With everyone stuck at home for two weeks during the Movement Control Order (MCO) enforced by the local government, entertainment is basically a necessity in passing the time away calmly and preventing cooped up households from driving each other up the wall. It is also a good way to ensure that everyone stays put at home and not go loitering around outside.
Knowing this, several Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming services have taken steps to ensure the small screen will be everyone's friend during this trying time.
Read all about these initiatives below.
From the moment the MCO started on 18 March, Astro begun offering to its subscribers complimentary access to its movie channels such as tvN Movies, HBO and FOX Movies (or all channels for Astro Sport Pack subscribers) on TV as well as via its streaming service, Astro GO.
As of 21 March, it also offers 22 other channels to both subscribers and non-subscribers, which are available for free on Astro GO. Note that an Astro ID is required for each streaming device and registration can be made on the official website.
When the MCO started, iflix provided a code which allows access to its iflixvip package without charge. While its standard iflix Free package already allows free viewing, by upgrading to iflixvip, viewers will have access to ad-free streaming as well as premium contents.
Viu has recently collaborated with Singapore's Mediacorp to give its viewers, or Viu-ers, access to more than 600 hours of the latter's curated drama and lifestyle programmes. These English and Chinese selections include rom-com "My One In A Million", romantic family-friendly titles like "Happy Prince" (2020) and "Heart to Heart" (2018), and the youth-centric drama that features "Star Search 2019" finalists, "Around You".
To keep tiny tots in good spirit, Amazon has started offering free streaming of original and acquired children's series on Prime Video, such as "SpongeBob SquarePants", "Arthur", and "Lost in Oz". The best part? This can be accessed with or without a Prime subscription! Though of course, an Amazon account is still needed, so those interested will have to first register on its website. Don't worry, that's free too.
Not only that, Amazon has also introduced a movie hub called Amazon Prime Cinema, which is a platform for 2020 movies that are getting early digital releases following the closure of cinemas. Movies like "Onward", "Bloodshot", "Sonic the Hedgehog" and more can be expected for rent or purchase on this platform.
While this isn't exactly an OTT service, this is still an option for those looking for something to stream – specifically, for documentary-lovers. The International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam (IDFA), which is still scheduled to be held in Netherlands from 18 to 29 November, is giving viewers free access to 302 titles, released between 1988 and 2019, on its website. Available titles include "The Battle of the Jazz Guitarist" (US), "Boy Cheerleaders" (England), and "Polaris" (Scotland).
(Photo source: The Wall Street Journal)