No Netflix free trial? How to get free streaming services in the U.S.
COVID-19 has restricted us to our homes, making streaming services seem more precious than ever. Unfortunately, Netflix isn’t offering any free trials at the moment, so, unless you have a really nice friend or family member who’s willing to give you their password, Netflix isn’t accessible for everyone.
Luckily, there’s more free streaming services to choose from, all with substantial selections of movies & TV shows. While they may not have the prolific titles that Netflix, Hulu, or Prime have, they have plenty to offer in terms of quality content. Here are all of the streaming services you can watch without having to spend a monthly fee.
Have a library card? Well, you’re in luck! If your local public library is participating in Kanopy’s streaming service, you can watch from a selection of curated films, ranging from modern indie films to international cinema to the most influential films of all time with an impressive selection from the Criterion Collection.
Kanopy is also a great excuse to get a library card. Some universities also have it available, so if you’re a student, make sure to check your school’s library to see if the service is available for you.
Hoopla is another library card streaming service. It boasts a wide variety of movies, including silent films, international cinema, cult classics, and even some newer films like The Souvenir & Driveways. It also has plenty of binge-worthy TV shows and a good number of animated series like Over the Garden Wall & Rick and Morty.
Tubi is free with ads and has a broad selection of movies & TV shows. You also don’t have to make an account to watch, but you can make one if you want to keep a watchlist. Tubi has the biggest selection on this list of over 21,000 titles including anime classics like Cowboy Bebop & Attack on Titan, critically acclaimed films like Memento & Carol, documentaries like Stop Making Sense & I Am Not Your Negro, and more.
IMDb TV is a newer streaming service you can access with a Prime or IMDb account. Another free service with ads, IMDb TV has a fairly impressive lineup of new movies including highly acclaimed films like Taxi Driver & Whiplash to cult classics like Donnie Darko & But I’m a Cheerleader. It also has a solid selection of TV including Mad Men, Lost, & Schitt’s Creek.
Peacock is NBC’s response to the flood of streaming services and is another free-with-ads streaming service. Peacock has two levels: its regular free with ads service & Peacock Premium, which costs $4.99 a month with ads and $9.99 without ads. While most of NBC’s catalogue is included, Peacock also has the entire Harry Potter collection and a good number of Hollywood classics.
Crackle is a streaming service connected to Sony and has partnerships with many indie production companies including Magnolia Pictures & Oscilloscope Laboratories. It has many more movies than TV shows, but it has some classic TV series like All in the Family & 21 Jump Street for you to enjoy.
Luckily, you don’t have to have a Roku stick to get the Roku Channel; you can still access their library online. If you love true crime, you might like their collection of Unsolved Mysteries and Cold Case Files. The Roku channel also has plenty of horror movies to get your Halloween fix, with titles including the Swedish version of Let the Right One In, the popular It Follows, and even the original Halloween.
Pluto TV has a large catalogue of movies featuring plenty of classics ranging from Sunset Boulevard to Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury to even a number of James Bond films. While its TV selection is more limited, it also features classic shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Popcornflix has a decent selection with many classic movies with titles like My Man Godfrey and The Day the Earth Stood Still, but also a solid selection of recent underrated movies like I Killed My Mother, Holy Motors, & Meek’s Cutoff.
While Vudu has its paid VOD design, it also has a wide selection of free movies to watch. While Vudu Free has a much wider selection of movies than TV, with over 4,000 films to choose from. If you’re looking to watch more international movies, there’s a good number of old & modern titles from around the world.
Like Vudu, YouTube has its paid YouTube Premium service along with a select collection of free content. While there’s not too much to choose from, there are some classics movies like Thelma & Louise & A Fish Called Wanda.
If you’re in dire need of watching a Hulu Original or the newest HBO hit, free trials are still available, though the lengths of their trials vary. Hulu, YouTube Premium, & the horror streaming service Shudder all have month-long free trials. HBO Max, Disney+, & Apple TV have a 7-day free trial. If you already have Prime, Hulu, or AppleTV+, you can also use their free trials on their channels, which typically last seven days.
If you’ve recently purchased an Apple product, check to see if you get AppleTV+ for a year. Disney+ also has deals with companies like Verizon where you can get Disney+ for a year. Check whether there’s a deal you don’t know about and you might already be in a free trial.