These are some of the alternative streaming platforms for viewing different content, kungfu movies, Chinese dramas, a very specific genre, anime or more series.
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus dominate the world of streaming with their endless lists of box office hits, classic series and original stellar content. But although they are a great choice if you are looking for a wide range of genres to watch, you may want to consider looking at another platform if you have more specific tastes or simply want to watch something different.
From anime to horror, and hits to golden age classics, there are streaming subscriptions for almost every niche. We’ve put together a selection of some of the best alternative platforms for watching different series and movies.
If you are trying to decide on one of the most popular streaming services, then take a look at the guide to the best TV streaming services.
There are a couple of things that make Mubi unique. Firstly, it offers a collection of high-quality films. Then, he emphasizes old films, all of which are critically acclaimed and accompanied by a brief explanation of why those films are important.
However, Mubi forces you to act quickly as the films only stay on the service for 30 days at a time, with one film removed and another added each day.
That means there’s always something new to watch, while saving you the uncertainty of how long a movie you like will be on Netflix first. It also allows Mubi’s team to conduct curatorial seasons, offering a few films by the same director over the course of a few days, or exploring certain genres or periods.
A few chosen films make it a permanent line, called the Mubi Library, which does its best to preserve those curated lines with sections dedicated to specific genres or directors.
Mubi is available on iOS, Android, and the good old-fashioned web browsers, along with Chromecast, FireTV, Apple TV, PS4, and a variety of smart TVs and Blu-ray players.
Although we would never recommend inviting anyone to have a bad time, this is a topic worth investigating for horror fans.
Shudder is dedicated to one thing, and one thing only: scaring you. His extensive library encompasses films from around the world and from all decades, united only by his commitment to exploring the dark side of cinema.
You can browse the complete list of films, or sort them into collections. Most of them are thematic or about scary creatures, haunted houses, vampires, aliens, etc.
You can view Shudder through a web browser, iOS, Android, Roku, Chromecast or Apple TV.
Crunchyroll is another streaming service that is successful in focusing on a specific niche: in this case, anime and manga (and some Japanese live action TV shows).
Anime is the main focus, although it is strictly television rather than film – but the library is absolutely vast, and is updated with episodes with English subtitles soon after they are the first broadcast in Japan.
You’ll also have access to a huge manga catalogue, the latest anime news and an online shop if you want to complement your habit with some merchandise.
The only drawback to a Crunchyroll subscription is how good the free option is. Free users still have access to most of the anime catalogue, but have to wait a week for new episodes, and have to support ads and a maximum resolution of 480p – but for the more casual anime fan, those commitments might well be worth it.
Crunchyroll is available through browsers, iOS, Android, Roku, Chromecast and most major game consoles.
4. BFI Player Plus
Of course, the name may be inspired by the BBC’s iPlayer, but the British Film Institute’s streaming platform is a pretty impressive offering in itself.
Besides the typical online rental service, with new and old movies, there is also BFI Player Plus, a subscription service that gives you unlimited access to 300 movies.
There is a mix of old classics with modern independent and arthouse hits, even if you don’t expect many box-office hits. The films are presented in collections for easy navigation: by director, country, genre and occasionally more specific topics like “Big Premieres” or “Academy Award winners”.
You also get one film a week chosen by film critic Mark Kermode, with a short introductory video highlighting why it’s worth watching.
It’s worth noting that joining the BFI Player Plus doesn’t give you access to all the movies in the regular rental service – they have different catalogues – but the library you get is comprehensive enough that you won’t mind.
The BFI Player Plus is available via a web browser (via Flash) or an iOS application. Android users are recommended to use a video application called Hook that we could not even load, so we would not recommend BFI Player Plus if that is your main platform.
If your thing is to watch programs on your smartphone, then Quibi is the service to check it. The application is only for mobiles, and you can’t watch it on TV or on your desktop without sharing the screen.
But what is really interesting about Quibi is that all its content can be viewed both in horizontal and vertical format on the phone, adjusting the image, the frame and even the subtitles without problems when you change the viewing angle. Plus, all the videos are small – ten minutes maximum – which makes them perfect for viewing on the move.
In Quibi you can find a range of genres, including news, reality shows, comedies, dramas and horror series. Among the big names who are creating shows for the service are Sam Raimi, Christoph Waltz and even Chance the Rapper, who is creating a Punk’d restart.
If you have used any of the 5 video & streaming platforms above, you could discuss your experience and thoughts to help others make a better choice.