The Best Free Streaming Services, According to CCN Readers

Woman watching TVWhen the results of our spring 2020 Cord Cutters News survey were finalized, we learned quite a bit about the streaming habits of our readers. But one of the most surprising realizations came in the area of free streaming services. It turns out quite a few people simply don’t care for them.

Exactly how did the vote turn out? Let’s look.


Pluto TV was the clear winner, taking 1,026 of 2,325 votes, or 44.1%. The free Roku Channel landed in second place with 458 votes or 19.7%. Tubi TV took 130 votes as the best (or 5.6%) and IMDb TV garnered 111 votes for 4.8%.

From here, things break down considerably. Crackle, Xumo, YouTube, and Kanopy all received a handful of votes, but Crackle only accounted for 1.5% and the rest made up less than 1% each.

Multiple readers responded with disdain for free services, with 19% choosing an answer of “N/A” to say they never use them. A variety of reasons was given, from the presence of commercials to a lack of quality content. Several readers specifically mentioned that they didn’t watch these services because they only carry old TV shows and movies and more than one reader simply said, “they’re free for a reason.”

Overall, it appears that free streaming breaks down much like paid streaming: there’s one dominant name, a couple of main competitors well behind, and then everyone else fighting for a fraction of what’s left. And maybe most surprising, 20% of streamers aren’t even willing to give free content a chance.

Check out more free streaming services here.

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