Ever since smartphones got bigger and apps became mainstream about a decade ago, media consumption has dramatically improved. People have found ways to use their devices for entertainment while others have them as their sole source of entertainment.
For this reason, many apps have been developed to be mobile-first so they can take advantage of the over 6 billion smartphones out there. The number of users who access the internet from their smartphones surpassed desktop for the first time in 2016 as the internet adoption grew to reach untapped markets, especially developing countries. If you are not into videos, you can always stream music from your smartphone.
Why people choose smartphones to consume video content?
Smartphones are convenient and easily accessible to a majority of the population. People carry their smartphones everywhere they go and easily watch an episode or two as they travel, out in the shade, or as they wait. Being easily accessible makes smartphones the best devices to consume content.
Here are some of the best to do exactly that.
Ever since its inception in February 2005, youtube has grown to adapt to the changing needs of creators and consumers. YouTube is the best platform out there to view short and longer-form movies and documentaries all for free. It is supported however by ads or a premium plan that removes ads and adds some other exclusive content like movies, YouTube Originals, and more. You likely have this app installed but if you don’t then you can install the YouTube iOS app or YouTube Android app.
Vimeo is a great site to watch videos and view videos uploaded by other users. Its compression algorithm is minimal and retains a lot of the quality, unlike YouTube. Unlike youtube, Vimeo has no advertisements on smartphone apps. This may be a plus for viewers but that means creators are less incentivized to make videos for the platform. Creators can still make money through Vimeo OTT or Vimeo On Demand. You can find the Vimeo Android app or Vimeo iOS App.
This site has some of the best travel, news, music, and other categories of content. It is free but riddled with advertisements, the same level as YouTube. Its discoverability feature works quite well for a platform that a considerable number of people do not know about yet. Discover Daily Pulse is great as it has curated news content. I personally love local news for places in the world that I would not personally have known about. One extra useful feature is the ability to download videos to be watched later. There’s a Dailymotion app for Android and a Dailymotion App for iOS. This app is surely worth checking out.
A hub for short films, animations, documentaries, drama films, and web series. The multiple genres available on this platform are specifically curated for the viewers. The major standout feature for this platform is the lack of ads. Check out the Viddsee app for Android or Viddsee app for iOS.
TikTok is a fairly modern social media platform that has user-generated content video content in vertical video format. It can be a great source of entertainment to binge-watch the under 1-minute videos. TikTok lately supports 3-minute videos.
These are some of the platforms where you can watch short and long videos for free. That are certainly other platforms like IGTv but I do not find them as appealing though they are still options worth considering.
Netflix in countries like Kenya has some content free to watch. You have to have an Android device to do this otherwise you will be required to pay on other platforms. You can always make some money straight from your smartphone.