If you want to limit the number of services you pay monthly fees for, there are many popular services including Netflix,, Apple Music, DoorDash and Grubhub – can be swapped for free alternatives. You may not get the exact same product, but you can often get pretty close, especially if you’re one of the millions of people whose By the pandemic, and you want to cut costs where possible.
Unlike their paid counterparts, many of these free services work with ads and the streaming services don̵
Here’s how to replace all the services you pay for with free services.
Sarah Tew / CNET
Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service that debuted in July, offers a free, ad-supported tier with about 13,000 hours of content, including TV shows, movies, and some live news and sports. Notable features include Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, The Bourne Identity, and Premier League football highlights. You also get episodes of current NBC shows like This is Us the week after they air. In January 2021, The Office will also stream for free with ads on Peacock.
You can sign up for the free version of Peacock without a credit card. You need to upgrade to premium (which costs $ 5 a month with ads or $ 10 a month without ads) to watch full seasons of new original series, such as Brave New World and the Psych movie sequel. You won’t find many brand new movies either. But the free tier is a great way to discover shows and movies that you may have missed the first time, or want to watch again.
Watch Peacock on Apple devices such as iPhone and Apple TV, Roku devices, Google devices such as Android phones and Chromecast, Xbox One consoles, PlayStation 4 consoles, Vizio SmartCast TVs and LG Smart TVs. Currently, you cannot watch on Amazon Fire TV devices.
Crackle is an ad-supported streaming service that offers movies and some TV shows, including original content. You can find a variety of movies old and new, including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Adaptation, The Big Chill, Dr. Strangelove, Glory, It Happened One Night, La Bamba, The Natural, The Social Network and Star Trek: First Contact. In the TV field you will find more than 100 different shows, including many sitcoms such as All in the Family, Roseanne and Who’s the Boss. But not every series has all seasons available.
You can stream on Crackle without signing up for an account and watch on almost any device, with apps for all mobile platforms, game consoles and major streaming devices. When you create an account, you can save favorites, get recommendations, and resume playback when you switch between devices.
Screenshot by Rick Broida / CNET
Replaces: Hulu Plus Live TV (or your entire cable subscription)
Two big caveats here: Pluto TV, like CNET, is a division of ViacomCBS, and you’ll find lots of CNET, CBS, and Viacom content on the reel here. And much of the programming on Pluto isn’t the same live TV channels you find on paid cable or satellite, even if the channels have the same name. So while news junkies will find live programming from CBSN, NBC News Now and Bloomberg TV, Pluto’s versions of MTV, AMC and CNN have shifted out of time or alternate programming from those providers.
Ultimately, none of that matters, as you still get a wealth of streaming video that’s really free (it’s ad-supported, of course). And because there are literally dozens of running streams to switch through in real time, Pluto offers the best analog to cycle through the myriad of channels on a traditional cable system (or paid streaming alternative, like Hulu). You can also browse channels by categories such as news, sports, comedy, and movies, and find on-demand TV content, although they are mostly crime and reality shows.
Pluto works on desktop browsers, via a Windows client, or via apps for Android, iOS and various smart TVs and channels for Apple TV, Fire TV and Roku.
Angela Lang / CNET
Replaces: Apple Music
Spotify tops CNET’s list of the best music streaming services thanks to its easy-to-use interface, extensive catalog, and device compatibility. Plus, you can always listen to the full music catalog for free, with ads. If you still want to upgrade, you can choose from three different premium plans for yourself or to split with others.
When you subscribe to Spotify Premium for the first time, you get a one month free trial.
Nike Training Club
Replaces: Your gym, or Platoon
Nike Training Club is a free app for iOS and Android with a variety of home workouts and programs to help you create a training schedule. You can filter workouts based on the equipment you have at home and find body weight-only exercises, yoga, and workout programs.
Replaces: Online classes
MasterClass offers thousands of online classes taught by true masters in their field – we’re talking Gordon Ramsey on cooking, Ken Burns on documentary making and Helen Mirren on acting. Although an annual membership costs $ 180, a range of free courses called MasterClass Live are now available. These include a session on how to build thrillers with Dan Brown, the importance of science with Neil deGrasse Tyson, and poker tips from six-time World Series of Poker champion Daniel Negreanu.
Replaces: Magazine subscriptions, cooking classes
If you’ve been experimenting with cooking projects like sourdough, banana bread or dalgona coffee for the first part of your quarantine, grow your cooking chops even more with the Food Network Kitchen app and subscription service. It brings live and on-demand cooking classes from celebrity chefs such as Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis and Ree Drummond to iOS and Android devices, the Amazon Echo Show 8, Fire tablets, Fire TV and Alexa. The purpose of the app is to become your personal kitchen companion, helping you step by step while cooking.
While the service usually costs $ 5 a month or $ 40 a year, Food Network now offers a 30-day free trial.
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