers offline downloading within its application.

As of the writing of this article in 2023, Disney+ has been made available in 60 countries across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India. In India, Disney+ has contracted with Hotstar and hence is now known as Disney+Hotstar.

Apple TV+

Launched in 2019, Apple TV+ has become one of the amazing streaming platforms because of its brand value and the content it offers. It is an American subscription-only-based streaming platform created and managed by Apple Company. Even though Apple is a late entrant in the streaming platform industry, it has currently become one of the top rivals of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Apple TV+ typically includes content mostly from its own production, called Apple Originals. Even though it has comparatively lesser production of movies and television series than Netflix, the quality and storyline of its original content are much better for most content.


As it is well known that Apple mainly focuses on offering its services for its family of Apple devices or products, Apple TV+ does not have any application for the users of Android devices. Luckily, the service is available via the web, making it easy for everyone to access. It is available in more than 100 countries including US, UK, India, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Japan, etc.

Hulu

Another great Netflix alternative is Hulu. It has been active since 2007; however, the subscription service for Hulu streaming was launched in 2010. Later in 2017, it came up with the idea of Live TV. It is a joint venture, but majority owned and managed by The Walt Disney Company. This American OTT video streaming platform has over 3000 titles in its catalog including movies and shows.

Hulu offers two subscription plans, one with commercials and one without commercials. However, users will have to pay for the desired plan; nothing is free on Hulu. Hulu is accessible through both the web and mobile apps. The bad news is that Hulu is not available to users outside the US. It is only serviceable in the US as it is not licensed to serve overseas.

MUBI

Like Netflix, MUBI is a paid video streaming platform that allows people to watch content on demand. It was launched in 2007 by Efe Cakarel. Interestingly, the service was initially launched under the name "The Auteurs" and was rebranded as MUBI in 2010. The name "MUBI" is said to be an accented pronunciation of "movie".

MUBI mainly targets indie movies and shows. To make it unique, MUBI offers most of the movies which are not usually released in theatres. For example, MUBI's own art-house cinema, film festival films, and documentaries. With MUBI, users can stream and download movies in 195+ territories worldwide.


Acorn TV

Acorn TV has become a well-known name as a video streaming platform that enables users to watch a combination of classic mysteries, dramas, comedies, and documentaries with a paid subscription. The company was registered in 1994 and used to sell media hardware such as VHS tapes, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs. The streaming service named Acorn TV was made available in 2013 and is now owned and managed by AMC Networks.

Acorn TV has availability in relatively fewer countries than Netflix. However, it is also accessible with Apple TV+ in many countries, making it reachable in more countries. Moreover, it works via the web and mobile applications for iOS and Android.

Starz

Starz Entertainment (founded in 1991 as Encore Movie Group) launched its own network called Starz (stylized as STARZ!) in 1994 through a cable system operated by Tele-Communications. Starz was acquired by Lionsgate Company in 2016 and hence it is now also referred to as Lionsgate. Also, StarzPlay (an application for mobile users) is often referred to as Lionsgate+.

Starz is a paid streaming platform and is active in more than 40 countries including the US. It focuses on providing premium on-demand streaming content to viewers around the world. It currently houses over 7,500 episodes and movies, including Starz originals and first-run movies. It is possible for Internet users to access Starz through web and mobile applications.

Showtime

Showtime's history dates back to 1976 when it was launched by Viacom as a subscription-based cable network. It continued with momentum till the 21st century. However, to keep pace in this digital age, it had to come up with a streaming platform in 2010 which is often called Showtime Anytime.


Showtime now allows its paid subscribers to access on-demand content at any time in either standard or HD quality using a web platform or mobile application. Along with its paid service, it also offers commercial-free or ad-free access to popular series, hit movies, and more. But, unfortunately, the service is currently only available in the United States and its territories.

Free Netflix Alternatives

Tubi TV

Tubi TV is a great free alternative to Netflix and it is completely legal. It was jointly developed in 2014 by developers named Farhad Massoudi and Thomas Ahn Hicks. Since then, it has been providing users with free streaming services for a range of TV shows and movies across all major genres including action, sci-fi, horror, comedy, and crime.

Tubi TV is currently active in several countries, including India, the US, Canada, Australia, and Mexico, and is accessible on nearly every modern device via the web and its mobile apps. Tubi TV displays advertisements (though not many) to earn revenue from its advertisers and to keep the service free for users.

Vudu

Launched in 2004, Vudu initially began operating as a company offering hardware, most notably a digital DVD media player called the Vudu Box. The company was founded by Tony Miranz and Alain Rossmann. Later, in 2009, it came into existence when it became the first on-demand service to offer users the option to download HD movies. In 2010, Vudu was acquired by Walmart. Later in 2020, it was sold to Fandango Media, a joint venture between NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Discovery.


Like Netflix, Vudu is a digital video store and streaming platform. But, unlike Netflix, Vudu is free to use with ads. So, it is a free alternative to Netflix. However, there are some movies that must be purchased or rented in order to stream. Vudu is only available in the US and Mexico.

Crackle

Initially launched in 2004 under the brand name Grouper, it has now become a free TV and movie streaming platform and is known as Crackle. In 2006, it was acquired by Sony Pictures which is known for changing its name to Crackle. In 2018, Crackle was rebranded as Sony Crackle. As of 2023, it is jointly managed by Sony and Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Crackle is a free movie and TV show streaming platform that operates by monetizing through advertisements. Even though it's free, Crackle has enough content to keep anyone engaged. Also, users may sign up to access more features. It is accessible through web and mobile applications. But, unfortunately, Crackle is only available in the US.

The CW

The CW Television Network (commonly called The CW, or CW TV) is another well-established free-to-use streaming platform similar to Netflix. Launched in 2006, it was initiated as a joint venture between Paramount Global's CBS Entertainment Group, the former owner of United Paramount Network (UPN), and Warner Bros. Discovery's Warner Bros.

Prior to "The CW", "UPN" and "The WB" were two separate services, both introduced in 1995. However, they could not continue their successful journey and had to merge, sharing their resources to jointly set up a new broadcasting company. The word "CW" is derived from the initials of its two involved co-founders, CBS and Warner Bros. As of 2023, the platform is owned by Nexstar Media Group with approximately 75% ownership interest.


The CW platform is primarily dedicated to wooing young age users with a diverse range of streaming content, including movies and TV shows. Plus, it's accessible through the web and native apps for Android and iOS. The only negative thing about "The CW" is that it is only available in the US.

Pluto TV

Pluto TV is one of the best free streaming platforms due to its attractive user interface, extensive collection of shows and movies, and a wide range of supported platforms. It was launched in 2013 and co-founded by Tom Ryan, Ilya Pozin, and Nick Grouf. However, it is now owned and managed by the Paramount Streaming division of Paramount Global.

Along with TV shows and movies, Pluto TV also provides users access to multiple live channels over the internet. It sometimes displays advertisements of longer duration within the streaming. Although Pluto TV is a free on-demand easy-to-use streaming platform, it is only available in Australia, Europe, US, UK, and Canada.

MX Player

Initially launched in 2011, MX Player was first developed as a video player app for Android devices only. It was developed by a South Korea-based company named J2 Interactive. This video player software is still widely used on mobile devices (smartphones) as it is packed with all the essential features. With constant updates, it was made accessible to playback content from online links as well.

MX Player was integrated with streaming services in 2018 after being bought by an Indian company named Times Internet. It started to provide original content as well as the content of others including TV series and movies based on the demand of the users to stream through the internet. It was soon liked by a large section of users and become a rival to major streaming OTT platforms, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

As of now, MX Player is better known as a streaming platform and has all kinds of content available for free from old movies to new movies, comedy TV shows to suspense-thriller drama series. But, it displays annoying ads continuously to earn revenue and continue its services. However, users can purchase its Gold membership and enjoy an ad-free experience.


One drawback of the MX Player streaming service is the availability for only one country, which is India. However, it is soon planning to launch its streaming service in seven more countries, notably Nepal, Bangladesh, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, and USA.

JioCinema

Launched in 2016, JioCinema was introduced as part of the software family or ecosystem of the Indian telecommunications company Jio. Jio is currently one of the leading mobile network operators in India. JioCinema is an OTT service from Jio that enables users to stream media content on-demand, including several TV series and movies.

Initially, the service was made available only to users who were using Jio as their main mobile network. Jio users with data plans were able to access JioCinema for free. However, recently this limit has been removed, allowing all Indian users to access the content on JioCinema for free. The amazing thing is that JioCinema recently gave everyone the facility to watch the live telecast of FIFA World Cup 2022 for free.

JioCinema can be accessed through its website or Android application. Although it is free, it displays advertisements like TV commercials. Therefore, be sure to disable any ad blockers activated on the web browser, if any.

PikaShow

Unlike other platforms, PikaShow is not considered a legal streaming platform. This is because it uses different algorithms to bypass premium or paid content of other streaming platforms and make them freely accessible to the users. PikaShow, being a free streaming platform, is quite popular among users.

PikaShow is believed to have been active since 2014. It is packed with almost every movie, TV show, and series, all in one place, and that too is the fastest on the net. A notable advantage of this platform over Netflix is that it also allows streaming of live channels, be it sports, news, or any other category channel. The developer is very active and always dedicated to providing the latest content to the users first on the internet.

PikaShow is only available for Android devices and can be enjoyed on other operating systems with any reliable Android emulator software such as BlueStacks on Windows. The application must be downloaded via Google search as it is not available on the Play Store. As it violates the rules of the Copyright Infringement Act, it may not be available to use in most of the countries.

Freemium Netflix Alternatives

Fandor

Initially launched in 2011, Fandor is one of the few platforms that is said to be one of the first on-demand subscription services for online video. In 2021, an American entertainment company named Cinedigm acquired Fandor and relaunched it as a standalone independent streaming platform. It is now a famous movie streaming service and a good alternative to Netflix. Fender was jointly developed by Dan Aronson, Jonathan Marlow, and Albert Reinhardt in 2010.

Fandor is dedicated to providing independent films, titles, documentaries, and classics that can be accessed for free with no ads. It contains more than 6000 movies. However, not all content is freely available on this platform. Users may be required to purchase a paid premium subscription to access certain content and enjoy an ad-free experience.

Fandor is primarily available in the US, and users living outside the US may not be able to access all of the platform's content. However, it has been observed that the service can be used by users living outside the US with a VPN. All they need to do is set their geographic location to the US. It is available for web and mobile devices with Android or iOS.


Plex

Launched in 2007 as a media center application by a developer named Elan Feingold, Plex is now a popular streaming platform and allows users to watch content on demand for free. Plex streaming service was first provided in 2019 to keep up with technology developments. In 2021, Plex was acquired by Rockwell Automation.

Like many OTT platforms, Plex also earns through advertisements. So, if one does not like such annoying ads, then he/she can opt for the subscription-based membership which is provided at a low price. One advantage is that it also has a lifetime subscription plan.

Premium users are also provided with additional features, such as the power to download content, dash controls, sharing with others, themes, and many other advanced settings. Furthermore, Plex is available globally in over 200 countries and territories with over 43 languages.

Peacock

Launched in 2020, Peacock is an American OTT platform owned and managed by the television and streaming division of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. Unlike Netflix, Peacock offers free access to about two-thirds of its content with advertisements, creating revenue for its functioning. It mainly offers series and movie content from NBCUniversal Studios and some other third-party content platforms.

Although much of it is free, Peacock is slowly shifting most of its content towards paid services as it continues to grow. In addition to download support for existing content, users can stream live sports and events with monthly-paid plans. A disadvantage of this platform is the limited availability in very few countries, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, the UK, and the US (physically located device-access only).

Hotstar

Hotstar is another major alternative to Netflix; however, it is not available globally. It was launched in 2015 by Star India Pvt. Ltd., and is now owned by its subsidiary Novi Digital Entertainment. Hotstar is an online streaming platform that provides users with over 100,000 hours of playback for TV shows and movies.

Hotstar is also known for providing live coverage of every major sporting event. When it was launched in 2015, it covered Cricket World Cup 2015 and later IPL. For such content, Star India tries to buy streaming rights at the earliest to attract more with live streaming. Although many movies and shows (usually one day earlier episodes) are free to watch, users are required to purchase a premium subscription to gain full access to its latest content and all movies.

In 2019, Hotstar partnered with Disney, hence it is known as Disney+Hotstar in India. Apart from India, Hotstar is also available in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. It provides users with geo-restricted access so that they can get local regional content and relevant movies.


Summary

The listed platforms are not the only available alternatives to Netflix. In fact, there are over 100 platforms similar to Netflix, and new ones are coming along with the growing use of the internet. Since there is a huge competition, all similar streaming platforms will top each other over time as well as on a random basis in the list.

At this point in time, Amazon Prime, Display+, and Apple TV+ are Netflix's main competitors. Furthermore, users without a budget often prefer to use free platforms like Tubi TV, MX Player, PikaShow, etc. Some other notable alternatives to Netflix include HBO Max, Discovery+, and YouTube.


What others reading:


Weekly Hits


Latest Tutorial


© 2023 TutorialsMate. Designed by TutorialsMate

Join Youtube Channel

Subscribe TutorialsMate to get video updates.

Subscribe