Alternatives to Streaming Services – How to Watch Good Films Without Subscribing to a Platform

Alternatives to Streaming Services – How to Watch Good Films Without Subscribing to a Platform

The streaming wars are in full swing, with giants like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and newer services like Disney+ and HBO Max battling it out. With so many options, it can get expensive to subscribe to multiple platforms just to watch the shows and movies you want.

There are ways to legally watch great films without committing to yet another monthly subscription. With an open mindset and a bit of digging, you can find plenty of streaming service alternatives to fulfill your cinematic fix.

Leverage Your Existing Library Card

Your local public library can be an excellent free source of films without needing any new subscriptions. Take advantage of what's available through their physical and digital collections:

Borrow Physical DVDs and Blu-Rays

Libraries often have extensive catalogs of movie titles you can check out on disc for free with your membership. Classic, obscure, and foreign films are frequently available.

Access resources and Apps

Libraries provide apps and online resources like Hoopla, Kanopy, and OverDrive that allow digital borrowing of movies to stream on your devices, usually with decent catalogs and no waitlists for popular titles!

Request Inter-Library Loans

Can’t find a specific movie title in your local branch? Inter-library loan systems allow you to request titles from any affiliated library to be delivered to your location, opening up many more possibilities.

By fully utilizing everything on offer from your local library and avoiding late fees, you can enjoy a steady stream of movies without paying a cent!

Explore Quality Free Streaming Options

While subscription platforms dominate, there are quite a few free streaming services that let you watch acclaimed films without any cost:

Tivimate IPTV Player

Tivimate Iptv player is a live TV streaming platform where you can watch TV shows at affordable price options. People have this issue sometimes that their tivimate not working  but it will solve gradually in few seconds.

The Roku Channel

Roku’s free streaming channel offers an extensive library of full-length movies across many genres without needing a Roku device. No sign-up is needed either.


In addition to user content, YouTube has hundreds of free films available in full, including acclaimed classics and international selections, via its “Movies” section.

Kanopy and Hoopla

These apps offer limited complimentary monthly views of their quality film collections to public library members, with no rental required. Create an account through your local branch.


This free live-streaming service has dedicated movie channels playing uncut theatrical films 24/7, though the selections rotate fairly frequently. Still a neat option.

While paid platforms spend big on marketing, some of the best free streaming options go under the radar. Take advantage of these services to supplement your viewing selection.

Swift Streamz

Swift streamz is a free streaming service you can watch everything on this like TV shows, games, sports, news, etc at any time.

Rent or Buy Digital Films à La Carte

Rather than commit to a monthly subscription, consider paying only for the specific movies you truly want to see as digital rentals or purchases. Many platforms offer this model:

Transactional VOD Services

Services like iTunes, Vudu, YouTube Movies, and Prime Video let you pay for individual new releases or catalog movie rentals or purchases. Costs are usually very reasonable.

Digital Retailers

Major retailers like Amazon and Walmart frequently offer digital movie rental and sale pricing on par with or better than subscription services. You can buy only the movies you love.

Disc to Digital

For physical discs you already own, tools like Vudu and the Movies Anywhere app allow converting them to digital for a small fee so you can watch online.

By buying and renting à la carte judiciously when films appeal to you rather than subscribing monthly, you gain more control over spending while still watching legal quality movies.

Take Advantage of Limited Free Trials

If you do want to occasionally test out the catalog of a premium streaming platform, limited free trials give you legal access to discover their offerings at no cost:

Standard Free Trial Offers

Leading services like HBO Max, Paramount+, Showtime, and Starz offer 7-day free trials for first-time subscribers. Sign up only when needed.

Promotional Free Trials

Special extended 1-month free trial promotions are sometimes offered for particular platforms to incentivize signups. Look for these limited deals.

Trial Extensions via Gift Cards

You can often extend free trial periods by signing up with a small value gift card which is not charged initially, buying you extra viewing time.

Cancellation Before Renewal

Remember to cancel before the trial ends and auto-renews if you don’t want to continue your paid membership. Set reminders so you don’t forget!

Leverage free trials selectively on occasions when you want to indulge in a specific platform’s offerings for a limited binge period without paying long-term.


Rather than resigning yourself to expensive perpetual streaming subscriptions to watch top movies, know that you have many alternative options. Public library offerings, free streaming services, and used physical media can all fulfill your movie fix without long-term commitments or breaking the bank.

Mix and match strategies for accessing films legally without paying for a dedicated platform. With an open approach, you can readily discover plenty of cinematic content to enjoy outside of major subscription silos.

Are free streaming movies legal?

Yes, as long as you use reputable platforms sanctioned to share free public domain and licensed movies legally. Pirated movies on shady sites are still illegal.

What are some places to borrow physical movie DVDs?

Your local library, rental stores like Redbox, mail-order rental services like Netflix DVD, dollar stores, and peer-to-peer rental platforms like PeerFlicks are good options.

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