Ever since Netflix popped up to disrupt the entertainment distribution model, streaming seems to have swiftly overtaken traditional mediums like cinemas, television channels, and cable as the consumers’ number one preference. Certainly, on-demand internet content presents viewers with numerous advantages in terms of convenience. But with so many to choose from, which should you subscribe to? Not to worry, Popwire is here with a handy guide to every streaming service available in Singapore.
Let’s begin with the service that changed the entire media landscape. Despite an increasingly competitive marketplace, Netflix remains king when it comes to subscribers and recognition. With an unparalleled library and an abundance of new original programming (some might say too much to keep up with), it’s hard to beat the OG. Boasting popular in-house series like Stranger Things, The Crown, Peaky Blinders and Ozark – alongside Oscar-worthy productions like Roma, Marriage Story, The Irishman, The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Mank – Netflix has it locked down in terms of quantity and quality.
Top 5 Hidden Gems:Mudbound, Lenox Hill, I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, Shirkers, Unorthodox
Pricing: Subscription starts from $11.98 per month for one screen, $15.98 per month for two screens and $19.98 per month for four screens. Stream them on all devices and download your fave programmes to watch them on the go. There’s also a free trial of 30 days.
Amazon Prime may not have the biggest library of original content, but it’s library of older films and shows (Parks & Recreation, The Office, Downton Abbey, etc.) is humongous. That being said, Amazon does make up for slightly slimmer pickings with a greater ratio of hits. From award-winning original series like The Expanse, Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to critically acclaimed film productions like The Big Sick, Sound of Metal and The Handmaiden – nearly any title you click is bound to be a winner.
Top 5 Hidden Gems: Undone, Small Axe, Upload, Time, One Night in Miami, The Vast of Night
Pricing: Subscription is at a low cost of $2.99 per month with other Amazon Prime benefits like free and fast domestic delivery, and free international delivery. There’s also a free trial of 30 days and an option for you to download shows to watch on the go.
This is one of the newer players to the streaming wars, but the platform is already making a splash thanks to the creative talent they’ve hired. Bolstered by acclaimed shows like Mythic Quest, buzzy films like Sofia Coppola’s latest outing On the Rocks, and even an upcoming political talk show hosted by Jon Stewart – Apple TV+ is getting big attention thanks to big names. Plus, you can start with a free one-year subscription if you’ve purchased a new Apple product! All you need to do is sign in with your Apple ID.
Top 5 Hidden Gems:For All Mankind, Ted Lasso, Boys State, Wolfwalkers, Little America
Pricing: The cost: Subscription fee is at $6.98 per month with a free seven-day trial. Purchase any Apple device to enjoy a year of free subscription.
When it comes to massive franchises, nothing beats the recently arrived Disney+ in Singapore. From Marvel and Star Wars to Pixar and Disney, there’s no shortage of blockbuster, must-see exclusive titles. Headlined by original releases like The Mandalorian, WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Raya and the Last Dragon, alongside the entire Disney back catalogue – expect over 500 films and 15,000 episodes at your fingertips.
But beyond the big titles, a real selling point is the fact that Star contains a good chunk of Hulu’s programming (Hulu is not available in Singapore), FOX, FX and AMC’s catalogue. Featuring shows like Atlanta, Grey’s Anatomy, The Simpsons, Modern Family and Lost; alongside award-winning films like Nomadland, Ford v Ferrari and The Favourite – there’s plenty beyond the traditional Disney canon. Last but not least, National Geographic’s vault of nature documentaries is a treasure trove.
Top 5 Hidden Gems: Free Solo, Better Things, Solar Opposites, Atlanta, The Americans
Pricing: Subscription fee is at $11.98 per month or $119.98 per year.
“It’s not TV, it’s HBO” has been the cable channel mantra since its inception, and that extends to their OTT service. In terms of sheer quality of films and series, no other service on this list holds a candle to the original programming on offer at HBO Go. From new hits like Succession, Mare of Easttown, Lovecraft Country, Watchmen and Euphoria; to legacy shows like The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, Westworld and Game of Thrones; to outstanding comedy and animation like Silicon Valley, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Veep, Adventure Time and Steven Universe – nothing beats HBO. And that’s not even counting it’s giant catalogue of movies.
Top 5 Hidden gems: Insecure, Los Espookys, I May Destroy You, Barry, The Leftovers
Pricing: Subscribe via the HBO GO app at $13.98 per month or through a local operator (various fees apply).
In this uncertain pandemic landscape, business is uncertain for theatres. Which is why strongly urge you to support Singapore’s finest boutique indie cinema even if you’re unable or unwilling to attend physical screenings. This digital extension of the local independent cinema reflects The Projector’s discerning curatorial choices, featuring a wide range of indie arthouse films alongside older cult classics.
Top 5 Hidden Gems: Cold War, I Am Not A Witch, Corpus Christi, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Saint Frances
Pricing: Titles are available to rent from $10 for 48 hours.
If non-fiction is your jam, then look no further than this documentary heaven. With a fantastic selection of thought-provoking documentaries covering everything from current affairs and nature to history and sports – iwonder is the best service to offer you educational context to the complexities of the world.
Top 5 Hidden Gems: For Sama, The Kleptocrats, Hoop Dreams, Console Wars, This Is Congo
Pricing: The cost: Subscription fee is at $6.99 per month with a month of free trial. Or get a yearly subscription at $69.90.
For fans of regional filmmaking, Objectifs Film Library showcases over 40 exclusive short films made by 14 Southeast Asian filmmakers. Featuring works from acclaimed directors like Singapore’s Boo Junfeng and Kirsten Tan, alongside SEA auteurs like Thailand’s Pimpaka Towira, Cambodia’s Davy Chou, and Vietnam’s Nguyen Trinh Thi – this service is an incredible resource to check out the works of the region’s finest filmmakers.
Top 5 Hidden Gems: Come, Katong Fugue, Maths Tuition, A Million Threads, Conversations on Sago Lane
Pricing: Titles are available to rent from $1.50 for 72 hours, with some titles available to stream for free for a limited time.
Keeping it close to home, Viddsee is another excellent premium short film platform that’s home a large number of Asia’s most innovative storytellers. Featuring over 4500 films created by over 3000 auteurs, this is a treasure trove for festival darlings and award-winning shorts from Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, India, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and more.
Top 5 Hidden Gems: Soul Food, Drive, Dainta, Human Form, The Night Receptionist
Pricing: The cost: Watch all shows for free online or via the app. You can also download the shows to watch on the go.
No form of television or film media is as popular in Singapore as South Korean content. If you need any proof, just consider that 6 of the top 10 most popular series in the local market last year were made up of K-dramas and South Korean variety shows. So if you’re a fan of K-content (statistics say you probably are), look no further than Viu, which boasts South Korea’s most heralded shows as part of its immense library. To add variety, the platform also features titles from Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan (with English and Chinese subtitles), alongside access to Discovery, Discovery Asia, Animal Planet, Food Network, TLC, and HGTV.
Top 5 Hidden Gems: Missing: The Other Side, Tale of the Nine Tailed, Flower of Evil, The Meow Boy, The Game: Towards Zero
Pricing: Register for a free account or get the Viu Premium subscription at $7.98 per month to enjoy ad-free and priority viewing in HD, unlimited downloads and an all-access pass to movies and kids series.
India’s premium OOT streaming platform has arrived in Singapore! You’ll be spoilt for choice with Hotstar’s Hindi and Tamil content ranging from regional movies and original series, to top-rated variety shows and dramas, to leading TV channels and even live Indian Premier League cricket matches.
Top 5 Hidden Gems: Criminal Justice, Special Ops, Out Of Love, Hostages, City Of Dreams
Pricing: Subscribe online or via the Hotstar app at $69.98 per year.
Formerly known as Toggle, Mediacorp’s MeWatch is the leading streaming platform if you’re looking for Singaporean content. You can now binge current or older TV shows from Channel 5, Channel 8, Suria and Vasantham; alongside a surprisingly wide selection of Hollywood and Asian movies.
Top 5 Hidden Gems: Derek, Dr. Stone, Pop Aye, Titoudao, Last Madame
Pricing: Register for a free account or subscribe to MeWatch Prime at $9.90/month to skip ads, enjoy priority viewing of dramas and get unlimited downloads for offline viewing.
Much like The Projector Plus, we’d urge you to check out KinoLounge by Shaw Theatres in order to help support cinemas during the COVID-19 era. Unlike the myriad on-demand streamers, the movies available on KinoLounge were only selected because they are critically acclaimed, award-winning or associated with various film festivals, archives and societies. Less like a buffet and more like fine dining, KinoLounge is a great resource for quality films from around the world. Plus, it also serves as a platform for hosting interactive film events and festivals, as well as themed film screenings and watch parties online – all in collaboration with local film societies and organisers including the Singapore Film Society.
Top 5 Hidden Gems: Paddington 2, The Farewell, Ibu Mertua-ku, Swallow, Spaceship Earth
Pricing: Titles are available to rent from $4.99 to $12.99 for 14 days.
There’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure, and there’s no shame in admitting that you’d sometimes prefer to turn off your brain after a long day to enjoy some trashy escapism in the form of reality TV. Hayu will scratch that itch with NBCUniversal International shows like Keeping up with the Kardashians, The Real Housewives of New York City, Dance Moms, Million Dollar Listing, and much more.
Top Hidden Gems: Below Deck, Made in Chelsea, Top Chef, Love & Hip-Hop, Dating No Filter
Pricing: There’s a flat subscription rate of $4.99/month, with a free one-month trial and an option for you to download shows to watch on the go.
Don’t count the telcos out yet. Although cable might be getting phased out in the near future, Singtel is actually offering OTT streaming to keep the tech-savvy crowd. Featuring a good variety of channels for sports, news, entertainment, K-dramas, and more – Singtel TV Go’s plans are not too shabby.
Pricing: Subscription fee ranges from $6.90 for 1 device to $9.90 for 3 devices per month.
Similarly, StarHub has their own OTT service boasting over 80 channels covering sports, news, entertainment, kids, Asian channels and more. Their platform is a little pricier, but it does offer a broader range of Chinese and Korean dramas on offer.
Pricing: Subscription fee is $9.90 per month or get StarHub Max at $29.80 monthly for the first 12 months.