The future (and present) of media is streaming. Much as Luddites like myself cling to physical media--and I do still prefer it; I'm not gonna give it up that easily--it's becoming increasingly easier to see quality films and television on the internet. At this point, pretty much everyone has the big three: Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. But there are many other options out there, with many more on the way, and we have seven with diverse catalogues that are worth adding to your ala carte nerd package.
If you're in any way interested in classic films, there is no better resource than FilmStruck. It began as a service from Turner Classic Movies that included an add-on feature with selections (and often full editions) from the Criterion Collection, but recently they've also added amazing titles from Warner Archive. FilmStruck adds new director collections and curated themed packages every week, plus original interview programming and extras galore. Want to watch a bunch of film noir or '60s Japanese science fiction? You can do that. Bar none, there is no better way to discover the classics than this service.
You can get a free 14-day trial at their website, and it's a reasonable monthly or yearly subscription thereafter, depending on the tier you choose.
As someone who's a huge fan of horror and a collector of Blu-rays and DVDs, I didn't think a service like Shudder was all that necessary; now I know its completely indispensable. Shudder has horror from all eras, from all over the world, with specific collections for every horror fan's taste. From '80s gems like Street Trash, Night of the Creeps, and Sleepaway Camp, to brand new exclusive films and documentaries about everything under the blood red moon. I got lost in a sea of sexy Italian giallo from the '70s recently thanks to Shudder, and they've just added a whole slew of Stephen King movies.
You can browse their whole catalog on their site, then sign up for a free trial.
There is roughly a metric buttload of anime series out there, and if you're not up on all the latest, it's very hard to dive in. That's why Crunchyroll is so integral; their library of anime is gargantuan, and they have a hefty helping of live-action series (both tokusatsu and J- and K-drama) as well, many with the option to simulcast them as they're going live in Japan. That's pretty dope and ensures you don't have to wait for an English-language company to pick it up. You can even search by seasons, meaning you can never be too far from the latest and greatest in Asian entertainment.
Crunchyroll offers a 14-day premium free trial and it's only $6.95/month for unlimited viewing after that.
The BBC is the United Kingdom's main publicly funded television network. ITV is the United Kingdom's most popular commercial television network. There's truly no reason for them to get along; they're each other's number 1 competition. And yet, they've partnered to bring the world a truly massive library of British programming from both of their archives. They're the exclusive streaming home of classic Doctor Who (they even have brand new reconstructions of some of the missing stories) and other iconic British series like Agatha Christie's Poirot, Jonathan Creek, and Black Adder. You can also watch new episodes of popular soaps like Coronation Street and EastEnders.
It's $6.99 per month, and you can get a free 7-day trial here.
Sometimes you're spoiled for choice. I mean, how do you decide what to watch when you have roughly 88 billion options? Sometimes it's nice to have people choose for you. That's the beauty of Mubi, a streaming service designed for the cinema lover who likes ordering from the prix fixe menu. Mubi has 30 great movies to choose from at any given time, each available for 30 days. Every day, one movie is taken away and a new one is added, so you could watch a different movie every day for your entire life and never repeat, going solely off of what's available and added to their library.
Mubi is $8.99 per month, but is also offering a free 7-day trial.
Because you never can have enough anime in your life, FUNimation Now offers a streaming service of all of their enormous library of series and movies in the annals of Japanese animation. You can watch essential classics like Akira, One Piece, and Cowboy Bebop, or new favorites like My Hero Academia, Berserk, and Re: Zero. You can also watch all of their content for free with ads, or you can subscribe to their premium package for $5.99 per month and get everything ad free, and even simulcast brand new series as they air.
You can browse their whole catalog or look into their free 14-day trial on their site.
Shout! Factory TV
For over a decade, Shout Factory has been the place for nostalgic television shows on DVD and Blu-ray, and their expansion into cult movies with Scream Factory has kept the quality up as well. Now they have their own streaming service where you can watch all sorts of programs, from a massive library of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes to movies like John Carpenter's Body Bags and evil baboon movie Shakma. And near as I can figure, it's all completely free. You just have to watch some ads. Not the worst thing in the world.
Explore Shout Factory TV right here.
And if you're looking for an easy way to get several of these services at once, why not try VRV? VRV is a platform to watch the best in anime, gaming, tech, cartoons, and a lot more! They host a lot of great channels, including Mubi, Crunchyroll, FUNimation, Shudder, and even Geek & Sundry, Nerdist, and Alpha, which has a host of original programming! To get a 30-day free trial, click here, and it's only $9.99 per month after that. Not too shabby.
These are our picks for the streaming services you ought to add to your channels. What are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured Images: WB/Columbia/Funimation