What is JustWatch? The TV streaming service guide explained

(Image credit: JustWatch)

What is JustWatch? If you’ve ever scoured the internet to find which TV streaming service has a specific film or series available, you might have come across this online guide and smartphone app – one that collates together the title listings for a whole load of content services.

JustWatch isn’t a TV streaming service itself, though, and you won’t be able to stream anything from within it – but it does offer a handy place to browse everything that is available to stream elsewhere, meaning you don’t have to check apps individually to find what you’re looking for.

Let’s face it: there are a lot of TV streaming services these days. While Netflix and YouTube may still be the dominant players when it comes to online streaming, there’s now a host of competitors taking up our screen time. And in a world where Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, HBO, and Hulu and are all packed with programming, with content libraries cycling through different titles every month, it can be hard to keep with what’s actually available.

That’s where JustWatch comes in – and for everything you need to know about the platform, you’ll find it all on this page.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? An online guide to various TV streaming service catalogues
  • Which streaming services are included? Netflix, Disney Plus, Now TV, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, hayu, Mubi, Sky Go, All 4, Curzon, Chili, YouTube, Rakuten TV, and more
  • Where can I get it? iOS, Android, internet browsers, and Fire TV
  • How many countries does JustWatch operate in? 46
  • What does JustWatch cost? The service is free, with no advertisements
  • What about movie theaters? Yes, JustWatch lets you know what’s showing in cinemas too
  • Can I stream stuff on JustWatch? No, but there are ‘Watch Now’ links for each title that lets you jump to the respective platform

What is JustWatch?

JustWatch is an online guide that collates the various films, TV series, and other types of programming available on online TV streaming services. There’s a website you can open in any browser, and a smartphone app that’s available on iOS and Android, as well as Fire TV devices.

This isn’t a new idea: viewers have flocked to the internet to find out what show or film is landing where for years now, but JustWatch is different in its sheer scale. Rather than simply show what’s streaming on a particular service (in the vein of What’sOnNetflix), JustWatch enables you to skim through over 100 different content libraries to see what’s available where, what quality resolution it’s streaming in, how much it costs, and the kind of payment options available (subscription, rental, etc).

You can also filter the huge swathes of titles by the following categories: Movies, TV series, Release year, Genres, Price, Rating (i.e. IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes score) and Age rating.

This means you can search en masse across various services, rather than simply scouting for a specific title, or having to go into Netflix, Amazon and Hulu separately to see what action movies or animated films are on offer.

As the JustWatch smartphone app puts it: “Get personal recommendations for movies and TV shows available on Netflix, Now TV, Disney Plus and many more.”

JustWatch has an extensive filter system

JustWatch has an extensive filter system (Image credit: JustWatch)

JustWatch Netflix: all the TV streaming services

You’ll find well over 100 TV streaming services included on JustWatch, from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (both rentals / purchases and those included in a Prime subscription) to the likes of Syfy and CBS All Access. Other notable services include DC Universe, Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, Acorn TV, Rakuten TV, Comedy Central, Hulu, and HBO Max / HBO Now / HBO Go.

We won’t list all of them here, but you can head to the JustWatch website to check them out, as each TV streaming service gets an individual icon at the top of the content filters.

As to what’s listed for each film or show, you can see when it landed on the respective service, how many episodes are available (if relevant), the streaming quality (SD, HD, 4K), and how much it costs on each platform for each resolution. You’ll find a run-down of each episode title and synopsis, too, along with the cast and relevant titles you may also want to check out.

There’s a watchlist feature, like the kind you get in Netflix or Disney Plus, that lets you tag titles you want to keep a tab on or remember to watch at a later point. You don’t need to log in for this, either, as the information is stored through cookies in your browser – though to get this information across all your devices, you’ll need to make an account (more on this below). 

Each title has a ‘Watch Now’ button that lets you jump right to the respective platform, too, so you can get right down to streaming.

Castlevania, as listed on JustWatch

Castlevania, as listed on JustWatch (Image credit: JustWatch)

JustWatch UK: all the major players

UK residents may be wondering whether your nation-specific catchup services are included. And they are! You’ll find All 4, ITV Hub, BBC iPlayer, and BritBox all on the app. There isn’t, however, a run-down of TV broadcasts, as this is an online-specific guide.

JustWatch price, app and website

Most importantly, JustWatch is free to use. You can make an account for a more tailored user experience – mainly in the form of emails that flag content it thinks you’ll like – but it’s also possible to use without making an account.

The About Us page for JustWatch is also surprisingly candid about how it makes its money, stating that user data is used to “collect user profiles of millions of cinema goers” and target them for advertising on behalf of “movie studios, distributors and VOD services”.

You’ll find the JustWatch app on iOS and Android smartphones, as well as in internet browsers.

If you do sign up, you can do so with your Google or Facebook account, or by inputting an email address and password manually. Note that you will need to accept email marketing when you sign up, though you can head to your account settings after the fact to turn this off.

JustWatch is available worldwide

JustWatch is available worldwide (Image credit: JustWatch)

Should I use JustWatch?

JustWatch is a bit of a no-brainer for heavy TV viewers. It brings together a host of different content libraries, with effective filters and a constantly updated catalogue that reflects the ever-changing libraries of Netflix and the like. You don’t even need to make an account to use it.

If you only subscribe or regularly use one or two services, and don’t really fancy checking out any others – that is, if you’re happy to be influenced more by your current subscriptions – it may be more of a hassle than simply searching for Netflix standup specials inside the app itself.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.