With Netflix, Disney+ & Co., subscribers can stream a huge selection of films and series for a few euros a month. However, the subscription can eat up a lot of money in the long run – especially if you stream with more than just one provider. Anyone who has to cut expenses in the face of high inflation and rising gas and electricity prices can use free streaming services. This does not mean the media libraries of ARD and ZDF or illegal streaming sites, but legal advertising video-on-demand services (AVoD). These are becoming more and more fashionable.

    Freevee offers free titles with commercial breaks

    Amazon’s free streaming service Freevee has been available in Germany since the beginning of August. On the platform, customers can watch classics and entire series completely free of charge. There are also Freevee Originals, i.e. titles that cannot be seen anywhere else. The whole thing is financed by advertising: nine minutes of advertising time per hour. The service was previously launched in the US in 2019 and in the UK last year – Amazon did not provide figures when asked by the RND, but it is said to be going pretty well. Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, already said in April that the offer would be expanded in view of the large audience. There are now 70 percent more Freevee originals than a year ago.

    Netflix and Disney also want to follow suit

    Pluto TV has also been available in Germany since 2018. The service provider, which describes itself as the leading AVoD platform in the USA and is part of the Paramount family, offers a selection of films and series from the media libraries of BBC, ARD, ZDF & Co. There are also hybrid services such as Rakuten TV that make certain titles or individual episodes of a series available with advertising free of charge and only activate others for subscribers or a rental fee.

    The concept seems to be so well received by viewers that Hulu, HBO Max and Paramount+ also offer AVOD services in the USA and according to RND both Netflix and Disney+ are planning such an offer.

    “Very sour apple” – is streaming good titles without advertising worth the eight euros?

    While the large selection and titles that are not available anywhere else sound tempting, the RND also names a major disadvantage: With the many advertisements that are shown in the middle of the individual episodes on Freevee and not at the beginning or end, you have to get into a “very bite the sour apple. Fortunately, the various AVOD services can decide for themselves when the advertisements are played. So it remains to be seen how enjoyable the AVOD experience will be on Netflix and Disney+. The question of which titles will be available at all also remains open.

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