If you’ve ever said to yourself, “Once I get some time and the opportunity, I’m learning more about this or I’m going there,” you’ve no doubt been swept away by a great documentary. However, we’re learning that while we may get the time we’re looking for, the opportunities are a little more unpredictable. Thankfully, the opportunities to stream documentaries are more prevalent now than ever before.
Most on-demand services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and others have their own libraries chock full of popular documentaries. But what about some of the others out there? Here’s a look at five streaming services that feature content for documentary fans.
As one of the leading on-demand documentary streaming services, Curiosity Stream is a deep well of science, technology, history and nature learning content. Its 13 million-plus worldwide subscribers have thousands of original and licensed titles to stream. Chances are you’ve seen or heard of at least a few of them.
Subscription: Required to view the full library ($2.99 USD/Month, $11.99 USD/Year)
Available on: Android, iOS 7 or higher, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Kindle Fire, Xbox One, Smart TV (Apple, Sony, Samsung, Vizio, LG), Xfinity, Sling TV, YouTube
Popular title: Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places (2017 Emmy Award Winner)
This one’s kind of a new kid on the block. Through dramatic retellings and stylized filmmaking, the MagellanTV catalogue covers war history, true crime and mystery in addition to science, technology and nature. They also tout benefits like free trial periods, 4K programming, new content weekly and no ads.
Subscription: Required (Monthly – $6.99/Month, Quarterly – $5.99/Month, Yearly – $4.99/Month)
Available on: Roku, Amazon Fire TV, iOS, Google Play, Vizio
Popular title: Crimes That Made History
Remember the…um…old History Channel? The one with more of the in-depth history shows and documentaries you might’ve seen in school, and less of the reality shows? Yeah that one. That’s what you’ll get with the content in History Vault (not to be confused with the HISTORY App, which is for the current shows). With over 2,000 streaming titles and no ads, documentary lovers who are also history buffs might find a sweet spot with this one.
Subscription: Required ($4.99/Month, $49.99/Year after a 1-month free trial)
Available on: Apple TV, iOS, Android, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV
Popular title: The Universe
Though not solely dedicated to documentary streaming content, Kanopy offers some nice gems in the areas of politics, film and the entertainment industry. It was originally established in Australia as an educational service for universities before expanding to partner with libraries. Today, you can stream the full catalogue for free by logging in with your university ID or library card.
Launched: 2008, repurposed in 2017
Subscription: None required outside of being a student or having an active library membership
Available on: Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon Fire Stick
Popular title: I Am Not Your Negro
If you like your documentaries with a healthy dose of eclecticism, Docurama might be worth a look. Many of these titles have made their way through film festivals and awards shows, telling edgy stories with bold voices. The range of topics and styles gives this service a credible batch of content for documentary film auteurs.
Subscription: Not required
Available on: iOS, Roku, XBox 360, Samsung, Sony, Amazon Fire TV,
Popular title: The World Before Her (Best Documentary Feature, Tribeca Film Festival)
Have you streamed some docs via any of these services? What are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments!