The Weekend Series: five boutique streaming services we can’t wait to try in Australia
So you’ve drained your standard streaming platforms dry and need some fresh content to tickle your curiosity and fire up the neurons? We’ve found five curated streaming services to suit all manner of niche tastes, from Japanese anime and indie docos to suspense and horror flicks. Some are available now, some are coming soon and some we’ll have to cross our fingers for – but we’re sure they’ll all be worth the wait.
This international streaming service launched in Australia just six weeks ago, bringing a plethora of critically acclaimed documentaries and current affairs programs to local audiences. If you’re bored of flicking through the same old trashy sitcoms and predictable comedy, then this hard-hitting platform may be the perfect cure to your mindless entertainment ills. Broaden your knowledge and challenge your opinions with topics spanning the environment, art, religion, science, politics, sport and beyond. iwonder has doubled the number of titles available since its launch date and now offers more than 1000 documentaries, current affairs films, TV shows and shorts.
Originally slated to launch in Australia at the end of last year, local audiences are now waiting with bated breath for the arrival of subscription video-on-demand streaming offering, Sundance Now. Its deep library offers award-winning films in most genres from foreign language to documentaries, as well as true crime TV series, hard-to-find classics and exclusive Sundance Now Originals. As an AMC Networks premium streaming service, Sundance Now aims to bring the film festival ethos to an intellectually curious crowd, with new selections added weekly.
This is the streaming hub for the brave and the ballsy. Boasting a wide range of thriller, suspense, supernatural and horror content, you can expect to find exclusive new releases as well as genre-defining classics in the Shudder library. This is yet another streaming platform teaching us patience, following AMC Networks’ announcement last year that we would be welcoming the service to Australia by late 2018. When it does arrive in our hot little (terrified) hands, we should have access to classics like Psycho and The Exorcist, as well as original spine-chilling content.
Described as “Netflix for the indie crowd”, Fandor boasts a curated catalogue of independent content in niche genres covering avant-garde, film noir, silent films and more, as well as sub-genres such as slasher horror and reanimation science fiction. Currently only available to US viewers, Fandor plans to launch in Australia in the future and we’re crossing everything that its ambitious library of more than 5000 handpicked beauties will be available to view in our region. The streaming platform is committed to protecting film art and culture, and delivers a 50 percent revenue share to its films’ rights holders while also launching initiatives across critical stages of the filmmaking process, partnering with educators, students, filmmakers, festivals and distributors.
Admirers of Japanese culture will be overwhelmed by choice at the world’s largest destination for anime and manga, Crunchyroll. Boasting a global community of more than 45 million registered users and the largest collection of titles for its niche community, you can peruse a mighty array of anime, manga and drama titles by searching title, genre or season. Content is translated in multiple languages, with simulcasts delivered as soon as one hour after the Japanese broadcast. Fans can connect in the Crunchyroll forums, stay up to date with the latest news and even buy merch from their favourite series (yes, we all need a Mob Psycho 100 body pillow in our lives). Crunchyroll’s new spring season line-up features the likes of Wise Man’s Grandchild, BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS, Black Clover and more.