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7 Underrated Streaming Platforms That Not Many Know About

Everyone is familiar with streaming giants like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. They are the modern-day equivalents of traditional cable channels, attracting a large audience and hosting highly popular shows. However, just as basic cable channels may not always offer the best content, top-notch streaming content is not limited to these platforms.
Several underrated streaming services exceed expectations by providing an impressive library of content. While you may not recognize the names of these platforms, you will undoubtedly recognize some of the shows and movies they offer. What's more, many of them are completely free to use! These seven hidden gems may surprise you as you find yourself more frequently using them than more widely known platforms.

1. Curiosity Stream

Streaming Services, Curiosity Stream
Image source: Curiosity Stream

Streaming platforms often have hidden gems in the form of documentaries and educational content. But what if there was a service solely dedicated to that? Check out Curiosity Stream, a streaming platform designed for those who love to learn throughout their lives. By subscribing to this service, you gain access to a vast collection of feature-length documentaries and ongoing series covering a wide range of fascinating subjects that are bound to capture your attention. The platform also offers exclusive content from renowned figures like Stephen Hawking and David Attenborough, ensuring that you can enjoy fresh perspectives from familiar voices.

Price: $4.99 a month/ $39.99 a year

2. Shudder

Streaming Services, Shudder
Image source: Shudder
Are you a fan of spooky experiences? Are you seeking additional sources of spine-chilling encounters? Look no further than Shudder. This streaming service caters to those who embrace the eerie and the unsettling. While other popular streaming platforms may have a selection of mainstream horror films, Shudder specializes in the lesser-known gems. The Shudder team is dedicated to curating a wide selection of fear-provoking content, offering specialized collections devoted to a variety of genres and themes, so one can discover both classics and exciting new releases. All of this is available for less than $6 per month, making it an incredibly enticing offer for any horror aficionado.
Price: $5.99 a month/$56.99 a year

3. Tubi TV

Streaming Services, Tubi TV
Image source: Tubi TV
While Tubi TV may not enjoy the same level of recognition and popularity as Netflix, it still offers an extensive range of free streaming content (although the app does require you to watch ads).
One of the special aspects of Tubi TV is its vast collection of films and TV series, many of which are sourced directly from partnerships with renowned production companies. This means that a significant portion of the 5,000+ movies available are high-quality productions from industry giants like MGM, Paramount, and Starz.
And speaking of the content available on the platform, Tubi TV regularly introduces new content, ensuring that there is always something fresh and captivating to watch. This includes acclaimed films like Platoon and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and cult TV series such as Firefly and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
Price: Completely free!

4. Mubi

Streaming Services, Mubi
Image source: Mubi
While it may initially sound like a website affiliated with Tubi, it's not the case. MUBI differs from Tubi TV in that it offers a diverse range of content from around the world, with a particular emphasis on international films.
MUBI offers an abundance of content, showcasing numerous films that have received widespread acclaim from audiences worldwide. For those who have an interest in international cinema, or even a slight interest in French, Korean, or Japanese cinema, or any other nationality for that matter, MUBI is the ideal platform to begin their exploration.

Price: $10.99 a month/$83.88 a year

5. Kanopy

Streaming Services, Kanopy
Image source: Kanopy
Think of Kanopy as the grand canopy in the world of streaming. It provides access to a substantial collection of over 30,000 movies, drawing content from various sources. Within Kanopy's extensive library, you'll discover acclaimed films from the Criterion Collection, timeless classics from Paramount, insightful documentaries from HBO, and much more. The best thing is that Kanopy is available completely free in many regions, as long as you possess a library card or a university email address. With such an affordable price tag, it's difficult to make a poor choice, and Kanopy consistently surpasses expectations.
Kanopy has a minor downside in that it limits the number of films you can watch each month. Nevertheless, depending on your library, you have the opportunity to stream approximately six to ten movies per month. Considering Kanopy offers a nearly free film collection, this is an exceptional bargain.

Price: No individual subscriptions. But you can access it for free with a library card or a university email address.

6. Criterion Channel

Streaming Services, Criterion Channel
Image source: Criterion Channel
The Criterion Channel is a must-have streaming service for movie enthusiasts. Serving as the successor to the short-lived FilmStruck, this streaming service is an expansion of the esteemed Criterion Collection, a company that specializes in re-releasing significant classic and contemporary films.
The Criterion Channel offers an exhaustive selection of hundreds of films spanning various genres and coming from all over the world, just like their DVDs and Blu-rays. With access to an extensive library of nearly 3,000 timeless films, ranging from iconic pieces of American cinema history to modern masterpieces, the platform provides an abundance of valuable content. Subscribers to the channel can enjoy most films released through the Criterion Collection, as well as monthly additions of new releases from acclaimed directors such as Charlie Chaplin, Wes Anderson, and Wong Kar Wai.
While catering to film scholars, historians, and cinephiles, the Criterion Channel excels not only in its extensive streaming options but also in the supplementary features accompanying its films. The service also provides the opportunity to listen to introductions by renowned filmmakers and actors such as Bill Hader, Edgar Wright, and Guillermo del Toro as they provide insights into how certain films have impacted their careers and personal lives.
Price: $10.99 a month/$99.99 a year

7. Shout! Factory TV

Streaming Services, Shout! Factory TV
Image source: Shout! Factory TV
Shout! Factory TV is an immensely entertaining free streaming platform. It branches out from Shout! Factory's DVD and Blu-Ray offerings and features a diverse selection of low-budget cult films.
While Shout! Factory TV may not match the quality of films found on The Criterion Channel, it provides an excellent option for a weekend spent at home. Whether you're in the mood for a delightfully cheesy '60s horror flick or an outrageously over-the-top '80s action movie like Samurai Cop, this platform has got you covered.
Offering a wealth of choices, this under-the-radar streaming service keeps things exciting by featuring an awesome "VHS Vault" that highlights lesser-known films, while continuously introducing new movies every month. In a unique twist, the platform also airs episodes of popular shows such as Mystery Science Theater 3000, Candid Camera, and ALF, among many others.
Price: Completely free!
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