Documentaries are a finer, more refined way to relax after a hard day’s work. Even if you’re simply looking to be entertained, the unique, real-life topics documentaries examine are sure to thrill you. When you’re only relying on the catalogs of major streaming services, however, your documentary selection is bound to be disappointing. To expand your mind, and viewing catalog, here are seven of the best streaming services for documentary superfans:
Discovery+ has taken all of the amazing documentary content that the Discovery brand has made over the last few decades, and put it under one roof, making it a must-have for any serious documentary fan. The fact that the channel handles a ton of sports documentaries, reality shows, and other unique non-fiction content will make it that much more appealing for many doc-heads. As the Discovery brand continues its mission to create quality, but accessible edu-tainment, the streaming service will only become that much more valuable to viewers who enjoy learning while relaxing in their recliners. By jailbreaking a firestick or other streaming device, you can even access all of the quality region-blocked content Discovery+ has to offer as well.
2. HBO Max
HBO has been a top contender in the world of serious, culturally-shocking documentaries since the original company was founded. The sheer number of Academy nominations and wins for Best Documentary can attest to this. Even today, the network has shown no signs of slowing down and puts out upwards of twenty-plus documentaries a year. For both the new docs and the huge catalog of amazing classic docs HBO has made, an HBO Max subscription has got you covered. The sheer amount of other quality movies and television shows you’ll gain access to alongside the documentaries makes the subscription price well worth the investment.
For quality documentaries and non-fictional records, libraries used to be the cream of the crop. While libraries are not as prevalent as they used to be, they remain an excellent place to gain local information and to gain access to free services that you might not be aware of. Kanopy is a streaming service that you can use for free by simply having a public library card and its catalog of films is massive. Classic documentaries, popular feature films, and a plethora of pre-streaming era documentary programs will all be at your fingertips with a Kanopy subscription, and you’ll gain access to the wonders of your public library as well (so what are you waiting for)!
4. The Criterion Channel
Many of the most interesting, classic documentaries are lesser-known simply due to their age or country of origin. If you want a streaming service that brings the best filmmaking (fiction and nonfiction) from around the globe (and from across time) under a single roof, you need The Criterion Channel. Criterion has kept the late, great documentaries that laid the foundation for the genre in tip-top condition, and has ensured important foreign-made documentaries are available to American audiences. Even before the rise of streaming, Criterion was dedicated to this mission, which has allowed its library of high-quality, important films to rival the size of the big-gun streaming services.
5. Nebula and CuriosityStream
Available as a package deal, the Nebula and CuriosityStream services provide thousands upon thousands of hours of independent documentaries, scientific documentaries, video essays, and much more. If you’re looking for the cutting edge in edu-tainment, no other service will prove as beneficial and content-packed as these two services. The fact that you can get them both for a simple, low price of $15 a year makes the investment in them that much more attractive, so get going! Additionally, their services are great for pairing with late-night homework sessions and are optimized for viewing on your laptop.
7. PBS Documentaries
PBS has been dedicated to not only producing and showing documentaries throughout their many decades of existence, but to championing their importance as well. If you’re looking to gain access to the unimaginably large catalog of docs and other edu-tainment content PBS has to offer, getting the PBS Documentary service and the app is highly recommended. Any doc-lover is sure to be thrilled by their selection, and you’ll be hard-pressed to discover an important topic that has not been covered by a PBS-funded and produced documentary film or series over the years.
Edu-tainment Galore Awaits You
Finding quality edu-tainment is no easy task on many of the mainstream streaming services. ON Netflix and Hulu especially, the documentary sections seem to be shrinking rather than growing. Thankfully, these amazing seven services can provide you with endless hours of edu-tainment and documentaries that will keep your mind young, and enliven your spirit with new, exciting information. The fact that many of the services are either incredibly affordable or entirely free only sweetens the deal that much more.