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Alternative Streaming – six lesser-known video apps

Are you fed up of Netflix? Have you wrung Disney+ dry of content? Does Amazon Prime Video’s confusing mixture of Prime and non-Prime content make your head spin?

Sounds like you’re in need of a video-streaming alternative. The following lesser-known apps will offer you a different flavor to the glossy mainstream offerings of the usual suspects.

MUBI [7-day trial, $10.99/£10.99 per month]

A streaming app for true cinephiles, MUBI rejects the ‘throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks’ approach of other streaming services. Curation is the operative word here, alongside a focus on independent and world cinema. MUBI maintains a constantly refreshing roster of just 30 movies, including a fair smattering of exclusives and specials.


Shudder [7-day trial, $5.99/£4.99 per month]

If you’re a horror movie fan, it can be difficult finding fresh stuff to watch on the usual platforms. That’s where Shudder comes in. AMC Networks’ service focuses on the schlocky, the scary, and the just plain unsettling, with a roster of more than 600 horror movies and TV shows hand-picked by real (and occasionally famous) people.


Crunchyroll [14-day trial, $7.99/£4.99 per month]

As the self-proclaimed “world’s largest anime library”, Crunchyroll offers access to more than a thousand animated titles from Japan and other regions. This isn’t just vintage content either, with brand new episodes airing on the service a mere hour after initial transmission in Japan. The roster also includes titles that are exclusive to the Sony-owned service.


Pluto TV [Free]

If you’re looking for a whole stack of traditional TV and movie content at no charge whatsoever, Pluto TV is just about your best option. Paramount’s app offers hundreds of free channels and thousands of free movies courtesy of an ad-driven model. It’s also a great pick if you’re a French or Spanish speaker, with a number of channels offering content in those languages.

Pluto TV

Acorn TV [$6.99/£4.99 per month]

If you find yourself tiring of the decidedly US-centric content offered by the big streaming services, Acorn TV will come as a breath of fresh air. While there’s a particular focus on UK productions, there’s a smattering of release from other English-speaking countries too, including Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Acorn TV


Dropout is home to exclusive content from the team behind YouTube giants CollegeHumor, and though the output has matured since CH’s early days, it retains a uniquely alternative sense of comedy you won’t find elsewhere. There’s tons of content here, but it’s perhaps most notable for its suite of improvisational gameshows and D&D shenanigans.