35 Best Free Streaming Services on iPhone

As the long list of streaming price hikes gets even longer, free, ad-based streaming models are an oasis for the price concious consumer. Below, we count down the best streaming services available on the iPhone app store.
Read also:

Local Now is a free streaming service from The Weather Channel that offers up localized content geared to where you're using it from. That means you can get local news, weather updates, and even restaurant reviews that are specific to where you, the user, are from. Aside from the convenience of getting local coverage, Local Now also provides thousands of movies and live TV channels to choose from, perfect for when you're relaxing or on the go.

Price: free for 1 channels available

Device availability:

Channel lineup: Local news channels

Whether you're a Korean expat living in North America or a true-blue Hallyu fan, you'll find much to like in OnDemandKorea, also sometimes known as Korea on Demand. The streaming service has both live TV and on-demand content, which it makes available in three tiers. The basic plan is ad-supported and free, the premium plan costs $10.99/month and gives you exclusive ad-free content, while the premium + box plan costs $19.99/month and gives you all the benefits of the previous plans plus five simultaneous viewings and 100 live channels. Korea on Demand also gives you the option to pay yearly to help you save up to $200 in costs. In terms of content, the platform has an impressively wide range. On the on-demand side, it has more than 500 films that range from mainstream to indie, while on the live TV side, it has multiple channels that cover news, entertainment, variety, and sports. It's important to note, however, that the entire site is in Korean and not all titles have English subtitles, making it most suited to native or advanced speakers of the language.

Price: free for 9 channels available

Device availability:

Channel lineup: Channel A, JTBC, K Movie, MBN, News 1, News 2, TV Chosun, Yonhap News, YTN

Largely known as China's Netflix, iQiyi is a popular and wide-ranging streaming platform that hosts the best of East Asian content. Among its catalog are Asian blockbusters, Chinese variety shows, Japanese anime, and of course, Korean dramas. iQiyi also has multiple deals with studios all over the world, including Netflix, so it's able to stream global content to its Chinese audiences. 

Perhaps the best part about iQiyi is that it comes for free; no need to pay to see its plenty and diverse titles, although you will be subject to some ads. To avoid ads and avail of perks such as concurrent viewing and download privileges, iQiyi offers a VIP membership that costs $2 per month.

Price: free for channels available

Device availability:

Hoopla is a digital library that partners with public libraries across the US to grant their patrons free access to the wealth of media they have online and on the go. This includes movies and television shows, but Hoopla also has a vast collection of ebooks, audiobooks, podcasts, and albums it offers members. You can check their website to see if your library card is valid, and if it is, you can continue on to registration (with no extra fees) and start viewing their available titles. Hoopla rotates its selection every week or so, but generally, it has a good mix of old films, cult classics, past hits, and foreign movies. Occasionally, it will also have the latest blockbusters. For television, it's recently partnered with the BBC and a couple of manga publishers to deliver content from around the world. 

Price: free for channels available

Device availability:

Haystack TV is an independently-run streaming service that delivers live and on-demand news, 24/7. It's ad-supported so it's somewhat free, but if you want to get rid of the commercials and dive straight into the latest news, you can subscribe to Haystack Premium for $4.99/month or try it for free for 30 days. 

The convenient thing about Haystack is that it allows you to navigate not just by channels but by topics as well. It also picks up news from more than a hundred TV stations around the US (check if they cover your area here) which saves you the trouble of switching services when looking for local news.

Price: free for 12 channels available

Free Trial: 30 days

Device availability:

Channel lineup: ABC News, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, Bloomberg Quicktake, CBS News, Cheddar, Deutsche Welle, Euronews, Local news channels, Newsmax, Newsy, Yahoo! Finance

Glewed TV is a free, ad-supported streaming channel that provides an extensive lineup of movies, series, and documentaries. It also has its own exclusive set of titles and podcasts, with genres spanning travel, sports, comedy, action, and more, plus it's available on a plethora of platforms. If you're still on the fence about going completely cordless, Glewed TV is one of many easy and accessible streaming options to choose from.

Price: free for 1 channels available

Device availability:

Channel lineup:

FilmRise is a streaming app that's partnered with the likes of MGM, Warner Bros., and ITV Studios to provide over 20,000 films and TV shows you can watch for free. It's not immune to ads, but FilmRise more than makes up for those disruptions with its impressive selection of titles. On the film front, it has indie favorites, award-winning classics, and foreign gems, while on the TV front, it has murder mysteries (many imported from the UK), Gordon Ramsey-led competition shows, and oldies-but-goodies like The Dick Van Dyke Show, Roseanne, and the original 21 Jump Street. FilmRise isn't available to stream directly on the website, but if you have a compatible device, you can download the app and start watching for free.

Price: free for channels available

Device availability:

True to its name, Documentary+ is a free ad-supported service that streams documentaries as well as non-fiction shorts and series. It has a straightforward interface that has categories like "award winners," "true crime," "festival darlings," "women stories," and "Black stories," as well as films from renowned directors including Werner Herzog, Spike Jonze, Kathryn Bigelow, and Terrence Malick. 

Interestingly, the service also has a live channel you can put on anytime. It’s compatible with all major streaming devices, but you can also access it as a channel on live TV services like Amazon’s freevee and Sling’s freestream.

Price: free for channels available

Device availability:

Distro TV is a free streaming service that features free shows, movies, documentaries, news, concerts, and more from all around the world. It specializes in global content, drawing from the US, UK, and Canada, as well as from other parts of Europe, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. It has both live and on-demand content, plus it's easy to stream from many devices, making it an easy and affordable option for cord-cutters.

Price: free for 1 channels available

Device availability:

Channel lineup:

The CW is known for its iconic and even award-winning dramas, comedies, and reality shows. It has an enviable library to be sure, but it splits these among two streaming services: the self-titled The CW and the more modest CW Seed, which serves as a repository for the network's past and non-airing shows. That means you're free to watch classics like The OC, Pushing Daisies, Schitt's Creek, and America's Next Top Model for free on CW Seed. Its entertaining, zero-cost catalog is a sure major attraction (you don't even have to make an account to stream) but a potential downside is its limited title count.

Price: free for channels available

Device availability:

Ready to cut the cord? Here are the 14 live TV streaming services that offer a free trial.

More lists

The streaming services on this page were chosen by our editors. If you choose to subscribe to a streaming service we recommend as a result of our research, analysis, and curation, our work is sometimes (but not always) supported by an affiliate commission from the streaming service when you make a purchase.