The Best Legal Streaming Services
Jacques du Rand 2018-10-24
Update May 2020
We have just launched our newest TV Streaming Comparison Service.
Update April 2020
There is also a new list of some lesser known movie streaming services available to South Africans
If you’re looking for a new movie or TV show to watch, then you’ll be hard-pressed to find an old-fashioned DVD rental store: The last Blockbuster outlets in Alaska closed down earlier in 2018, and it marks a whole new era in the way we ingest our media.
For all practical purposes, rentals are dead and buried. Streaming is the new thing if you want to keep up with the times, and there are thousands of new TV shows and movies out there just waiting for you to discover them, whether your thing is The Handmaid’s Tale or The Good Place.
Here are some of the best recommended (and legal) streaming services that are free or worth the price.
Movies & TV
Netflix allows you to directly stream thousands of different TV shows and movies at a monthly subscription fee. There are also plenty of great, original TV shows produced exclusively by Netflix, including Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Arrested Development, Stranger Things and Disenchantment.
Netflix’s Basic plan will run you R99 per month, their Standard R139 and their Premium plan R169 – and if you think that might be a little expensive, consider the fact that it’s still a lot cheaper than paying for satellite service.
Yes, you can rent or buy movies from the Google Play Store. Who knew !
Prices are anywhere from R20 upwards per title. The user also gets a choice between SD or HD quality with a slightly better price on the SD version.
Just look for the "RED Google Play Movies" icon.
There are quite a few tv series also.
Showmax is one of the strongest competitors for Netflix’s streaming service in South Africa, and many South Africans have already signed up – or are still debating the benefits between the two. It largely depends what type of shows you want to watch, and if you can’t make up your mind it’s worth checking out both options before you choose.
Showmax offers you instant access, and it can be added to your existing DSTV package, or you can pay for Showmax streaming alone at R99 per month.
YouTube still remains one of the largest streaming services for music and video in the world, though many people don’t know that you can find a whole range of pay-per-view movies on YouTube, too. Follow this link to get to YouTube Movies, where you can stream some of the latest movie releases and plenty of classics – it’s fast, legal and cheap.
Amazon Prime Video has a huge listing of movies and TV shows you can watch or stream, and there are even some extra shows and episodes that are exclusive to Amazon Prime Video subscribers. It was first launched 12 years ago, though South Africans have only discovered this gem a little more recently with the advent of fibre – and it’ll only cost you $8.99 per month.
If you’re a fan of shows like Shameless and House of Lies, then you can stream these shows directly through Showtime by subscribing to their monthly streaming service. Switching over to Showtime will only cost you around $11 per month, and $9 per month if you’re already a subscriber to Hulu, another streaming service usually reserved for US users.
Classic Cinema Online allows you to stream many classic movies through your PC – and for free. This is a great website to bookmark if you’re a fan of old classic movies.
YouTube is one of the most popular options for music streaming too – and studies estimate that it could be responsible for as much as 47% of all music streaming through their free streaming channels. When most people are looking for a specific song or clip, they’ll head straight to YouTube – and that’s most likely the first place you’ll find even the most obscure tunes.
Spotify is huge, and there are estimated to be as much as 83 million people subscribed to their monthly paid service – which should only cost you about $10 per month to get full access. You can also give the service a try for free before you sign up.
Apple iTunes is one of the other most popular streaming services, and there are thousands of great songs and albums in their library. Instead of paying a monthly subscription fee like many other services, you only buy the music you want to hear. MyBroadband estimated the cost of a song (at its launch price) at approximately R6.99.
Google Play Music is a great searchable option for song downloads and streaming, and a lot of people have gravitated to this one just because it’s a very mobile-friendly option for subscribers.
Joox is a proudly South African streaming service, and it gives you instant access to many songs and albums by South African artists – add this one to your library if you want a uniquely local flavour added to your playlist.
If you’re looking to stream South African radio online, check out RadioSA – all major South African radio stations (and many of the smaller ones, too) are listed here for your listening pleasure with a high-quality signal.
Live365 requires you to make a user account to listen, and that’s it – it gives you instant access to thousands of internationally streaming radio stations organized by genre, and it’s a great place for discovering music (and stand up comedy albums) that you’ve never heard before. The site also allows you to create your own radio station for streaming.
Need to update or upgrade your fibre connection so you can stream cheaper, better and faster? Get in touch with FibreTiger and we’ll help you set up your home or business connection.