Table of Contents
What Is Documentary+?
Documentary+ is a free streaming service that features a content catalog comprised solely of non-fiction documentary films.
Launched in 2021, this service has more than 150 films in an on-demand content library that can be accessed without a subscription or registration.
How To Watch Documentary+
Documentary+ advertises that you can access it on the following platforms:
- iOS devices
- Apple TV
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android devices
- Web browser via DocPlus.com
For the purposes of this review, I did most of the service evaluation from the web browser version of Documentary+. I also used the app from the Apple App Store on an iOS device.
As of February 2021, my attempts to find an Android Documentary+ app on Google Play Store were unsuccessful. But I was able to test out the Android mobile experience through my phone’s web browser.
Content Available on Documentary+
Upon its release in January 2021, Documentary+ featured more than 150 documentaries on a variety of topics.
Documentaries rarely have big ad budgets behind them, so you may not recognize the content on the service by the content titles.
But I did some digging and found many of the films to be on modern and relevant subject matters.
If you've delved much into the free streaming world, you know that's not always the case. Often you'll find that free services rely heavily on older and sometimes outdated content.
The content on Documentary+ is broken down into the following genres:
- True Crime
- Science and Nature
Here’s a sampling of some of the documentary titles available:
- Festival Express: the filmed account of a large Canadian rock festival train tour boasting major acts including Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and The Band.
- Southwest of Salem: director Deborah S. Esquenazi produced this Emmy and Peabody-nominated true-crime documentary.
- Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George's Creators: the story of Hans and Margaret Rey, German artists who escaped the Nazi occupation of Paris and ultimately created the "Curious George" classic children's books.
- No No: A Dockumentary: a celebration of the life and times of major league pitcher Doc Ellis, the notorious no-hitter he pitched high on LSD and his story of overcoming addiction.
- Cartel Land: This documentary goes to the front lines of the Mexican drug war and follows two vigilante leaders on opposite sides of the border.
User Experience on Documentary+
As a part of this review, I spent a few days watching Documentary+ to find out what you can expect as part of the user experience.
How Bad Are the Ads?
If you’re worried about advertisements dampening your free streaming experience with this service, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.
Documentary+ may have the fewest commercials of any ad-supported service I have tested.
I streamed several documentaries and found only minimal commercials. In fact, sometimes there was only a 15-second ad prior to the start of the film.
This may be because Documentary+ is a new service that has yet to sell a large quantity of advertisements, so enjoy that while you can.
As I mentioned earlier in the article, I spent most of my time testing the service through its web browser format. I also tried the Apple app from the App Store.
The good news is that there is no registration required. You don’t even have to provide an email address. You could be streaming a film in a matter of seconds.
Once on the site, I found a familiar tile-style content menu that lets you scroll by genre, search for specific content or look through popular recommendations.
There were no bells and whistle functions such as setting favorites or saving content to view later, but the layout was clean, simple and easy to navigate.
Here’s a screenshot showing the option to scroll through film tiles by genre:
While the content library may be lacking in volume compared to Netflix or Disney+, I found the simplicity of this free service's interface to be comparable to the streaming experience with those big services. In my mind, that makes it a palatable supplement to subscription streaming options.
Are you considering adding Documentary+ to your device? Here are some pros and cons to consider:
Bottom Line: If you have cut the cord and are looking for a little depth in your free streaming content, adding Documentary+ to your rotation could be a good idea.
This is not going to have the latest and greatest in entertainment, but you should be able to find informative and relevant content on this service at no cost.
If I were trying to stream without a monthly bill, I probably would pair this with apps like Tubi TV, Sony's Crackle and Pluto TV to achieve a well-rounded television viewing experience.
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