Streaming services used to be inexpensive and packed with high-quality content. Now, everything is a streaming service or app. Plus, these services are all so much more expensive than they used to be, and the content is subpar.
You are probably paying the same or more than you did with cable if you’re signed up for all the major streamers! That’s nuts.
No longer, my friends! Here are the best free streaming services and apps you can look into if you would like to replace paid streaming. And if you’re looking for iPhone-specific services, here’s a great guide on the best free apps for streaming movies on iPhone.
Our pick for the 10 best free streaming apps
The only streaming services worth paying for
If you still want to check out some paid streaming options even after trying all of those great free streaming apps, these are the only ones worth considering:
I’ll discuss these services a bit more at the end of this post. Before we get to all that, let’s dive deeper into my favorite free streaming apps and services of 2024.
This emerging streamer has many popular movies, TV shows, and live channels that you can stream for free without paying a dime. Freevee even has original titles that you can’t stream anywhere else.
It works on web browsers and the Amazon Prime app, which means you can stream all this free content straight to your iOS or Android device! It plays on your PS5, Google TV, Roku, Fire TV, Smart TV, Xbox, and more. Plus, while using Freevee, you can see who is in your film or TV show and what projects they have coming up.
You can watch Freevee on your streaming devices without signing in, but signing in allows you to sync your watchlist between devices. You don’t even need to have Amazon Prime or Prime Video to use Freevee, even though Amazon owns both streaming services.
Crackle has been around for a long time, yet it’s still one of the best places to stream content for free. Used by over 40 million people monthly, the streaming service is available on smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, smart TVs, and computers.
As is always the case with free streaming services, you’re not going to find any brand-new releases. But there are plenty of movies and TV shows to choose from. The selection includes many things you’ve never heard of, but you’ll also find popular favorites, like the BBC’s Sherlock. There are also Crackle originals like Snatch that are a must-watch. And holiday specials like Meeting Mr. Christmas will get you set for the season!
You can watch every single episode of Barney Miller for free! Also, you can watch movies like Hunt for the Wilderpeople or Bel Canto right now. How great is that?!
Kanopy is probably the greatest streaming service you’ve never used. And the best part is that you already have access to it without knowing it! If you have a library card or attend college, you probably have access to Kanopy’s huge library of thousands of streaming movies.
From recent movies like Eighth Grade to classics like Howard’s End, this has a ton of options to pick from. Enjoy powerful documentaries like I Am Not Your Negro, The Mask You Live In, Kedi, and Digital Disconnect. Take a quick reading break in the library with short films like Litterbugs and The Cat Came Back.
Kanopy even has a special Kanopy Kids collection for toddlers and children.
If you don’t have a library card, this is a terrific reason to go get one (not to mention you can be reading more). You’ll be shocked at how impressive the streaming selection is, and there are Kanopy apps for every major platform, including iOS, Android, Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and more.
You’ll be pleased to know that Kanopy is ad-free, unlike Netflix, since Netflix is planning to introduce ads. So, you get to watch great content for free without your entertainment being disrupted by intrusive ads.
Hoopla is just like Kanopy in that you can access it for free as long as you have a library card and your local public library participates. What’s crazy is that you might find even more popular movies and TV shows here than you did on Kanopy.
Hoopla is one of the great free streaming apps, and the app even allows downloads for offline viewing when you travel. Just remember, Kanopy and Hoopla work just like the library, so you only have a certain amount of time to stream content before you have to “return” it. You can watch your downloaded content on your laptop, computer, or phone. Check out the classic The Iron Lady free of charge.
Vudu isn’t an entirely free service, but it makes the list because it has a rather large catalog of free content. In fact, there are more than 1,000 different movies you can stream for free.
All of Vudu’s free content is ad-supported, but so are most of the other free streaming services included in this roundup other than the ones supported by public libraries.
Plus, if you do want to splurge on a new release, you can buy new movie and TV series releases weekly.
If there’s one service among the free Netflix alternatives that has almost as many high-quality movies as Vudu, it’s Tubi TV. In fact, there’s so much content to stream that you won’t believe you’re not paying for it.
Studios including Paramount, Lionsgate, MGM, and Starz provide content to Tubi TV, and new movies are added all the time. There are a ton of great family movies on here too like Like Mike and Son of the Mask.
Plus, Tubi Originals like Teardrop or 10 Truths About Love are also available.
Redbox Free Live TV
Another service we told you about a while ago comes from Redbox, and it’s unlike any of the other Netflix alternatives we will cover in this roundup. Whereas every other streamer we’re covering is like Netflix in that it uses an on-demand streaming model, Redbox Live Free TV uses a more traditional television model. We love this service.
Like Netflix, Redbox started as a movie rental service but has now pivoted into the content streaming business.
There are a bunch of different channels, and they all stream live TV, just like the name of the service suggests. You’ll find news, sports, web culture content, comedy shows, and even a bunch of popular TV series like The Price is Right (Bob Barker’s Years), Cops, Family Feud, and Unsolved Mysteries. You might not get the latest blockbuster hits, but you can still access a lot of entertaining content for free.
It’s all free to watch even without a login, and you can stream it from the Redbox site or within the Redbox app on any platform. Also, you’ll get a better idea of what movies you can get when you go to a Redbox kiosk.
The Roku Channel
The Roku Channel doesn’t license any content directly, which is what all these other services do. Instead, it aggregates free streaming movies, shows, and even live TV channels from other services so you can find all that great content in one place.
Of note, Roku TV isn’t only available on Roku devices. You can watch it on just about any smart TV, streaming box, or mobile device.
Roku is the most popular streaming device out there. So there is a good chance anyone reading this has one.
The Roku Channel also now has originals and all kinds of movies on there.
A lot of people think of Plex as a media server that people use to watch movies and TV shows that they have downloaded illegally.
While that’s certainly one way the platform is used, there’s plenty more than that to Plex. Use it as a server to stream your own digital movies, TV shows, and music that you’ve downloaded — legally or otherwise. I have been using Plex since it launched in 2008, and that’s because I personally like to make legal backups of my media. What that means, is that when you buy physical media like a Blu-ray, you can copy that file to a digital version on your computer for personal usage. Plex is brilliant for this.
Plex is also home to a fairly sizeable catalog of content that you can stream for free. Plus, it’s compatible with streaming on a variety of devices. Watch Yoga Hosers for free now!
Pluto TV is a fantastic free Netflix alternative. It’s also a fantastic free pay-TV alternative because it combines both consumption models into a single service.
First, you’ll find a bunch of live TV channels. They stream free, including many movie channels like NBC News Now, CNN, CBS News, MTV channels, Fail Army, and more. There are hundreds of them.
Then, on top of that, you’ll also find on-demand movies and TV series.
We added a bonus option in case you don’t want to give up your paid subscriptions. You can link them to find the best deals to watch movies you want with Movies Anywhere.
You can sign up for a free account and then link your streaming and cable accounts. Participating retailers are Apple TV, Prime Video, Vudu, Xfinity, Google Play/YouTube, Microsoft Movies & TV, FandangoNOW, Verizon Fios TV, and DIRECTV. This will show you the lowest price for a specific movie as you search through the “Deals” page.
Bonus: Some other streaming services to consider
Here is a rundown of the best paid streaming services you might want to try instead of, say, Netflix. Streamers like Max, Hulu, Disney+, and others have really started to turn up the heat now that Netflix has raised its prices and started charging users to share their passwords.
There are also services like Sling TV that let you stream live television channels. That’s something Netflix will never do.