A decade ago, Netflix and Hulu were among the early innovators of streaming video and television content. Since then, dozens of services have joined their ranks, ranging from powerhouse Disney+ to blink-and-you-missed-it Quibi.
In 2021, at least five new streaming services are slated to launch, and these include options for movies, weather and children’s programming.
Here’s a closer look at each one.
Dubbed a channel for independent thinkers, BBC Select promises to offer programming never before seen in the U.S. and Canada. Rather than show the latest blockbusters, the channel is positioning itself as a place for original and thought-provoking content in the realms of culture, politics and ideas. Shows may include “Grayson Perry’s Big American Road Trip,” “Mystery of the Missing Princess” and “Louis Theroux: Selling Sex.”
Since Discovery+ launched Jan. 4, you can stream it for just $5 a month. It offers more than 55,000 episodes of more than 2,500 shows from some of cable’s most popular networks, such as Animal Planet, HGTV and the Food Network. The service also includes original programming available only through Discovery+ as well as a first look at the much anticipated Magnolia Network from Chip and Joanna Gaines.
Discovery+ is only be available in the U.S. and its territories initially. Subscribers can select from two plan options: $4.99 per month for ad-supported service or $6.99 per month for ad-free content.
Storm chasers will have a new place to watch the weather this year. Fox Weather is expected to launch along with the Fox Weather app in the third quarter of 2021. The service will be ad-supported and include local, regional and national weather updates. Live programming will also be a part of the service that expects to draw upon the expertise of more than 75 meteorologists from 17 stations.
No further details have been released at this time.
Paramount+ isn’t an entirely new service for 2021. Instead, it’s a rebranding of CBS All Access. When it launches this year, Paramount+ will expand on the CBS offerings to include tens of thousands of episodes and movies from channels such as Comedy Central, BET, MTV and Nickelodeon. The service will also stream Paramount Picture films and have original content such as a true-crime series called “The Real Criminal Minds” and the spy drama “Lioness.”
Pricing for Paramount+ has not been released yet, but plans for the current CBS All Access service start at $5.99 a month. There isn’t a specific launch date either, but the new service is expected to begin in early 2021. In addition to the U.S., it will be available internationally in Australia, Latin America and the Nordic countries.
Parents seeking age-appropriate shows for their kids may want to tune into Sensical this year. The service comes from an affiliate of Common Sense Media, which is well-known for publishing media reviews and ratings for parents. Sensical is expected to offer a curated collection of short films appropriate for children ages 2-12, and parents will be able to manage and monitor their child’s activity using the Sensical Parent Zone dashboard.
A specific launch date has not yet been announced, but the service is expected to begin in early 2021. Sensical will be free for users. The ad-supported service will have strict advertising guidelines in place that it says “will focus on “protection of kids as its main theme, ensuring digital privacy, featuring clear parental consent options and a clear line of distinction between commercial and noncommercial content.”