11 Obscure Streaming Services - How Far Down the Rabbit Hole Can We Go?
We all know Hulu, Netflix, and Sling TV. A lot of people know Kanopy, Philo, and Tubi. If you’re a die-hard streaming fanatic, you may even know about BroadwayHD, MUBI, and Sensical. Here at The Streamable, we cover everything that happens from HBO Max all the way down to LocalBTV. But occasionally, we discover services that even we didn’t know existed. Here are some of the most obscure streamers on the planet… and why you may want to watch.
The Pitch: Crowdfunded entertainment.
Angel Studios allows independent filmmakers to create prototype shows and submit them to the “Angel Guild.” When the Guild approves, those prototypes become “torches.” From there, it’s up to individual investors to bankroll the projects they believe in. Allegedly, investors have the opportunity to share in profits if they ever emerge.
While much of the content skews religious — “The Chosen” about the life of Jesus Christ is its biggest hit — there is plenty of secular content like the animated fantasy adventure “The Wingfeather Saga.” The sitcom “Freelancers” features some funny dialogue, although the acting is so-so.
Although much of the content can be viewed free, that appears to be a function of whether someone has paid for you to watch. Viewers are encouraged to “pay it forward” if they enjoy a show. The prices for this vary.
Cool Thing: Original stories you won’t see elsewhere, made by people who actually care.
Not so cool thing: Library is pretty thin at the moment.
First Responders Network
The Pitch: Like “COPS” if “COPS” had access to every single body camera in the country.
First Responders Network is a production of Axon, the company that literally makes the body cameras we see so often on the news. You’ll see content highlighting the adventures of police and EMS crews, along with rescues and ride-alongs. You’ll also see games from the National Public Safety Football League.
Cool Thing: For a relatively unknown service, the content is very well produced. You’ll also see some harrowing real-life adventures.
Not so cool thing: Dunno, seems pretty cool.
The Pitch: A hyper-local streamer focused on New York’s Hudson Valley.
Users will see mostly documentary films about that area. There’s a show that explores abandoned places in the region, a documentary about a local basketball star who went on to play for the Harlem Globetrotters, a series about sustainable farms, and another spotlighting the geology of the region.
Cool Thing: If you live in the Hudson Valley, this seems like a great way to get to know it better. And the content looks very well produced.
Not so cool thing: Because of its limited scope, you may tire of it quickly.
The Pitch: A strange assortment of live channels, including right-wing echo chambers InfoWars and Lindell TV.
As right-wing outrage channels are occasionally discarded by major live streamers, they are forced to find their own distribution. SimulTV enters the breach with NewsmaxTV, One America News Network, and Laura Loomer’s channel, Loomervision. You can also see the 2A Network, dedicated to the glory of firearms. At one point, SimulTV even carried several versions of Russian propaganda network RT.
Beyond the partisan channels, you’ll find garden-variety channels usually found on other FAST services, like a cowboy channel with old westerns, “Frightmare Theater” with various horror movies, and some MMA fights.
Bizarrely, they have a proprietary set-top box you can buy for $149.99 (far more than almost any other streaming device). If you buy their box, the service only costs $4.99/month.
Cool Thing: If you can’t find enough outrage elsewhere online, this should help gin up the anger you need to overtake the next school board meeting.
Not so cool thing: Your family may not invite you over for Thanksgiving dinner.
The Pitch: Just like cable access, but for the internet
Legrity is a streaming service where middle-aged women get the chance to shine. You can watch “Good Vibes TV with Lesley Klein” or “Outside the Box with Sherri Leopold” or “Jewel Drops with Queen Kimmie” or “Dr. Kylie: Healing Beyond the Diagnosis.” The thumbnail for each show looks like a real estate agent headshot.
Every show is just someone speaking to the camera.
Price: Usually free, but some content is paywalled for $2.99.
Cool Thing: The content creators seem genuinely earnest.
Not so cool thing: The production values mimic a Zoom call with your grandmother.
The Pitch: High-quality nature content, including video and photos from users.
The Explorers is an interesting service. You can also subscribe to The Explorers+ for $2.99/month after a 14-day free trial. That gives you access to exclusive content in 4K and 8K HDR, presuming you have equipment to view that resolution.
Users can also get access to the premium content for free as long as they share video or photos of their own in the “Earth inventory.”
Cool Thing: If you enjoy exotic landscapes and wildlife, it’s a neat way to explore the world.
Not so cool thing: You won’t find any narrative content here. It’s basically a bunch of pretty pictures.
The Pitch: Get 120+ live channels, mostly from Africa.
Whether you have family with African roots or you’re just curious what’s going on in another part of the world AVO is an option worth considering. Most of the content appears to come from Nigeria.
Along with the live channels, they have an on-demand section with movies like “Bride With The Gun,” “Marriage Pranks,” “Grumpy Grannies,” and “Royal Insanity.”
And there are so, so many religious channels.
Cool Thing: The music channels are legitimately entertaining.
Not so cool thing: The audio is almost uniformly awful, and commercials intrude at random.
The Pitch: Netflix for farmers.
Whether you are a farmer or want to become one, AcresTV is here to tell you all about it. Learn about crop protection, farm buildings, finance, food safety, and weather.
You’ll see shows like “Corn Warriors,” “Farming Peanuts in the Sunshine State,” “This Farm Wife,” and “Extreme Boot Making.” A lot of the content is sponsored by companies marketing to farmers. For example, the water tank manufacturer Enduraplas enlists a 500-lb man to beat the hell out of a tank with a sledgehammer. The tank holds up.
Cool Thing: Lots of great content if you own a farm.
Not so cool thing: Not so much content if you don’t own a farm.
It's Real Good TV
The Pitch: A bunch of old TV shows.
It’s Real Good TV pulls together the libraries of some older apps: Heartland Network, Retro TV, and Rev’n. You’ll see content around snow sports, MMA, motor sports, and country music.
The service offers the ability to watch the old soap opera “The Doctors” — the service offers seasons from 1967-1979. Other shows available include “Dragnet,” “The Lone Ranger,” “You Bet Your Life” with Groucho Marx, “Dracula’s Kung-Fu Theatre,” “More Than the Music with Stacy Newman,” “The Unseen World,” and “Morning Beats.”
On-demand movies include “His Girl Friday” and films from Laurel & Hardy, Martin & Lewis, Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire, and John Wayne.
Price: Free (but you pay to access “The Doctors”)
Cool Thing: Archival access to long-forgotten shows.
Not so cool thing: Library won’t keep you around long unless you love these old shows.
The Pitch: “The world’s first worker-owned, anti-capitalist streaming service.”
For all the talk of how media is controlled by the liberals, here’s a service that truly swings left. Left-er than you can even imagine. How many streaming services have an “anti-imperialism” section? Like any good anti-capitalist venture, it has a store where you can buy T-shirts.
Price: Hilariously, $10/month
Cool Thing: If your politics is more Bernie Sanders than Joe Manchin, this service may appeal to you.
Not so cool thing: There’s little here you couldn’t find on YouTube or left-wing podcasts.
The Pitch: Diabetic entertainment
As niche entertainment goes, this is pretty specific. You’ll find diabetic cooking shows, fitness, and advice, of course. But you’ll also find “Ballad of the Diabetic Desperado,” “Diaerobics,” and “The Bachelor with Diabetes.”
Cool Thing: If you have diabetes, here’s something more entertaining than the old Wilford Brimley commercial.
Not so cool thing: There’s not enough here to justify more than the occasional visit.