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Is CuriosityStream the Best Streaming Service for Documentaries?


CuriosityStream is a streaming service dedicated to documentaries. It offers countless documentaries to watch whenever and wherever you want, and they cover a wide range of topics for all ages. CuriosityStream is also one of the cheapest streaming services around.


Here’s everything you need to know about CuriosityStream, which may just be the best streaming service for documentaries.

What Is CuriosityStream?

CuriosityStream is an on-demand video streaming service that deals entirely in documentaries. It aims to inspire viewers to learn, create, understand, and explore the world around them, and it comes from the founder of The Discovery Channel.

After 20 years of “scheming and dreaming,” John Hendricks retired from Discovery Communications in 2014 to work on this new streaming service. He hopes it can offer a new way for viewers to watch documentary movies online

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whenever they want. So if you’re a fan of The Discovery Channel, you’re likely to enjoy CuriosityStream as well.

It includes over 3,000 documentaries of varying length, adding up to over 1,000 hours of content. The library covers science, history, technology, nature, civilization, and lifestyle. And there are programs suitable for a wide range of ages.

CuriosityStream includes third-party shows alongside award-winning originals. It doesn’t have a lot of well-known titles yet, but there are plenty of great documentaries to discover.

How Much Does CuriosityStream Cost?

CuriosityStream pricing plans

You can sign up for CuriosityStream for the low cost of $2.99/month. Doing so unlocks the entire library of content in HD quality, available to stream on multiple devices at once. Ultra high-definition 4K streaming is also available for $9.99/month. But of course, it’s only worth paying for if you plan to watch it on a 4K screen.

Both subscription plans offer a discount if you choose to pay annually, rather than monthly. The HD plan costs $19.99/year while 4K comes in at $69.99/year. Although these discounts work out about 40 percent cheaper, it’s only worth paying for an entire year if you plan to subscribe for that long anyway.

At the moment CuriosityStream is also running a Stay In promotion. This offers a further 40 percent off annual subscriptions, bringing the prices down to $11.99/year and $41.99/year for HD and 4K subscriptions, respectively.

Before subscribing, take advantage of CuriosityStream’s seven-day free trial to get a feel for what’s on offer. You can access the entire library of content and watch it on all of your devices. This is a safe way to make sure you’re happy signing up for a year before you need to pay for anything.

A lot of educational YouTubers offer promotional codes to extend that free trial to 31 days. Many of these codes also give you a free subscription to Nebula alongside your paid CuriosityStream subscription. This is a great way to get extra value from your subscription if you’re concerned about the cost.

How to Watch CuriosityStream

CuriosityStream home screen showing selection of shows to watch

CuriosityStream is available to watch on almost every device you can think of. Download an app for your smartphone, tablet, Roku, Fire Stick, or Apple TV. Or watch CuriosityStream in the web browser on your computer.

You can even download an app for the Xbox One. Although there isn’t currently a PS4 app, unfortunately.

After signing up and logging in, CuriosityStream’s homescreen lists some recommended shows to start watching. These cover CuriosityStream’s newest additions, programs you have already started watching, and suggestions based on other titles you have enjoyed.

Alternatively, use the Browse button to take a look at particular categories, like Science, History, Technology, Nature, Society, Lifestyle, or Kids. You can also visit the Collections page for curated collections of shows, such as Leading Ladies, Dinosaurs, or Early Man.

Add programs to your Watchlist using the Add (+) button. Or tap Save on mobile devices to download programs for offline viewing. You can view your Watchlist and Saved programs from the My Stuff tab or by clicking your name in a web browser.

CuriosityStream’s user interface is perfectly usable, but not quite as smooth as other, better-known, streaming services. Occasionally a video freezes or refuses to go fullscreen. But these are fairly minor issues that usually fix themselves without you needing to do anything.

What Content Is Available on CuriosityStream?

CuriosityStream collections screen showing curated shows

CuriosityStream offers over 3,000 non-fiction documentaries to watch. It covers everything from space to insects to robots, and everything in between. Every video is fully tagged, so all you need to do is search for a vague term to turn up a wealth of related programs to watch.

Most titles range from 10-minute episodes to hour-long documentaries. Sometimes the episodes feel too short to get into much detail. But at least it’s easy to find something to watch when you only have a short amount of free time to spare.

CuriosityStream includes exclusive original content alongside third-party programs. New original content is released weekly and includes award-winning shows such as Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places and David Attenborough’s Light On Earth.

Unfortunately, some of the best BBC documentaries

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available on Netflix and other streaming services aren’t available on CuriosityStream due to licensing conflicts. That means you won’t find highly-rated shows like Planet Earth, Cosmos, or Blackfish on CuriosityStream.

Some of the best titles to watch on CuriosityStream include…

Eclipse Across America

Eclipse Across America title card

This four-part series explores the total solar eclipse that took place across America in 2017. The first episode follows lifelong eclipse hunters as they tour the best viewing spots.

Deep Time History

Deep History Time title card

This series is split into three 50-minute episodes. Each one explores different prehistorical events that shaped the human story. Learn about different factors like the rise of civilization or the industrial revolution.

The History of Food

The History of Food title card

Humankind’s relationship with food has dramatically transformed over hundreds of thousands of years. This five-part series explores all there is to know from the invention of cooking to the modern food industry.

Out of the Cradle

Out of the Cradle The Origins of Humanity title card

Out of the Cradle is a two-hour-long documentary about how we became the dominant species on Earth. It investigates everything from climate change, to tools, to art, and more.

Is It Worth Subscribing to CuriosityStream?

At $2.99/month, CuriosityStream is one of the most-affordable streaming services available. It’s worth subscribing to if you enjoy watching shows from The Discovery Channel and want to learn more about the world around you.

That said, most other streaming services already offer plenty of documentaries to watch. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and other services combine fiction and non-fiction programming, so their libraries aren’t as limited as CuriosityStream. However, they cost a lot more money as a result.

We’re confident enough to say that CuriosityStream is the best streaming service for die-hard documentary fans who have no time for fictional shows.

However, we recommend you compare it to the best streaming TV services

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before signing up, to make sure you can’t get everything you want and more elsewhere.

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