Consumers have gotten used to free content on the internet. Streaming feature films though has often required a subscription to services like Netflix or Amazon Prime. The notable free services that do exist, like the free movies section of YouTube, seemingly only offer tired, dated Hollywood flicks (Bicentennial Man anyone?). Considering this, there has been an opening in the market for a free streaming service with a deep library of titles, but we may have finally found one in SnagFilms. Hit the jump to learn more.
Founded in 2008, SnagFilms is a free film streaming service accessible online and through Apple and Android devices, Xbox, and other popular media consoles. The ad-supported service offers thousands of movies, primarily documentaries and independent features, on demand upon signing up, empowering viewers to watch a wealth of selections and a platform to recommend what they view to friends and other users.
The company recently announced an additional 5,000 titles were entering its library, as well as a new socially-based system that will improve the quality of the service’s recommendations and suggestions feature:
“Our potent curatorial cocktail has 3 strong ingredients: our kick-ass editorial team + your friends’ always interesting taste in movies + our very own recommendation engine, a sophisticated interface that intuitively tracks your preferences… but not in a creepy way.”
I immediately recognize a couple titles in the SnagFilms library as having enjoyed time in the public discussion, like the popular Morgan Spurlock documentary, Super Size Me, and the science fiction time travel film, Primer, among others. To be sure though, this is not going to be your source to catch up on the latest mainstream releases at no cost. I suggest hitting up your local library for that. The service though will offer an outlet to view a vast library of independent films and documentaries, that may feature some known actors doing offbeat work, or may offer the chance to see a future star as they enter the industry.
More importantly, at least it appears from SnagFilms’ perspective, is their desire to make online independent film viewing an immersive social activity by rolling out their “curatorial cocktail” that recommends movies based on your interests. Will it replace the classic face-to-face interaction of seeing and discussing a film in a theater? Probably not, but it could spur interest and bring valuable attention to independent properties that otherwise would not receive it. It also marks the first such social endeavor for a major streaming service that is free; the size of the audience participating could be huge because of the ease of entry, though that may be offset by the lack of mainstream content.
You can learn more about SnagFilms and begin watching free movies at snagfilms.com. Is a free independent streaming service worth your time? Let us know by leaving a comment below.