Guides

Free (and legal) Streaming Services in Australia

Whether it’s because you’ve been in a lockdown for too long or you’ve scrolled every catalogue from existing paid services, we’re always looking for new content to watch. We are spoiled for choice when it comes to streaming services but subscribing to them all could cost you over $200 per month. So we’ve pulled together some options which are entirely free and legal to use.

Kanopy

Remember the public library? Those places stocked books, but you could also get movies and television shows on DVD or VHS. There has been a quiet revolution and Kanopy has been born. A partnership between libraries and universities across Australia has brought films which are said to “inspire, enrich and challenge” viewers in the country. We’ve found a wide collection from locally produced films to foreign cinema, documentaries and plenty of classics. Some notable mentions include:

  • Lion
  • Lolita
  • The Dressmaker
  • Ben Hur
  • The Mask you Live in

It’s entirely free, just bring your library card or university login.

Check it out here

Tubi

Tubi has a wide variety of films which you might not have ever heard of but likely feature actors you have. It appears as thought the films they did before becoming famous or after they were famous end up here. You will definitely find some you have heard of but it’s otherwise a good chance to find a movie you laugh at. While Tubi is free, you will see some ads thrown into the mix but less than free to air movies on a Friday night. Some notable mentions include:

  • Tokarev (featuring Nicolas Cage)
  • Titanic 2 (how is there a sequel to this disaster movie?)
  • Crazy on the Outside (starring Tim Allen)
  • The Simple Life (Paris Hilton reality comedy)
  • Lionheart, the Streetfighter (Jean Claud Van Damme)

Sign up for a free account here

Free to Air Streaming

It is really important to note that while you might not like what is the schedule for free to air channels on a Saturday night, their streaming apps aren’t only loaded with previously broadcasted content. Many of these platforms will be ad supported but still won’t cost you money.

ABC iView is fully loaded with a docuseries for any issue you hadn’t heard of before. They appear to make a point of focusing on areas that main stream television does not, the good and the bad. You will however also find great comedies such as Rosehaven and Russell Howard and some BBC series such as Traces.

10play might feel like the poor mans version of Paramount+, and it kind of is, but it’s free at least. Featuring a dedicated section for kids content you’ll find plenty of shows to keep the children happy during school holidays. We also love the fast-tracked content such as The Drew Barrymore Show, global Survivor series and US seasons of The Bachelor. They also have a selection of movies, many unheard of and largely horror films.

9Now carries a similar stance to 10play in offering all of it’s regular content but makes it easy to find shows you didn’t know they ever carried. Resident Alien, House M.D and Young Sheldon are some examples of shows you mightn’t expect to find, including reality series like Below Deck. We loved seeing retro TV such as 3rd Rock from the Sun, That 70’s Show and Knight Rider for moments when you want to think back to a time before streaming services even existed.

7Plus was a surprising one to assess and be delighted by. Unlike 9 and 10, 7 doesn’t have a paid streaming platform like Paramount+ or Stan. What did find however was that movies which could live in a paid section were entirely free to watch. We also noted fantastic series of television shows whether you naturally miss them due to timing or are from years ago. From a movies point of view we found One Upon a Time in Hollywood, Hotel Transylvania and Mega Shark VS Crocosaurus worth a look.

SBS On Demand is one we turn to for streaming the Tour de France but actually also has a large library of TV shows and movies. This is a streaming service now known for the popular Handmaids Tale but it also has a dedicated food channel with 24×7 cooking inspiration also. It’s worth checking out the series Alone, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and more foreign films and TV shows than anywhere else. We were surprised to see movies like Gold with Matthew McConaughey, the Man on Wire documentary and Dallas Buyers Club

Make use of Free Trials

If you’re going into a two week self isolation period or just want to binge one particular show then don’t forget free trial periods on many paid streaming platforms. Sign up, enter your credit card details, get started on the show you aimed to watch and put a reminder in your diary to cancel the trail a day before. You might find you discover more content worth paying a monthly fee for but don’t get caught with a dozen paid services you aren’t using.