watch documentaries online

Documentaries are great for the classroom, passing time and even to just lose yourself. This list will give you a breakdown of all the platforms with a great selection of documentary movies and TV series all on a free trial for you to enjoy every single one of these back to back if you wanted.

List of 21 best streaming services for watching non stop documentaries all with a free trial for upto a total 31 weeks of free access.

  1. Curiosity Stream
  2. Docurama
  3. Doc Club
  4. Daring Docs
  5. EPIX
  6. HBO
  7. A&E Crime Central
  8. Destination Unknown
  9. DocCom TV
  10. Dox
  11. EchoBoom
  12. History Vault
  13. Smithsonian Channel
  14. Starz
  15. Gaia
  16. Amazon Prime
  17. Sling TV
  18. Motortrend on demand
  19. Hulu
  20. Disney  +
  21. Philo

Top 3 Service For Watching Documentaries

For a quick answer to the best place to watch documentaries I have summed up why I think these 3 are the first to try.

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Docurama 7 Day Free Trial - This service not only has a huge library but also has many many award winning and popular mainstream documentary movies. If you enjoy one of documentary stories  well filmed and well told then Docurama is the first service worth trying.

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Curiosity Stream 7 Day Free Trial In terms of is user interface, app and technology this is probably the most established stand-alone documentary service. It focuses on mostly factual documentaries and has a great selection of sub topics for everyone to find exactly what they are looking for.

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Gaia 7 Day Free Trial - Although this service has a narrow niche and is not to everyone's taste it has a huge library of content and some very binge worthy documentaries as well as a well established app, user interface and great use of technology to bring a great experience to its users.

Best Documentary Streaming Service For Each Niche

If you are looking for a particular genre of documentary then you may be looking for a little more detail on the platform you should try first. This quick table will give you a rough guide of where to go to watch your favourite type of documentary.

All 21 Documentary Streaming Services in a Comparison Table

For those wanting to dive deep into all their options to watch documentaries online this table should provide all the information you need. You can always go through the list and try each one on a free trial.

Platform

Trial Period

Content

Price

More Info


1.
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30 Days

350+  Documentaries. Factual, Science, Nature, History

$2.99 pm

Curiosity Stream is arguably one of the most extensive collections of documentaries.  The content focuses primarily on factual and learning type of content. This means lots of science, technology, history and nature programmes. What you will not find much of is Sport or Celebrity focused documentaries or any of the documentaries that have become popular in mainstream media such as unsolved crimes or individual story based documentaries. There is also a premium option to this service which provides 4k quality for anyone who wants the most from nature documentaries. This service is available directly on app, PC, mac and through Amazon Channels and Sling TV.

Pros

  • Good Value
  • Biggest collection of learning and factual documentaries
  • 4k option available
  • 30 day free trial

Cons

  • Lack of some categories such as sport and crime
  • Some documentaries cheaply made

2.
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7 Days

400+ handpicked award winning documentaries

$4.99 pm

Docurama is a more specialised documentary streaming channel. Instead of building a huge library of documentaries they focus on handpicking award winning content. The content focuses on interesting stories and events hence the name Docurama , and you will find very little factual and learning type documentaries. Docurama is premium channels so this service is just an on-demand service of the channel. It also means content is regularly rotated. It is available on some cord-cutting services such as Sling TV and is also available through Amazon Channels. There is also a free access version which you can download as an app.

Pros

  • Lots of great independent documentaries
  • Free version

 

Cons

  • No factual or learning  type documentaries


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7 Days

70+ popular documentaries

$2.99 pm

Doc Club is part of Sundance Now which is also part of the AMC Network. The collection is far smaller than other services however it offers a popular number of famous documentaries such as The Bridge, Biggie & Tupac and The Ministry of Evil. The content focuse mostly on true crime, thrillers and dramatic series. The service is available directly through Sundance Now and through Amazon Channels.

Pros

  • Famous and Infamous popular documentaries
  • Cheap

 

Cons

  • Lack of content in comparison to other services

4.
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7 Days

100+ famous & infamous documentaries

$2.99 pm

Daring Docs brings you cutting edge documentaries that were known to gain attention for the right and wrong reasons. Diving into topics that may be controversial. The collection includes plenty of award winning movies such as Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, Cropsey and Zeitgeist. Do not expect to find factual learning content such as science & nature, history or technology. The documentaries focus more on stories and daring topics. Although the content is limited most of it is well worth watching. Daring Docs is available through Amazon Channels.

Pros

  • Big infamous and famous documentary movie titles
  • Good Value

 

Cons

  • Limited content
  • Limited categories

5.
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7 Days

90+ documentaries
$5.99 pm

Epix Now is the on demand service for the Epix Premium Network with an extensive library of over 2000 shows, series and movies. In comparison its documentary selection is rather small with around 100 documentaries available on demand at time of writing. Although the content will regularly rotate there will always be a fair selection of award winning and popular documentary films. There is no specific genre or category of content but just what Epix has available at the time. Epix is available directly, through a number of cord-cutting services and on Amazon Channels.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Popular documentaries
  • Available on Amazon Channels

Cons

  • No specific genre
  • Smaller documentary library than other dedicated documentary online platforms


6.
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7 Days

350+ documentary movies & series

$14.99 pm

HBO / HBO Max / HBO Now whatever you chooses to call it is one of the major streaming platforms, as such it has every type of content with a huge on-demand library and unique content. It has one of the most impressive documentary selections with a very large selection. This selection does not focus on any specific category but just has a lot of popular prime time documentaries as well as a large selection of older and smaller documentaries to enjoy. At $14.99  per month it may be a little expensive if all you want to do is watch documentaries, if that is the case then you are better off with a dedicated service such as Curiosity Stream or Docurama. If however, you already have HBO or you are looking for a streaming service for all your needs then HBO is easily one of the best. As it is also a network it produces a lot of its own content, so many documentaries will be unique for HBO. You can get HBO through Amazon Channels, Directly and through a number of cord-cutting platforms. 

Pros

  • One of the biggest selection of documentaries
  • Lots of other content (Moviers / TV etc..)
  • Lots of self-produced unique content

 

Cons

  • Pricey if all you want to do is watch documentaries

7.
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7 Days

100+ crime related documentaries

$4.99 pm

A&E Crime Central is as you can tell from the name focuses on a specific niche of documentaries with all crime, murder, mysetery, forensic and law enforcement related content. A lot of the content is series documenting the lives of either crime scene investigators or cops but it also has a good collection of documentary movies within the same niche. Most of the movies are about the lives of infamous people or murders that shocked the world. This is a channel from A&E but the on-demand library can be accessed as a free trial through Amazon Channels.

Pros

  • Covers the niche of crime documentaries extensively
  • Available on Amazon Channels

Cons

  • No content outside of crime

8.
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7 Days
100+ paranormal documentaries

$3.99 pm

Destination unknown is the channel dedicated for ghost hunters and fans of the arts that should not be practised. Dedicated to this one if you like these kind of shows then this platform will keep you entertained for years. Most of the content are series based and are updated regularly from the main channel. Topics dive into Ghost hunting, UFOs, conspiracies and all things paranormal. You can access this channels and all its content on demand through the Amazon Channel service.

Pros

  • Dominates the paranormal niche

 

Cons

  • No good if you are looking for any other kind of documentary

9.
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7 Days

30+ curated handpicked documentaries

$3.99 pm

DocCom TV is a newer service that is focusing on bringing its viewers a selection of handpicked documentaries of fascinating stories and lives. As it is new it has very little content is is relying on providing great content that its viewers have not come across. The service is available directly or through Amazon Channels. If you choose to get through Amazon Channels it will be cheaper after the free trial. The service is still young and needs more testing to determine how frequent and good the content is. We have seen with other services such as Mubi that a smaller service that relies on handpicked content can work. Customers enjoy sitting back and enjoying what is chosen for them rather that spending all evening flicking through Netflix never deciding what to watch.

Pros

  • Handpicked documentaries

 

Cons

  • To new to compete
  • Limited content

10.
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7 Days

50+ Documentary movies

$2.99 pm

Dox is a premium channel that has an on-demand library which you can access through a number of cord-cutting platforms or Amazon Channels. The content is mostly documentary films rather than series. It is more focused on stories, topics of interest and events rather than science,  nature or History. It also has a selection of movies based on/ inspired by true events. The collection isn't huge but it is of good quality. 

Pros

  • Mostly great content
  • Selection of movies inspired by true stories to complement relevant documentaries

 

Cons

  • Not much content in comparison to competitors.

11.
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7 Days

800+ extreme sport documentaries

$5.99 pm

EchoBoom is a sport documentary service with over 800 Shows and Movies in extreme sports such as Snowboarding, Mountain Biking, Surfing and many more. The content is produced by a number of sport  brands and athletes that perform stunts and extreme sports and document everything that they do which is why there is so much content available. You will not find many popular or well known documentaries as this is a service where these independent documentaries are created. This leaves the possibility open for both fantastic content and not so well produced content. EchoBoom sports is available on directly and on Amazon Channels

Pros

  • Biggest collection of documented extreme sports and stunts

Cons

  • No mainstream content

12.
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7 Days

200+ history documentaries

$4.99 pm

History Vault is a premium channel which you can access on demand through amazon channels with a 7 day trial. Obviously the content focusing all on history. From ancient to modern history, political history and great historic events and stories. It also includes a number of conspiracy type documentaries and general interest topics. History Vault is a great service to have access to in a classroom or just anybody who loves to fill up on knowledge. 

Pros

  • Best selection of history documentaries

 

Cons

  • No mainstream popular documentaries

13.
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7 Days

300 documentary movies and series

$4.99 pm

The Smithsonian Channel focusely mostly on documentary series with a smaller selection of movies. Categories are mostly factual and informational such as millitary & war, Science and special interests. The channel is available on demand through Amazon Channels with a 7 day trial as well as a number of cord-cutting services. This is definitely a great service for factual content, the kind of content you get during the day time TV.  There is also some free content through Youtube.

 

Pros

  • Lots of sereis
  • great educational content

 

Cons

  • Few movies

14.
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7 Days

70 + premium documentaries

$8.99pm

The Starz premium network regularly shows documentaries across its network, all of these are available on demand through the Starz On-Demand service. Th documentaries available are mostly premium documentary movies spanning a mix of categories from Art, Biography, Crime, Nature, Sports and more. The starz free trial is available directly and through a numebr of other services such as Sling TV, Hulu and Amazon Channels.

Pros

  • Mostly premium content
  • regularly updated
  • Upto 5 weeks of free trials to Starz

Cons

  • Limited documentaries compared other services dedicated to just documentaries

 


15.
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7 Days

Over 1000 thought provoking documentaries

$11.99 pm

Gaia is possibly the largest selection of documentaries anywhere, however it also has a narrow niche category of content. The content is focused on what it calls though provoking and mind expanding content. It does cross over a little too much into sudo-science and magical crystals a bit too much for me, however there is also a lot of very interesting content. Content also dives in History, Wildlife, Evolution and a lot of other factual information. IN additon to this it also has yoga videos to cross into the online work-out market. Gaia is available directly and through the amazon channels both on a 7 day free trial

Pros

  • Largest selection of documentaries

Cons

  • Narrow niche of content

 


16.
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7 Days

Thousands of documentaries of all genres

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Amazon has thousands of documentaries and series to enjoy, with everything from premium to low budget. There is not more to say about the service as it is one of the major players and dives into every genre, caters for every age and most have already used their 30 day free trial. It is also worth mentioning that once you have Amazon prime you can add dozens of additional channels each of which has 7 or 30 day free trial.

Pros

  • Channels can be added
  • includes some music and free delivery on shopping
  • Covers every topic
  • Caters for everyone

 

Cons

  • Not much has always been good value

 

 


17.
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14 Days

Various factual channels and premium add-ons 

$30+

Sling TV is a popular cord-cutting service and with the Sling Blue package you can enjoy documentaries from Discovery Channel, National Geographic A&E, truTV, History Channel, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel and a selecction of Sport channels for Sport documentaries. In addition to all this you can also add a number of premium services such as Curiosity Stream, Starz and Epix for even more great documentaries. 

Pros

  • Many add-ons and channels for the ultimate viewing library in every genre

 

Cons

  • The expensive option if you are only looking for documentaries

18.
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30 Days

600+ popular motor TV series

$5.99 pm

MotorTrend has hundreds of TV series all dedicated to motors, cars, trucks and more. Popular series such as Top Gear, Road Kill and Wheeler Dealers. The niche dosnt just cover basic car shows but also has cop car chase shows and  Car auction/antique shows. The free trial is available on Amazon Channels for 30 days as well as directly on a 14 day free trial.

Pros

  • Lots of popular car shows 

Cons

  • more daytime TV than documentary content

 


19.
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30 Days

premium documentary movies and series

$5.99 pm

Hulu is a popular streaming servie trying to compete with Netflix. Its documentary library has plenty of premium documentary movies as well as a number of sereis. Its also nice to see plenty of content exclusively on Hulu such as Wrinkles The Clown. Documentaries include Blackfish, Apollo 11, Grizzly Man, March of The Penguins and many more. Hulu also offers Live TV which can be added to your subscription. With this you can add loads of great channels as well as premium networks such as Starz, HBO and Epix for more great content.

Pros

  • Great selection of premium movies
  • Great value

 

Cons

  • Not much at this price

19.
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7 Days

National Geographic 

$6.99 pm

Disney + was made with the intention of Disney having a place for all there popular movies. However, on the service you can also access the entire national Graphic library meaning it has hundreds of nature, history and geography related documentaries. In addition to this there are Movie and Disney related documentaries to enjoy. The free trial is available directly for 7 days

Pros

  • Entire National Geographic library
  • Great value

 

Cons

  • Not much at this price

19.
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7 Days

45-58 channels

$16 pm

Philo is my final suggestion on this list for watching documentaries. i have included it for anyone wanting a cheap cord-cutting platform with some good channels for watching documentaries. These channels include A&E, Animal Planet, Discovery and History.

Pros

  • Cheap cord-cutting platform

 

Cons

  • Limited upgrades compared to other cord-cutting options