Alternative Cheap or Free Streaming Platforms to Get You Through Quarantine

Now that the Coronavirus has caused most of the country to quarantine, streaming services are in the fight to get the most eyeballs on their platform. While Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ are the usual go-tos for entertainment, there is a whole other flux of sources to stream new and exciting content – games, movies, and TV shows. Grab your mobile device or link your TV up to a digital media service like Roku, Urban One, or Cumulus Media to get watching. The list below are alternative platforms offering cheap or free access.

Acorn TV

Acorn TV has extended its usual seven-day free trial to 30 days for new subscribers with the promo code FREE30. The streamer features British, Australian, and Canadian television shows, foreign-language thrillers, and more. Popular content includes mysteries like Midsomer Murders, Hamish MacBeth, and No Offence.

Apple TV+

Costing only $5 per month ($2 cheaper than Disney+ and $8 less than Netflix), Apple TV+ hosts The Morning Show, about a talk show, starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell; See, a post-apocalypse drama starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard; and For All Mankind, a series that imagines what would have happened if the global space race had never ended. Steven Speilberg will reboot the 1980’s Amazing Stories, M. Night Shyamalan will produce another of his psychological thrillers, and Oprah Winfrey will offer up documentaries as well.

Amazon Prime

Amazon announced that 40 family and children shows will be available to stream on Prime Video for all customers, including those who already have Prime memberships. Content provided includes both Amazon Original series like Just Add Magic, Pete the Cat, and If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, in addition to licensed series like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Odd Squad, and Arthur. Amazon’s other free streaming service, IMDb TV, will also offer 80 free family movies including Scooby-Doo: The Movie, Shrek 2, and The Smurfs, among others.

IMDb TV (Amazon)

Amazon’s free, ad-supported streaming service, IMDb, offers thousands of movies and TV shows including Legally Blonde, Shrek Forever After, The Social Network, Desperate Housewives, and Friday Night Lights. Check out this list of the 30 best movies to watch on IMDb.

Twitch Prime (Amazon)

A popular social video community for gamers, Twitch Prime is free with Amazon Prime subscriptions. Members can access free games, in-game content, and a free channel subscription every 30 days to a Twitch broadcaster of their choice. The platform lets users watch the best gamers in action and interact with other fans. Check out a full list of prominent streamers by both follower count and number of views.


HBO is opening 500 hours of free content including new movies like Pokémon Detective Pikachu. Other favorites include The Sopranos, True Blood, Veep, and The Wire.

NFL Game Pass

Relive Tom Brady’s multiple Super Bowl victories with the New England Patriots, Peyton Manning’s single season record of 55 touchdown passes as a Denver Bronco in 2013, Odell Beckham Jr.’s impossible one-handed catch in 2014, and much more.

NBA League Pass

The NBA has offered the NBA League Pass for free while the season remains on hiatus.

Pluto TV

Pluto TV is another free streamer that’s supported by ads with over 250 channels, 170 content partners, and 20 million viewers. Popular content includes news channels (NBC News, CNN), sports channels (Fox Sports, NFL Channel), and entertainment (VH1, MTV, Comedy Central). For popular on-demand movies and TV shows, check out American Beauty, The Big Short, Rosanne, Duck Dynasty, and 3rd Rock from the Sun.


Quibi is an upcoming American short-form mobile video platform headquartered in Los Angeles, California. The service is targeted toward a younger demographic with content delivered in short-form 10-minute episodes called “quick bites”. Download the app and sign up at launch (April 6) to get the 50+ original shows featuring the world’s biggest stars free for 90 days. T-Mobile customers with multiple active lines will get a year of Quibi for free.

Sundance Now

Sundance Now is extending its seven-day free trial to 30 days for new customers with the promo code SUNDANCENOW30. The streamer features true-crime series, original dramas, and exclusive thrillers. For recommendations of what to watch, check out these TV series: The Split, McMafia, and Leverage are a great place to start.


While Tubi does require viewers to watch some periodic ads, this free streaming platform offers over 20,000 older TV shows and movies from heavy-hitter studios such as Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM. Fox bought Tube for $440 million and the platform currently boasts 25 million active monthly viewers who spend over 160 million hours per month watching content on Tubi.

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