2020 has seen many changes come to the streaming world – several services have died off, combined, or risen as new options for viewers to try. It’s easier than ever to cut the cord and totally customize your experience, but only if you look beyond the most common apps and check out the lesser-known ones to bridge gaps in your TV viewing possibilities. Here are the apps everyone should think about adding to their list and the content that makes it all worthwhile!
You may not have heard about CuriosityStream stream before, but it’s the app to get if you love to watch documentaries and other great informational shows. If you’ve been exhausted by reality TV and crazy takes on the Nature channel or History channel, you’ll love how these docs are the real thing, covering everything from nature and history to sports, astronomy, biology, nutrition, and pretty much everything else documentary-related. Additionally, there’s a mode just for kids to help them learn and explore! At only $3 per month, it’s also one of the most affordable streaming apps that won’t hurt your budget.
It’s easy to assume that Disney+ is for kids, but keep in mind that Disney also owns Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and Pixar. That’s a whole lot of content, much of it family-friendly but with plenty for adults to enjoy as well. You’re not going to find The Mandalorian anyplace else, that’s for sure – and it’s a great way to watch the latest Pixar and Disney hits without buying a new Blu-ray every time something comes out. It’s also great for exploring Disney shows that have long-since passed and may be difficult to find anywhere else. We also love the layout and UI of Disney+, which is superior to most of its competitors and very easy to learn. There are even download options to support offline content viewing.
A big part of cutting out cable and satellite for many viewers is that it’s tough to view live sports beyond the limited channels you can pick up over an antenna. FuboTV solves that problem with access to all kinds of live sports. As the name suggests, a specialty of this app is worldwide live soccer events, but it also supports NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, NCAA, and lots more, so you’re likely to have easy access to the sports that you want. If you’d like to cut down on your other apps, FuboTV also offers a variety of TV shows and movies from all of the popular networks, so it can easily act as a replacement for cable. You may prefer it to older options like Sling TV.
With so many streaming services now available clamoring for attention, sometimes Hulu just seems…there. But a closer look reveals that Hulu still has a ton to offer, especially if you’re willing to dig deep and take advantage of the app’s live events and the long list of more casual movies. The interface may not be the best to navigate, but the content is excellent and much of it is hard to find anywhere else. Hulu’s specialty remains covering the latest seasons of ongoing shows so that you can easily get caught up on what you missed this year (looking at you, What We Do In the Shadows), or catch the latest episode of a favorite show when you don’t really have time to sit down and watch it live. Hulu doesn’t have as much original content as other apps, but there are many gems to discover, from mainstream hits like Handmaid’s Tale to Devs, Mrs. America, Ramy, and Pen15. Hulu also benefits from being under the broader umbrella of Disney-owned services, which means there are affordable bundles you can find that throw in ESPN+ or Disney+ for a complete streaming experience – ideal for cutting out cable.
Don’t let Peacock fly under your radar! This streaming app came out in mid-2020 to offer a combination of content from NBC and Universal Studios. A couple of things make Peacock stand out from the crowd. First, there’s a free option (with ads) for using the service, albeit with more limited content, which means you can access plenty of shows without paying any more streaming fees – and this is now the only option to watch beloved series like Parks & Rec, which are vanishing from other apps as Peacock consolidates content. Second, there are also a surprising number of movies available thanks to Universal’s input. That includes a ton of action classics from Jurassic Park to The Matrix, plus a deep roster of cinema stretching back to the 1940s. Peacock is also working on its original content, and these are primarily remakes focused on remakes of beloved classics, although new efforts like Brave New World are also worth your attention.
Don’t sleep on just how much work Apple has been putting into Apple TV+ in an effort to expand its offerings and draw in new consumers. This has led to one of the largest rosters of original content for any streaming services in 2020 and beyond (Netflix is still hard to beat, but Apple’s offerings make plenty of effort to be original). Key titles vary greatly from Oprah’s Book Club and Amazing Stories to Mythic Quest, Dickinson, and The Morning Show. There’s something for everyone, and quality is overall quite high – plus Apple has already renewed many of its popular shows for future seasons, with a lot of new originals also on the way. And that’s not even touching the original movies that the service offers, featuring big stars and hours’ worth of entertainment. Apple fans will also appreciate just how many platforms Apple TV+ works with and how easily it can be bundled with other services, especially additional Apple services like Apple Music, which offers discount opportunities (although no more free trials).
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