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Disney+
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The best video streaming services in Singapore

With an endless list of binge-worthy local and international movies and series, you'll be spoilt for choice

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Written by
Cam Khalid
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Adapting to the new norm in Singapore has us shaking up our daily routine to stay sane, from substituting the gym for the nearest neighbourhood park to workshop studios for the living room. This also includes watching movies on our home tellies instead of the big cinema screen. But despite cinemas islandwide staying open during Phase 2, the idea of cosying up on your couch with a variety of films at your fingertips just sounds so inviting.

Plus, it's a win-win situation – some video streaming services are available to stream for free, and others come with a subscription fee that won't break the bank. Here are the streaming services we're hooked with, and for a palate cleanser, we've added the titles worth binge-watching.

RECOMMENDED: The best upcoming movies in Singapore and the best local films and TV series to binge-watch on Netflix

Disney+
Photograph: Searchlight Pictures

Disney+

Best for all things Disney

The wait is finally over – Disney+ is finally here, collecting the very best of Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic, and Star onto one must-have streaming service. With the entire Disney catalogue including classic and new original series, animated shorts, and various blockbusters at your fingertips, expect over 500 films and 15,000 episodes of content to be mined for your binge-watching pleasure. Not sure where to start? Here’s our handy guide to get your streaming priorities in order.

What to watch: Oscar winner Nomadland stars Frances McDormand as a sixty-something-year-old woman who kits out a van and lives an itinerant life in the Midwest after losing everything in the Great Recession.

Fee: Starts from $11.98 per month and $119.98 per year.

Apple TV+
Photograph: Apple TV+

Apple TV+

Best for Apple TV+ original series

Apple fans, complete your digital experience with its very own Apple TV+. The streaming service offers a collection of award-winning and acclaimed original series and films to stream. Psst – it's free for a limited time only, and you don't even need a subscription too. All you need is an Apple ID. Cosy up for the original short narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep Here We Are: Notes For Living on Planet Earth, the cinematic, the GLAAD Award-nominated comedy Dickinson, the live documentary experience Beastie Boys Story, and more. 

What to watch: The Oscar and BAFTA-nominated Wolfwalkers takes you to Kilkenny, Ireland in the 1600s where a shape-shifting ‘wolfwalker’ befriends a young apprentice hunter whose dad is tasked to kill the last wolf-pack. Read our interview with directors Ross Stewart and Tomm Moore here.

Fee: Starts from $6.98 per month with a seven-day trial.

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Netflix
Photograph: mm2 Entertainment

Netflix

Best for Netflix original series and movies

This usual suspect is the king of 'Netflix and Chill' – it literally says so on the tin. And rightfully so, it has everything for everyone, from Noughties rom-coms, nostalgic sitcoms, edge-of-your-seat sci-fi originals, and more. What's even better is that Netflix is showcasing even more global content, giving culture vultures their dose of European and Asian flicks aside from the mega Hollywood hits (Bollywood, anyone?). We've even listed some must-see local titles to binge-watch.

What to watch: Singapore's very own award-winning, neo-noir industrial thriller A Land Imagined. It blends social issues with mystery and follows a local detective in search of a migrant worker who disappears in a land reclamation site. Read our interview with director Siew Hua Yeo here.

Fee: Starts from $11.98 per month for one screen with a 30-day trial.

HBO Go
Photograph: HBO

HBO Go

Best for HBO original dramas

Don't you just love the HBO static intro? It amps up the excitement when you tune into its award-winning originals like the fantasy drama Game of Thrones, gangster thriller The Sopranos, satire comedy Veep, and more. Most recently, it released the third season of sci-fi drama Westworld which features locations shot in Singapore. For a bit of horror, check out HBO Asia's anthology series Folklore (read our interview with filmmaker Eric Khoo here).

Beyond its highly addictive TV series, the television network also offers all eight Harry Potter titles, The Matrix trilogy, and the roaring classic Jurassic Park.

What to watch: Sundance film festival winner Charm City Kings centres on a 14-year-old teen who is determined to leave boyhood behind and join an infamous group of riders who embody all the power and glory that dirt biking represents.

Fee: HBO Go starts from $13.98.

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The Projector Plus
Photograph: Assassins/The Projector

The Projector Plus

Best for alternative content

A digital extension of local independent cinema The Projector, The Projector Plus (also known as P+) is a spankin' new 'digital home' where the community can come together online for the alternative content the cinema is ultimately known for. Expect films that are a reflection of The Projector's curatorial approach to its physical cinema – think cult classics, indie flicks, and titles that might be challenging to get a theatrical release in Singapore. It's also the only cinema with an online platform to showcase films that are rated R21.

What to watch: A Projector exclusive, Assassins is a true-crime-meets-global-spy-thriller that focuses on the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The gripping documentary follows the trial of the two women who were accused of the assassination.

Fee: Titles are available to rent from $10 for 48 hours.

KinoLounge by Shaw Theatres
Photograph: Anna Kooris

KinoLounge by Shaw Theatres

Best for online-exclusive titles

Shaw Theatres is bringing a slice of movie magic to your home with KinoLounge. But what sets the virtual cinema platform apart from its physical counterpart is its specially curated list of movies. Most of the titles are not screened in local cinemas and are only exclusively available on KinoLounge. It also set to serve 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. Among the events planned are live Q&A sessions with filmmakers, casts, and industry pros who will share their behind-the-scenes experience, bonus never-seen-before footage, and more in an interactive setting.

What to watch: The squirm-inducing psychological thriller Swallow, which follows a woman en route to liberation in an oppressive system.

Fee: Titles are available to rent from $12.99 for 14 days.

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The Objectifs Film Library
Photograph: Objectifs

The Objectifs Film Library

Best for Southeast Asian short films

One for film enthusiasts in Singapore and the region, Objectifs Film Library showcases over 40 short films made by 14 Southeast Asian filmmakers that are available to rent and binge at home. Most of these films are exclusive to Objectifs, so you best believe you won't be able to stream them elsewhere. Among the shorts are those by award-winning Singapore directors Boo Junfeng and Kirsten Tan, as well as regional filmmakers including Thailand's Pimpaka Towira, Cambodia's Davy Chou, and Vietnam's Nguyen Trinh Thi.

What to watch: Come, Kirsten Tan's 2007 sex comedy which is set in Korea. Revolving around a family of four featuring a religious mother, a henpecked father, a liberal arts student, and a youngin who's discovered masturbation.

Fee: Titles are available to rent from $1.50 for 72 hours, with some titles available to stream for free for a limited time. 

Asian Film Archive
Photograph: Arya Rothe

Asian Film Archive

Best for Asian cinema

Not a streaming platform per se, but the Asian Film Archive (AFA) does not limit itself to the Oldham Theatre to provide a variety of films from Singapore and around the region for all your viewing pleasure. It goes beyond the physical cinema with its new initiative Rewired, which takes AFA's film programming to the virtual space where audiences can access anytime and anywhere. Previously, it had showcased films from India as part of Rewired: A Time To Resist, and those from Central Asia, which often go under the radar on the Singapore cinema stage, as part of Whose House is This?.

What to watch: Look out for the next Rewired programme.

Fee: Titles are available to rent from US$7 for 48 hours.

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MeWatch
Photograph: My Magic

MeWatch

Best for local TV reruns and movies

Catch up the latest local dramas from Channel 5, Channel 8, Suria, and Vasantham for free anytime, any place with MeWatch. Alternatively, get a dose of nostalgia with throwback gems such as Under One Roof and Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd. Movie-wise, we've locked down indie man-elephant bromance Pop Aye, horror movie for food lovers Republic of Food, and old footie favourite Kallang Roar The Movie.

What to watch: My Magic stars real-life magician Bosco Francis, and tells the story of a parent’s unconditional love to the point where he's putting his life at risk. You'd want to grab some tissues for this tearjerker.

Fee: Free to stream, but from $9.90 per month, you can skip ads, enjoy priority viewing, and get unlimited downloads.

Viu
Photograph: Viu

Viu

Best for Korean dramas

Join the K-drama bandwagon with Viu. It's loaded with titles from Korea, as well as Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan, that will rope you in with dramatic storylines, interesting characters, and emotions that will leave you teary-eyed. Besides the binge-worthy series, Viu also gives you access to select shows from Discovery, Discovery Asia, Animal Planet, Food Network, TLC, and HGTV.

What to watch: If you’re a fool for love, Doom at Your Service is right up your alley. It follows a brain cancer patient who unintentionally summons a messenger between humans and gods, and asks for a hundred days to live as she wants, even if it means risking everything in the process.

Fee: Free to stream, but from $7.98, you can skip ads, enjoy the latest titles, priority viewing in HD and unlimited downloads.

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Iwonder
Photograph: Abd Alkader Habak

Iwonder

Best for award-winning documentaries

This documentary and current affairs streaming service gets down to business by showcasing though-provoking combos of trending news stories and captivating real-life stories about the people and events shaping world affairs, politics, culture, and more. Follow the New York Times' efforts to hold Trump to cover the tumultuous first year of President Trump in the Emmy and BAFTA-nominated The Fourth Estate, and the widely publicised scandal of Harvey Weinstein in Untouchable: The Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein.

What to watch: For Sama, the Academy Award-nominated documentary told through the lens of a new mother living through the darkest days of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, it details her journey in falling in love, getting married, and giving birth to Sama, while living through the conflict.

Fee: Starts from $6.99 per month (or $69.90 per year) with a one-month trial.

Hayu
Photograph: Hayu

Hayu

Best for reality TV

A sucker for the drama (and a bit of hair-pulling) of reality TV? Then Hayu is the ultimate treat. Indulge in guilty pleasures such as Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Love & Hip Hop: New York, Bad Girls Club, and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hill –we won't judge. We'll even admit that shows that require minimal brain work such as the abovementioned help take your mind off a stressful week – and these strange times.

What to watch: Keeping Up With The Kardashians, because no one spells drama quite like the Kardashian-Jenner family.

Fee: Starts from $4.99 per month with a free one-month trial.

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Amazon Prime Video
Photograph: Amazon Studios/Liane Hentscher

Amazon Prime Video

Best for older Hollywood blockbusters

Woke up with the urge to watch a throwback film? Chances are you'll find it in Amazon Prime Video's pool of titles. It's even got local filmmaker Ken Kwek's hostage thriller Unlucky Plaza. But if you're in the mood to discover your next favourite TV series, press play on originals such as the period comedy-drama The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, or the automotive show The Grand Tour featuring ex-hosts of Top Gear. Other older series like Hannibal, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Parks and Recreation are also available to watch.

What to watch: The Man In The High Castle, an Amazon Prime Video original about a dystopian USA which is divided into three parts after Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan won WWII.

Fee: Starts from $2.99 per month with a one-month free trial. The subscription also comes with other Amazon Prime benefits including free and fast domestic delivery, and free international delivery.

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