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Best Netflix alternatives for streaming movies and shows in 2022

Best Netflix alternatives for streaming movies and shows in 2022 for both free and paid services. In this article, we take a look at the best Netflix alternatives around. And there is a surprising number, both free and paid.

Tired of Netflix? Netflix is great, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all of streaming services. During Netflix’s recent earnings call, the company reported that it lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter itself. (Similar post: What are the advantages and disadvantages of Netflix?, Netflix guide)

Netflix may be one of the biggest and most well-known video streaming services globally, but it sure isn’t the only one. There are many Netflix alternatives out there that will keep you entertained every night on your smartphone, tablet, or smart TV. Netflix subscription plans go up to $19.99 per month, and Netflix is among your more expensive options. Many of these alternative services are cheaper, and some are even free to access, although they do have ads.

In this article, we take a look at some of the best Netflix alternatives available today. These are companies similar to Netflix but offer streaming services with different features and/or content. We have included both premium and free Netflix alternatives for a broad range of users in this article.

1. Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is one of the best — if not the best — Netflix alternatives. It offers plenty of popular movies and TV shows and has great original programming. The shows that stand out are The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Man In The High Castle, The Boys, and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, to name a few.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, the Prime Video service is included in your subscription. Amazon Prime costs $14.99 per month and also includes free shipping on a bunch of products sold by the retailer, Amazon’s Prime Reading service, and more. Amazon Prime Video is also available as a standalone service and goes for $8.99 per month.

  • A wide variety of critically acclaimed original content you can’t find elsewhere
  • You can easily rent or buy other content that isn’t included in the subscription
  • Prime Video is included as part of a full Amazon Prime subscription

2. HBO Max

Warner Bros. Discovery’s video streaming service has a lot to offer. You will always find something interesting to watch, from recent HBO hit shows like The White Lotus to older ones like The Sopranos. Other great HBO shows worth mentioning include Game of Thrones, The Leftovers, and Barry.

In addition, HBO Max includes tons of additional content not found on HBO. That includes sitcoms like Friends, The Big Bang Theory, South Park, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and TV dramas like Doctor Who and Pretty Little Liars, as well as HBO Max originals Raised by Wolves, The Flight Attendant, Irma Vep, and more.

It also has classic and current Warner Bros. movies that are not currently on the HBO cable channel. You can also stream shows from Warner Bros. Discovery’s other cable TVs channels like TNT, TBS, TruTV, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and CNN. Finally, there are selections of movies from Criterion, along with anime from Crunchyroll and Studio Ghibli.

HBO Max retails for $14.99 a month. There’s also a new, cheaper plan, at $9.99 a month, but it throws in up to four minutes of ads per hour. It also won’t let you access the 2021 Warner Bros. theatrical movie day-and-date slate. It’s definitely not the cheapest service on this list, but it’s still worth the money because of all the great content it offers.

  • The greatest selection of HBO’s original shows through the years
  • Expensive compared to its competitors
  • Lacks features available elsewhere, like 4K or offline viewing

3. Disney Plus

If you don’t already know about Disney Plus, we’d be surprised. The service launched in mid-November in the US and other parts of the world. It is a great Netflix alternative if you have kids, with tons of classic and current family movies and TV shows to watch under one service. You can watch nearly all the Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel Cinematic Universe movies on Disney Plus as well.

The price for Disney Plus on its own is currently $7.99 a month, or $79.99 for an annual subscription. There used to be a seven-day free trial, but it was recently discontinued. However, you might still be able to get it free. It’s currently available in the US, Canada, Europe, and other international locations, and will expand to more countries in 2021.

  • Perfect for kids, thanks to the deep Disney archives of classic animations
  • A limited amount of content from 20th Century Fox due to its mature slant
  • Slowly producing its own exclusive content, though this is a bit limited at launch

4. Hulu

Hulu is home to old and new hit TV series like Seinfeld, ER, and Futurama. There are also a few original shows available, including the popular The Handmaid’s Tale and Only Murders in the Building. What makes Hulu special is that it releases new episodes of some of the most popular shows around a day or so after they are aired on TV. In contrast, Netflix generally releases an entire season of a certain show at once, so you have to wait longer to start watching it.

Hulu starts at just $6.99 per month but includes ads. There’s also an ad-free plan available, which will set you back $12.99 per month. You can also customize Hulu with add-ons including Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, and HBO, or even get a plan with Live TV channels (ABC, FOX, CNN, etc.) starting at $69.99 per month. Hulu truly is a great Netflix alternative, but only in the US and Japan. Unlike Netflix, the service isn’t available in other countries.

  • Great for its huge back catalog of old and modern TV shows
  • Offers a cheap entry point for basic membership
  • Commercials on TV and movies; even on the higher price tier

5. Crackle

The main reason why Crackle is one of the best Netflix alternatives is that it’s completely free. It also offers plenty of great content, including cult classics, critically acclaimed Hollywood films, and popular TV shows. There are around 150 feature-length movies and 75 shows available on the platform.

There are a few drawbacks to consider, with the biggest one being that the service is ad-supported. You will usually have to sit through a 30-second commercial before your movie or show begins, followed by up to three additional ads for shows and nine for movies longer than an hour and a half.

  • A good selection of movies and TV shows from many studios
  • Supports a wide range of playback devices
  • Longer content has a large number of ads

6. Acorn TV

Acorn TV is home to classic and current shows from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and a few other countries. It’s a fantastic Netflix alternative, offering popular TV shows like Inspector George Gently, Doc Martin, Midsomer Murders, and plenty of others. Most Americans are not familiar with these shows, but trust me, they are definitely worth watching. There are also a few movies available, but the selection isn’t vast.

Acorn TV isn’t as widely available as Netflix, as you can only get it in the US and Canada. It costs $5.99 per month in the states and doesn’t include ads. The biggest drawback of the service is that, unlike Netflix, you can’t download content to watch it offline.

  • A great range of content from countries outside of America
  • Reasonable price and cheaper if you sign up for a year
  • You can’t download videos for offline viewing

7. Paramount Plus

Formerly known as CBS All Access, Paramount Plus combines a ton of content from its parent company ViacomCBS into one product. You can watch tons of classic and current movies from Paramount Pictures, plus TV shows from CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, and much more.

In addition to content on-demand, the service offers live national and local news along with live sports like NFL football, soccer, NCAA basketball, and more. Pricing in the US starts at $4.99 a month, but it lacks the live CBS stream and throws in ads. You have to spend $9.99 a month to get the live CBS stream and get rid of ads.

8. YouTube premium

YouTube is a great free Netflix alternative, although it’s a bit different than the other options on this list. You’ll find a few great movies on the platform, as well as many episodes from various TV shows like the hilarious Mr. Bean and the classy crime-fighting Columbo.

However, the overall selection of movies and TV shows isn’t nearly as good as what you get with Netflix and other streaming services like Hulu. But you get to watch other types of content, including vlogs from popular creators like Casey Neistat, funny cat videos, or smartphone reviews. Sometimes, these types of videos are more entertaining than the latest episode of Stranger Things. You also have to deal with both video and banner ads, but you can sign up for YouTube Premium for $11.99 a month to get rid of those ads, along with background audio support and more.

9. Apple TV Plus

Apple TV Plus is a great Netflix alternative right away because of its low price: it’s just $4.99 a month. For that price, you can get high-quality shows made for families (Snoopy in Space, Helpsters) and series for adults (The Morning Show, See, For All Mankind, Servant, and more). Apple TV Plus continues to add new programs regularly.

While its library of content can’t match Netflix’s, its quality is certainly solid. Another big plus for this service is that it’s available in over 120 countries right off the bat.

  • Some good original content from top-tier talent
  • There isn’t much to watch due to the lack of licensed content
  • You can get a free year’s subscription when buying a new Apple product

10. Peacock

After months of waiting, NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service finally launched in mid-July 2020. Its biggest feature is that much of its content is free to stream (with ads), so you can watch classic series like Parks and Recreation, Two and a Half Men, Battlestar Galactica, and more. It’s also the exclusive streaming home for Parks and Recreation and The Office in the US, and more recently, it added WWE pro wrestling, including access to its pay-per-view events.

If you want to watch even more content, and Peacock originals like the reboots of Saved by the Bell and Punky Brewster, you can pay $4.99 a month for Peacock Premium (with ads) or $9.99 a month (without ads). There is a seven-day free trial available.

All of these Netflix alternatives offer something a little bit different. But with so many different streaming services available, you may have to rotate between all of them in order to have access to the widest range of content.

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