Streaming services in Singapore - which should you pick?

Marcus Goh
Contributor

The holidays are almost upon us, which means it’s time to Netflix and chill (in the most literal sense of the word possible, mind you). But this is Singapore. We don’t just have Netflix, we have a whole bevy of video-on-demand services that offer more entertainment across more languages than you have limbs.

Free or paid, you can’t deny we have an incredibly selection of streaming services available to us. So here’s a look at some of the most popular services available to you in Singapore, and their pros and cons, so you can decide which ones you’re going to use over the coming two long holidays.

Viu (Viu Singapore Facebook Page)

Viu (free)

Genre: Korean dramas and comedies (no movies)

Pros: Free, and it’s updated with the latest episodes very quickly, usually within a day after telecast in Korea

Cons: Mandatory ads (less in the paid version) every half hour

Price: $5.98 per month for the Premium (with a 1 week free trial)

If you’re a fan of Korean dramas then Viu should be a staple for you. They’ve got a really comprehensive collection of dramas, and even if your favourite one isn’t one of those that they update frequently, it’ll eventually come to Viu. The ads are a necessary evil for a free service, but at least you only got short doses of them and they’re not as frequent as other free video-on-demand services.

Toggle (Toggle Facebook Page)

Toggle (free)

Genre: Mediacorp programmes

Pros: There’s literally nowhere else you can watch Mediacorp shows, especially the older ones

Cons: Mandatory ads (not in the paid version) every ten minutes that can run on for two minutes or longer, for popular shows

Price: $5.90 per month for the Toggle Prime

It’s difficult to watch television on television these days, because who can truly afford to tune in at a particular time on a particular day for weeks on end? So if you’re following long form dramas like Tanglin, Toggle is only other option you have.

However, expect the experience to be as annoying if you’re on a mobile device — with ads, ads, ads every few minutes, you’re going to be really frustrated that your mobile data is going towards paying for the same two or three advertisements every ten minutes.

Netflix (Netflix Facebook Page)

Netflix (paid, free one month trial)

Genre: English dramas, comedies, documentaries (including movies, cartoons and kid-friendly content)

Pros: The largest collection of English television shows and movies

Cons: Not as good as its counterparts in other countries, but it costs around the same

Price: $10.98 per month for the lowest tier

The granddaddy of all video-on-demand services, Netflix has a huge selection of dramas and comedies, with several exclusive ones that are critically acclaimed.

Unfortunately, if you were using a VPN to access Netflix before it was available in Singapore, you’ll notice that the titles available have shrunk quite a fair bit. The issue is that it’s the popular titles that went missing when Netflix came to Singapore, although they’ve slowly started to include them over time.

Nevertheless, it’s still one of the best and most value-for-money streaming services we have.

Amazon Prime Video. (Amazon Prime Video India Facebook Page)

Amazon Prime Video (paid, free one week trial)

Genre: English dramas, comedies, documentaries (including movies, cartoons and kid-friendly content)

Pros: Can sign in with your existing Amazon account

Cons: Few popular television shows

Price: USD$2.99 per month for the first 6 months, USD $5.99 per month thereafter

Amazon Prime Video is now available in Singapore and since you probably have an Amazon account already, logging in is a cinch. However, its selection mostly comprises older movies and classics. They’ve got a lot of original content when it comes to television shows… but we can barely finish all the popular series as it is, so it’s not likely that we’ll take a gamble on shows we’ve never heard of before.

If you’re a “Community” or “Seinfeld” fan though, it might be worth it, since those are the two mainstream programmes they have.

Hooq (Hooq Facebook Page)

HOOQ (paid, free one week trial)

Genre: Asian (Filipino, Indonesian, Bengali, Tamil) and Western dramas and comedies (including movies)

Pros: A comprehensive selection of Asian programmes, painless log-in process

Cons: Few English subtitles for Asian programmes

Price: $8.98 for a 30-day plan (they go by number of days, rather than in monthly instalments)

Although it’s predominantly Asian, HOOQ also has the latest DC television shows like “Supergirl”, “Flash” and so on. It’s pretty amazing if you want to sample shows from other countries, although the language barrier might be an issue since English subtitles aren’t universal. Then again, they actually have “Darna” movies (Darna is the Philippines version of Wonder Woman) in their library!

If you’re into Asian Cinema or if you have to study it for a course, this is an incredible video-on-demand option.

What are you watching over these two long weekends? (Pixabay)

Staying home and avoiding dastardly crowds is actually a fun and viable option this Christmas and New Year. And it’s likely to be cheaper, too!

Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.