LIAM EASLEY, ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT DIRECTOR
Maintaining a subscription with a streaming service can be hard, especially when you’re trying to save money. Fear not – your prayers might just be answered with a free streaming service. However, a lot of free streaming services are cluttered with mediocre and unattractive content. Here are the top three to look into for good content and ease of access.
Possibly the best free streaming service is Kanopy. Unlike other free services, there are no ads to interrupt your viewing, and all you need is a library card. However, the great thing about being on a college campus with a library is that you can sign in with your Wartburg account – that’s right, you can have access to hundreds of diverse films just by being a Wartburg student. And, don’t worry, it isn’t limited to what movies are at Vogel Library.
This service boasts a wide variety of films. There are different genres for different fields of study, as well as plenty of modern and old movies. Like horror? Kanopy has classics like “Suspiria” and a large portion of the A24 catalog. Want to better familiarize yourself with foreign cinema? Kanopy has an extensive cache that includes films from classic directors like Werner Herzog, François Truffaut, Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard and Agnès Varda.
In addition to fiction, there are plenty of documentaries to satisfy hungry learners. Unfortunately, the binge-watcher might not find their place here, as there aren’t any shows. You can sign up on their website or download the app. To sign in with Wartburg credentials, choose to log in as a student.
NBC’s Peacock is the next best option. Unfortunately, this service does have ads that interrupt viewing, but at least you don’t have to pay for anything.
Unlike the other streaming services on this list, Peacock actually has original shows like the blatantly ironic “Brave New World.” As an NBC service, shows like “Cheers” and “Parks & Recreation,” which recently left Netflix, can be found here. At the start of 2021 when “The Office” will be removed from Netflix, fans will be able to find it on Peacock. In addition to TV shows, there is an average selection of films, most notably all eight “Harry Potter” movies.
While most of Peacock is free, there is a premium subscription that lets viewers access titles like “Brooklyn 99” as well as their extensive Alfred Hitchcock collection. Like Kanopy, this service can be accessed on a browser or on the app.
The famous movie database IMDB unsurprisingly joined the streaming service game, dualizing their website into both a movie encyclopedia and a place to watch. Unfortunately, the selection is not abundant, but the movies and shows it has are good.
IMDB TV is probably the most limited service on this list, but it does offer additional selection when looking for something to watch. There is no original content to be found here, but it does have some titles like the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Memento” and the “Hunger Games” trilogy. There are some shows as well, like “Schitt’s Creek,” which recently won an Emmy for the best writing for a comedy series earlier this year.
IMDB TV is now a branch of Amazon Prime Video. Unlike Prime, IMDB TV is completely free, but like Peacock, it also has ads. However, if you have a Prime account, this service can be accessed as an additional channel. If you don’t have a Prime account, don’t worry – you can access the service on the browser or the app.