Netflix has released more than 30 episodes of its factual entertainment shows onto YouTube. They include the likes of nature documentary series Our Planet, as well as Explained and documentary film 13th. You can find all of them in a single playlist here.
Netflix has released them to support educators, noting that it's always allowed teachers to screen its documentaries for students (if that teacher has a Netflix account, that is). Still, you definitely don't need to be a student to appreciate what's here. You've got the complete eight-episode season of Our Planet, which is essential viewing for anyone who's enjoyed David Attenborough's extensive body of nature documentaries. You can't watch them in 4K as on Netflix – but you can enjoy them in 1080p.
2016 documentary 13th is well worth checking out, too. Directed by Ava DuVernay, it explores the issue of racial inequality in the US prison system.
In total, you've got well over 20 hours of entertainment to enjoy without spending a penny. Netflix is a good value streaming service for the amount of content it offers, but the subscription fee isn't a justifiable expense for everyone. This gives you a sample of the high-end non-fiction content that the service is putting out.
- Best Netflix shows
- Best Netflix documentaries, if you want more informative entertainment
- Best Hulu shows
What else can you stream for free?
Netflix isn't prone to offering its content for free, but there are some other free streaming options depending on where you are. In the US, for example, Tubi TV and Pluto TV offer an eclectic range of entertainment to enjoy without spending a penny or even signing up. You can get their apps on most devices, too.
In the UK, you might want to check out the range of boxsets on All4, the streaming arm of Channel 4. You'll need a TV license to access BBC iPlayer, though, which offers a decent range of movies on top of a range of great British shows.