The Best Streaming Platforms for Documentaries
Documentaries, second only to horror, are a divisive genre: people either love and watch non-fiction, or completely avoid it.
If you are in the first group, you probably wonder which of the most popular streaming services has the best offering for you. So here, we have ranked the most popular streaming services by which ones have the most documentary movies.
All Samsung Smart TVs come with a free Samsung TV Plus app, the company’s own streaming service that offers more than 200 live TV channels and on-demand content to users around the globe. There’s no need to subscribe or even sign up for an account to access the app.
Aside from its TVs (specifically those released from 2016 onwards), Samsung makes its streaming platform available to all Galaxy Devices, mobile and tablet, as long as their operating systems are updated to Android 8.0 or higher. It’s a worthy option for cord-cutters, especially if you want a fuss-free and cost-efficient way to watch your favorite channels.
With its curated lineup of over 100 hand-picked, top-quality independent films every month, Curia indulges viewers with seasonal and permanent film collections for only $3.99 a month. The service ensures an experience less reliant on the impersonal algorithm that has dominated the likes of Netflix, and more on the personal recommendation setup where friends and experts help you pick out the next best watch. Aside from thoughtful curations, signing up also gets you unlimited access to award-winning feature-length and short films from beloved festivals around the world, all in the comfort of your home.
Tencent Video, also known as WeTV internationally, is a Chinese streaming platform that offers a wide range of Asian content, from live TV and new shows to on-demand films and Asian dramas. With more than a billion users, WeTV is reportedly the fourth largest streamer in the world, following the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. WeTV’s packed library is supported by ads and comes for free for basic users, but it also offers ad-free, concurrent viewing as part of its premium package. This Chinese streamer is perfect for those interested in all things Asian entertainment.
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.
BBC Select is a streaming service dedicated specifically to all things culture, politics, and ideas. It houses the best of the BBC’s non-fiction content—namely, widely-acclaimed documentaries and docuseries—but it also occasionally sources titles from other channels, like the UK’s Channel 4. While it can seem like BBC Select is competing with Acorn TV and BritBox, which are the go-to UK channels in North America, it’s actually closer to the likes of CuriosityStream and Discovery Plus in its specialization of documentaries.
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