Everyone these days is probably familiar with the offerings on major streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime, but not everyone’s tastes are as mainstream as The Office or whatever. Sometimes you want to zero in on a specific kind of content, like violent J-horror or family-friendly comedies with objectionable content edited out, and luckily a bunch of specialized streaming services are offering discounts to help us all get through the next few weeks of self-isolation. We’re not going to go so far as to say that there’s something for literally everyone, but if you like British mysteries and the arts along with your horror and clean jokes, there’s a good chance there’s something for you. So let’s break it down:
Shudder, the horror-focused platform, is offering a free 30-day trial with the promo code “SHUTIN,” and it’s sharing daily movie recommendations.
VidAngel, the site that keeps getting in trouble for streaming unauthorized versions of movies with the cool/inappropriate stuff cut out, is going completely free for the next two weeks. It has a show about Jesus called The Chosen, a “clean standup comedy” series called Dry Bar Comedy, and—as a press release puts it—the “ability to skip objectionable content on Netflix and Amazon.”
Not intellectual enough? How about Marquee TV, a streaming service that is called “Netflix for the arts” in its press release? It’s aiming to be the premiere platform for opera, dance, and theatrical productions, and it’s going free for 30 days “to help support the performing arts while they are not able to have live performances.”
Speaking of artsy stuff: Sundance Now is offering 30-day trials to new users with the code “SUNDANCENOW30.” Its press release promises everything from “engrossing true crime to heart-stopping dramas and fiercely intelligent thrillers” like A Discovery Of Witches, State Of The Union, The Little Drummer Girl from AMC, and a handful of foreign crime dramas.
Acorn TV is also now offering a 30-day free trial with the code “FREE30" (the least clever one, not that it matters). Acorn TV is largely dedicated to British and British-adjacent conent, like Midsomer Mysteries, Line Of Duty, Doc Martin, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Murdoch Mysteries, and Slings & Arrows.
/Film also says the streaming platform DOX has cut its annual subscription price in half for new users (from $30 to $15) until the end of this month. Don’t be afraid of the name, DOX is a documentary service that has famous stuff like Blackfish, Jiro Dreams Of Sushi, and Man On Wire.
UPDATE (3/22/20): We can also add Sling TV to the list. It’s now offering some free movies and TV shows you can stream as well as a new free tier of live TV that’s specifically dedicated to news outlets (including Fox News, which helped contribute to the crisis we’re in now by downplaying the threat of the virus and mindlessly parroting the openly ridiculous talking points of the corrupt Trump White House, so it shouldn’t really count).
If that’s too much news for you, the Urban Movie Channel (which is dedicated to Black TV and movies and includes OWN’s Black Love, WEtv’s Untold Stories Of Hip Hop, and movies like Harlem Nights) is offering free 30-day trials.