What is Crackle?
Crackle is a free, ad-supported video-on-demand (VOD) streaming service that provides plenty of shows and movies. Sony acquired Crackle in 2006, but Chicken Soup for the Soul took majority ownership of the streaming service in 2019. While it’s not Netflix or Starz, it’s definitely grown into one of the most popular free services available.
It was one of the first free streaming services to offer original content — Crackle Originals. It doesn’t have the size of Hulu’s original catalog, but for a free service, Crackle does pretty well. The service’s original content offerings include drama, comedy, docuseries, miniseries, and movies. In all, it has 38,000 hours of combined content and growing.
Crackle plans and pricing
With a streaming quality of only 480p, you can only watch Crackle content in Standard Definition. This streaming quality pales in comparison to that offered by paid services like CBS All Access and Disney+.
|Number of TV shows and films||80 shows, 500+ movies|
Crackle supported devices
Crackle is compatible with many products, from mobile phones to select gaming consoles. To find the app, navigate to your device’s app store and search. Once you find the app, download it to your device.
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android devices
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Google Chromecast
- iOS devices
- PlayStation 4
- Smart TVs
- Web browsers
- Xbox One
What to watch on Crackle
Crackle doesn’t have the biggest library out there, but it does have some popular shows like Seinfeld and Comedians in Cars. Crackle displays numerous sideways scrollable playlists, including Spotlight Channel, Movie Franchises Channel, New This Month On Crackle, and Film School For Free Channel.
Crackle categorizes its content into eight major genres.
- All genres
- Crackle Original
When it comes to original series, there’s quite a bit to sift through. In all, you’re looking at 11 movies and 16 shows that are original to the streaming service. You have dramas like Startup, The Art of More, The Oath, Chosen, The Bannen Way, and Angel of Death. Comedy series include Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Snatch, and Rob Riggle’s Ski Master Academy. There’s also Rog & Davo’s Guide to Russia, a miniseries comprised of 4-6 minute shorts, not to mention movies like Party Boat, In the Cloud, and Office Uprising. Ashton Kutcher is also producing a docuseries called Going From Broke, which is about the student loan crisis.
With some big-name content partners — Legendary Pictures, Lionsgate Entertainment, Miramax, Paramount Pictures, and Universal Studios, to name a few — you can expect a wide range of films. In fact, Crackle has more movies than shows. The service has a decent selection of films like Black Mass, Fury, The Social Network, Concussion, Taxi Driver, and The Last Picture Show. There’s also the Classic Channel, which carries popular favorites like Sanford and Son, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Dr. Strangelove, Fantasy Island, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Conversation.
If you’re a fan of stand-up, you can enjoy specials from legendary comedians Martin Lawrence, Eddie Griffin, Joey Coco Diaz, and Doug Stanhope. As far as content for children, Crackle leaves a lot to be desired. Kid-friendly programming options include Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Jack and the Beanstalk, Muppets in Space, The Smurfs, and Stuart Little. For older children, there are animated series like Marvel Anime: Blade, Men in Black: The Series, Robotech, Spectacular Spider-Man, and Spider-Man: The New Animated Series.
As a free service, there are a few handicaps to consider. While watching movies, you may need to put up with numerous ads that break up the flow of the experience. Just like all other free streaming services, there are no DVR storage features. And if you want to watch offline or save for when you’re out of Wi-Fi range, you’re out of luck. You’ll need a stable connection to stream content.
Anyone in your household can watch Crackle — with or without an account. That means everyone can tune in and watch as much content as they want.
There are a few convenient perks for those who intend to return to the app regularly. For one, you’ll be able to pick up where you left off in movies and shows. Also, you can select what content you’d like to appear in your Favorites. And anything you want to watch in the future can be added to your Watch Later watchlist.
The service provides parental controls. You can tweak the viewing options available to children by heading to Settings, where you can toggle on parental controls. From there, you can create a pin to watch more mature content.
The final cut
There are several high-quality free streaming services out there, including Crackle, Kanopy, and Pluto TV. Crackle stands out from the crowd because of its rich library as well as its original content. Whether you’re a cord-cutter or just looking for a taste for how VOD streaming services work, Crackle is a good option. It nicely compliments paid streaming services, delivers a ton of great content, and, best of all, it’s free.
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