Amazon Fire TV Stick remote

What Channels are Free with the FireStick

As an ongoing project, we’d like to bring you a list of channels that are not only free to install on the Amazon Fire TV Stick, but also offer some free content as well. In fact, most apps are free to install. The difference between free and paid channels is whether or not they require a membership to view content. Some apps will offer a free level of content that allows you to view shows and movies up to a point. Other apps give you content entirely free but are supported by ads. So, let’s take a look at what channels are free with the FireStick.

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Amazon Fire Stick free channels list

I’ll put the channels into the best grouping and order as I can to help find things quickly and easily. There’s a lot to choose from on the Amazon Fire TV Stick, and I’ll try to update this list as often as possible. I’m also not including apps that offer a free week, month, or whatever and then require payment. I’m trying to keep this list as “free” as possible.

If you’re looking to purchase your first Amazon Fire TV Stick or upgrade an old one:
Check Amazon for the latest (Gen 3) Fire TV Stick
Check Amazon for the 4K version of the Fire TV Stick

Realize that there truly is an astounding amount of content available, and not all of it is necessarily worth writing about. More importantly, not all of it is even legal. I would caution you to be really careful about the free apps that you install. Choose reputable apps from trustworthy sources. Don’t try to “get around” the system with apps that promise to give you paid content for free or very cheap. There’s tons of good, free content available in almost every genre.

Sports on the other hand…can be rough. But there are ways to enjoy sports without being stuck to cable plans.

What is free on Amazon Fire Stick – Popular general content apps

YouTube

YouTube, as we all know, has become so much more than just cat videos and influencers pushing makeup tips and get rich quick schemes. There’s a plethora of valuable information on everything from how to learn to play a musical instrument to world history and language studies.

There’s also a great amount of entertainment programming in the form of full-length movies, TV shows, and short-form content. One of our new favorite things to do is watch the monologues from the nightly talk shows each evening as we relax on the couch.

The app even allows you to log in and keep your history so you can come back to your favorite shows and see suggestions for more content.

Pluto TV

Pluto TV was one of the best free alternatives to “normal” TV a couple of years ago. It had a similar interface and was pretty easy to navigate as well. Pluto had a good mix of content, and finding shows for kids and adults was easy. The ads didn’t feel overwhelming either.

As Pluto TV started to grow, the listings felt a lot more like normal cable. There were a lot of channels that just felt unnecessary and became a chore to sift through. Also, a lot of the newer content was outside the interests of anyone in our family.

I would still recommend installing Pluto TV and giving it a try. It might be a perfect fit for you and your family.

IMDb TV

IMDb TV is a big provider of ad-supported content, and they happen to be owned by Amazon. There’s a lot of different types and genres of content on this app. You won’t find much new content, but it’ll take you a while to get through what’s there. Also, set your expectations with the content as it’s not all top shelf level stuff. It is, however, completely free.

You’ll find movies like Big Fish and Donnie Darko, and TV series like 3rd Rock from the Sun and Lost. So, there are definitely some wonderful gems to be found on this app.

Crackle

It was Grouper, then it was Crackle, then it was Sony Crackle, then it was Crackle again. Just some interesting trivia.

Crackle has been streaming content for a while now, and they’ve got plenty of good shows and movies to stream. For instance, they’ve got a great selection of classic and newer TV shows like That Girl, The Carol Burnett Show, The Tick, and The Dana Carvey Show.

While the movie selection isn’t quite as good, you will still find some good options like Chinatown and Charlie’s Angels.

Overall, this is still an app I would recommend trying out, especially for streaming TV shows.

Tubi TV

Tubi is one of the largest and most popular free streaming services online today. The San Francisco based company was founded in 2014 and has quickly become one of the major streaming apps available. Their homepage may explain why this is the case:

Free Movies & TV
Fewer Ads than Cable
No Subscription Required

It’s a pretty simple formula. They have a pretty massive selection of streaming content, and they’re available on almost every streaming device you can think of. They feature content from partners such as MGM, Warner Brothers, Paramount, and Lionsgate.

Tubi also has a feature called Tubi Kids if you need streaming content specifically for children, which is a really nice option. 

Give this one a shot to see if it’s for you. 

FilmRise Classics

Filmrise claims to be “the Largest Independent Provider of Digital Streaming Content.” It seems that most streaming services are claiming something similar these days, so take that with a grain of salt. Either way, FilmRise is a company that has partnered with a vast number of producers, studios, and content creators in order to bring to its customers a large amount of streaming content.

You’ll find more independent films and smaller movies than you will blockbuster hits on FilmRise, but for some that’s a huge plus. And they do have a pretty large and diverse selection of TV shows. You’ll find selections like Roseanne, 3rd Rock from the Sun, 21 Jump Street, Shameless, Highway to Heaven, Dinotopia, and a lot more.

If you’re looking for quirkier content outside of the mainstream, this might be the streaming service for you.

Popcornflix

Popcornflix is another large streaming content provider that focuses on feature-length movies and other shorter content as well. As the name suggests, their focus isn’t on streaming TV series, but this allows them to do a better than average job with their streaming movie content.

Popcornflix is another streaming service owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, and one of the strengths of their service is the amount and quality of family entertainment. You’ll find movies like Soul Surfer, Mary Poppins Returns, and the Harry Potter series as well.

Popcornflix also has specialized services including Popcornflix Kids, Popcornflix Comedy, and Frightpix.

Definitely recommended to install and check out.

XUMO TV

XUMO is a newer streaming service out of Irvine, California. It’s a lot to get your head around at the moment, but here’s their blurb from their homepage:

We bring you the best content from traditional and digital networks, presented just as linear and on-demand channels on your streaming devices. Navigate through your pick of 190+ channels, enjoy live events, breaking news, viral videos, full TV series, endless cartoons and more.

There’s a lot of TV content on XUMO…a lot. And this does present a more traditional “channel surfing” experience than some of the other streaming platforms out there. If you like being able to go down the rabbit hole with your streaming content, this is going to be a good one for you.

Rakuten Viki

Viki is an interesting content streaming platform that sets themselves apart from the rest by crowdsourcing some of their info and content. If you’re into Korean Dramas (and pretty much everyone is these days), and you can’t get enough of that social media experience in your life, this is your streaming entertainment service.

Rakuten Viki takes its name from the combination of the words “video” and “wiki.” The service allows its users to submit content in the form of descriptions, commentary, and even translation in some cases. The Watch Party function allows users to connect and communicate live during a show’s broadcast.

Give it a try if the social media aspect of watching shows intrigues you or you just can’t get enough Asian TV series and movies. Be aware that Rakuten Viki has both a free level and a paid level, so you will have to sort through content based on your account level.

Freeform

Freeform is actually a basic cable channel owned ABC Family Worldwide, which is owned by the Walt Disney Company. They’ve been around since the 70’s in one form or another, and they’ve always, in some way, been a family centered service. 

Freeform apparently caters to a younger audience that is more typically female than male. But I do think there’s plenty on Freeform to justify installing and checking out for almost anyone. Scrolling through the offerings and spending some time in the app will give you a quick answer to whether or not the Freeform streaming service is right for you.

Educational Channels

When asking what channels are free with the FireStick, you don’t want to leave out the content centered around learning and education. There’s a lot out there that is designed to teach and entertain at the same time. Education shouldn’t be boring, and some of these streaming apps on the Fire TV Stick go a long way to ensure that.

NASA

This one is pretty self explanatory, and it’s basically here for those who didn’t know it existed. If you think this content is for you, it probably is. If you’re into space exploration and science in general, this is a great addition to your Fire TV Stick. It’s also a fantastic resource for kids and family watching.

Here’s a snippet from NASA’s website explaining what they offer on the service:

The NASA app showcases a huge collection of the latest NASA content, including over 19,000 images, videos on-demand, NASA Television, Solar System Exploration feature, podcasts, news & feature stories, ISS sighting opportunities and tracking, mission information, all the latest tweets, Third Rock Radio and much more.

Install it and give it a try if stargazing is something that interests you even a little.

PBS

PBS is another one of those easy decision apps if you have a family or you watch PBS at all. They offer some free episodes and lots of educational content and science and nature shows for free as well. You’ll also get localized content if you provide your local PBS station.

You’ll find shows like Antiques Roadshow, NOVA, and Austin City Limits.

I can also say that, for our family, the paid PBS upgrade called Passport was well worth the cost. They often offer discounts that drop the cost quite low as well. Keep your eyes open for that, and I’ll try to update here when I see a deal as well.

PBS Kids

Just a quick mention that PBS also has a specialized app for kids. While there is some very suitable material for kids on the main PBS streaming app, if you have younger kids, this one is great.

Nick Jr

The Nick Jr. app is geared towards the much younger kids in your family. You’ll find shows like Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, and Blue’s Clues

One thing to note is that while you can access a decent amount of content through the app on its own, you’ll need to connect a current “TV provider” in order to access their full offering of shows. It’s nice that there’s some content for the kiddos for free, but the connect to a provider hurdle really goes against the cord cutter philosophy.

TED TV

If you’re a casual TED Talk viewer, you can skip this one and get your TED content through your YouTube app. However, if you’re a TED Talk junkie and watch them every chance you get, there may be some benefits to installing this streaming app.

The app offers better organization of talks and a history so you can save your favorites and come back to them very easily. It also features a “Surprise Me” function that will, well…surprise you with a random TED Talk.

Install it if you can’t get enough TED Talks.

Hoopla

We’re huge fans of using your public library to get cheap or free entertainment, and apparently so is Hoopla. They provide tons of streaming content, and they have a very unique way of letting you access and watch it.

Hoopla calls themselves “a groundbreaking digital media service offered by your local public library that allows you to borrow movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows to enjoy on your computer, tablet, or phone – and even your TV!”

I was genuinely surprised at the amount and diversity of content that Hoopla is able to offer. It isn’t the traditional “library” content you might be thinking of. There’s plenty of that, and you can also check out books electronically and listen to audio books too. However, the biggest surprise was the mainstream TV and film content that they have available for streaming.

The only downside right now is that your local library has to be a partner in order to use the service, and it doesn’t seem widespread just yet. This is a service I would absolutely keep an eye on and recommend checking out. It’s worth looking up your local library to see if they partner with Hoopla already.

Kanopy

Kanopy is another great service that is associated with libraries and many colleges as well. This one is more focused on film streaming content, and they’re a lot more widely available than Hoopla. They skew heavily towards Indie films and documentaries, so if that’s your thing you’ll love Kanopy.

There is a monthly limit on how many free movies you can stream, but they also provide unlimited access to Great Courses, which is worth it on its own.

They also offer Kanopy Kids, and I don’t believe that there is any streaming limit for that service.

I highly recommend installing this one if you’re into Indie or classic films or you love learning through awesome content like Great Courses.

What to do about streaming local, news, and sports channels

There are quite a few of these streaming services available to download to your Amazon Fire TV Stick; however, most of these services will have a requirement to log in to your cable TV provider. And as I mentioned above, this defeats the purpose of ditching cable and cutting the cord in the first place.

For the meantime, I think the best solution for this case is to get a good antenna and digital TV converter box if one isn’t already available in your TV. Once you have this setup in place, you can watch any local programming that’s available in your area. You can watch the major networks, including news and sports, and you won’t have to pay a cent to a cable provider.

These days, it’s much easier to set this up, and while I know it isn’t the main focus of this article, I think it’s well worth the trouble for any cable cutter these days.

I hope this Amazon Fire Stick free channels list was helpful. Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions, suggestions, or corrections. And check back for updates!

Last update on 2021-07-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5 thoughts on “What Channels are Free with the FireStick

  1. Thank you so much for helping the underserved such as myself and many friends and relatives who are on fixed incomes and every dollar counts.God bless you all for the rest of your days !!

  2. I’m a Red Sox baseball fan and pay $100 + for a subscription to MLB TV. I have Amazon Firestick and HULU and my TV is not Smart. HULU seems to be my headache: voices stop, action stops, sometimes both at the same time. I have spent hours asking for assistance via HULU and all is not well. My next request for help will be Firestick. Any suggestions will be welcomed. Please understand that I am 79.5 and never touched a computer until the late ’90s and too busy with my job to take the time to learn. Enjoyed your article, hope I retained some of your expertise.

    1. Hi Diane,

      Sorry you’re having those issues. It can be frustrating for sure. So, it’s best to think like a detective in these cases. Rule out issues by trying one thing at a time. Also, try the easiest things first. Hulu is actually one of the better working apps on my Fire TV Stick, so I don’t have the same experience as you. Here’s what I’d try though (in order of easiest to hardest)…

      Gather info first. Do you notice the glitching happening at certain times of day? Sometimes super busy times of day make Disney + glitch for us pretty badly. Or, do you have others in your house streaming on other devices at the same time? Think of anything that could be a factor like that.

      Restart your Fire TV Stick. Just simply unplug the power cable and plug it back in. Or you can restart it from the menu as well. Sometimes that will reset things and make apps run more smoothly.

      Reboot your router / cable modem. Maybe you have a funky connection if you’re running a cable modem? Resetting those devices (or device if you have a combo like I do) is as easy as powering them off and on again too. Just realize that you will shut down the internet for your entire house for several minutes if you do this.

      You can also try uninstalling Hulu and reinstalling it. Sometimes that will help. You could try clearing Hulu’s cache on the Fire TV Stick before uninstalling too.

      I really hope something here helps. Good luck!

      1. Thanks for the suggestions, all of which I have tried, some more than once. Clearing Hulu’s cache on the Fire TV Stick may have been done by the tech who guided me through the process of uninstalling and then reinstalling. Your thought on that ? I’m wondering if a new Firestick would be the answer ?
        Interesting but perhaps not a factor ? I rarely have difficulty while watching baseball games, NESN, via MIB.TV
        Looking forward to your advice….Diane

        1. Welcome back Diane,

          The only other things that come to mind are…

          1. Try watching a movie on Hulu’s website from your laptop or desktop while you’re on your home network (the same one your Fire TV Stick uses). Basically to help prove it’s a problem with either the app or your Fire Stick device.

          2. If you have a router that features both a 5Ghz and an older 2.4Ghz network, make sure you’re connected to the 2.4Ghz network (the “slower” one) and try again. Sometimes the newer, faster networks don’t hold a good connection if your TV is far from your router. It might be worth a try.

          3. If your Fire TV Stick is an older model, then you might actually notice a difference by upgrading. The newer models have better WiFi capabilities and faster processors.

          If you think of anything else or you find a fix…write back.

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