Have you noticed how complicated streaming TV has become in 2022? JustWatch is trying to simplify that.
That’s where JustWatch comes in.
With the promotional pitch of “all your streaming services in one app,” JustWatch aggregates the latest information on availability for individual TV shows and movies and gives you quick access to the best option for streaming it.
But is it useful enough for you to add the app to your phone or streaming device? I set out to help answer that question for you.
For this review, I downloaded the app on my Apple iPad and Google Chromecast with Android TV and put it to work so that I could answer many of the questions you might have about it. Let’s look at the key things you may want to know before you decide if JustWatch is worth a shot.
1. What Is JustWatch and How Does It Work?
JustWatch is an app designed to help you find where to watch a movie or TV show online. You can search by title, and it will give you the options including the costs involved.
The concept is pretty straightforward: You have a television show or movie that you’d like to stream, but you have no idea which of the growing number of streaming options on the market has it available.
Think of it as a streaming search engine.
JustWatch connects with many of the top streaming services on the market, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, to examine their content libraries for the most current results.
With one search, you can have the answer to where a program is available and how much it would cost to view it.
JustWatch has other features built into the app designed to enhance your streaming experience. I’ll talk more about those later in the article.
2. How Much Does JustWatch Cost?
JustWatch follows a “freemium” model, which means that there is a free tier and an optional paid tier of service.
The free version of JustWatch is what I tested, and it seems as though it will be sufficient for most streamers. Most of the main functions that the app has to offer are available on the free version.
If you decide to pay up for the premium version, dubbed “JustWatch Pro,” some of the perks you’d receive include:
- Ad-free experience
- Enhanced watch list functionality
- Access to additional search filters (such as IMDb vote count or production company)
- Ability to “hide” seen and disliked titles
JustWatch Pro costs $2.49 per month and carries no commitment. You can cancel at any time.
3. Which Devices Support JustWatch?
You can use JustWatch on your web browser, phone or tablet and, in some cases, on your streaming device itself.
To create an account with JustWatch, you need nothing more than an internet browser and an email address. This will grant you free access to its search, which may be all you need to find the best deal for the content you desire.
But if you want to unlock the full functionality of the service, you’ll need to download either the Google Android or Apple iOS app for your phone or tablet.
This will allow you to personalize the information you receive from JustWatch and save it for future use. That can be a real timesaver!
Once you have an account set up and the app on your phone or tablet, you will be able to connect your JustWatch account to the service’s app on the following streaming devices:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- LG televisions
- Samsung televisions
- Xbox gaming consoles
Connecting your JustWatch account to the devices on which you stream your content will allow you to sync your watchlist, preferences and other tools for access no matter which device you’re using.
In other words, you could have access to your up-to-date JustWatch information whether you’re on the TV in your living room or your iPad on an airplane.
4. Which Streaming Services Does JustWatch Track?
JustWatch monitors the content libraries of most of the popular streaming services and a bunch more that you may not have known even existed.
The comprehensive list of streaming services it tracks would be too long to rattle off, but I compiled a list of popular services that I confirmed are compatible with JustWatch:
- Amazon Prime Video
- Apple TV+
- HBO Max
- Pluto TV
- The Roku Channel
- Tubi TV
You may have noticed that live TV streaming services like YouTube TV or Sling TV are absent from this list. JustWatch does not offer search functionality for this type of service. It is not intended to replace a live TV guide.
Most of the live TV streaming services have search functionality within their apps that should let you do many of the things JustWatch tries to do for video-on-demand such as determining the availability of a show and tagging it as a favorite to record or watch later.
5. What Are the Most Useful JustWatch Features?
Now that you know you can get JustWatch on your streaming device for free, let’s talk about some of the key features that could make it a worthwhile addition to your life.
Identify Streaming Options for Specific Content
Let’s say you want to stream something specific, but you have no idea which of your streaming services offer it. Or you’re sure that none of your subscriptions offer a particular piece of content, and you want to know which service will give you what you need for the cheapest price possible.
As its core mission, JustWatch serves as a streaming search engine to help solve problems like this. So when it comes to useful features, it’d be hard to lead with anything but that.
The search bar is prominent on the website, mobile app and streaming service apps alike. And the results are designed to help you quickly gain the most cost-effective access to the program you’d like to see.
You can search by movie or TV title, but you can also search using keywords such as an actor’s name.
To show how this works, I performed a quick search for the popular Broadway musical Hamilton. The results gave me exactly what I needed: It’s available only with a subscription to Disney+, which I can get through a monthly subscription to that service ($7.99) or through The Disney Bundle subscription ($13.99 per month; includes Hulu and ESPN+).
I have the results sorted by “best price,” which leads JustWatch to correctly suggest Disney+ as the most cost-efficient way I could watch this content.
The library of titles you can search is robust, so you may want to download this service and try it out for free. You may find that one of the movies you’ve been meaning to watch is available at no cost on a free streaming service.
Track Content Availability for All Your Streaming Services
Aside from finding where a TV show may be streaming at the moment, I found that the next most useful part of the JustWatch app was simply aggregating the content I’m already paying for.
When you’re setting up your account, you’re able to scroll through a comprehensive list of free and subscription streaming services and select the ones that you use.
Doing so not only created a way for JustWatch to curate content available to me, but it also simplified the search process.
For example, if I search for a movie that’s available on both HBO Max and Netflix but I subscribe only to HBO Max, JustWatch would recommend watching it on HBO Max because it knows I have that subscription.
You can see below that it recommends “Watch Now” on HBO Max while acknowledging that a Netflix or HBO Max subscription would get the job done.
Curate a Timesaving Watchlist
Once I added all of my streaming services to my JustWatch account, I found that using the “Watchlist” functionality was one of the more useful timesavers available.
It’s an easy way to aggregate all of the shows I’m currently watching (across all platforms) and also serves as a place to store all of the content I’m interested in viewing in the future.
If you’re like me, that could be a big timesaver when it comes to “searching” for what’s next when you finish a TV series.
In the past, I’d get a tip on a new show or movie from family or friends and then just try to make a mental note to check it out when I was ready to start a new show.
With JustWatch, a little diligence early on after receiving a recommendation removes a lot of headaches trying to remember things.
Just by flagging a recommended show or movie in my watchlist, I instantly have information on which streaming service I need to use and an evergreen reminder of the recommendation.
“Play on TV” Function
I found that one of the key advantages to taking the time to download the apps on both your phone and streaming TV device is the easy ability to marry them together with your JustWatch account.
That not only helps you track your progress on watching a series or movie when you move from one device to another, it also gives you “Play on TV” functionality.
This means you can access your content watchlist on your phone and then tell it to start a show on any connected TV. All you need to do is have the JustWatch app connected to your TV’s device and the app for the show installed on the device. (For example, if you tell it to play a Netflix show on your living room TV, you’ll need to have the Netflix app installed and logged in on that TV.)
When you set up your account, you can help JustWatch curate content for you based on your interests.
The easiest way to get the algorithm trained quickly is to take a quick quiz that populates the screen with TV and movie titles and asks you to pick the ones you like.
Over time, you’ll find that your results get better based on the shows you add to your watchlist and whether you mark that you “like” or “dislike” a title after watching it.
The end result is an easy timesaving method that adds new shows to your watchlist that have a higher chance of being something you’ll actually enjoy.
The movement pushing TV watchers from traditional outlets (such as cable and satellite) to streaming services is not slowing down.
As more people try to adjust to the growing amount of monthly subscription services in their lives, JustWatch is an attempt to both solve a problem (finding where content exists) and also to create a more user-friendly ecosystem for consuming content (curating watch lists, etc.).
For the person who takes their streaming seriously, adding JustWatch to your list of apps may be a wise timesaving move. If you’re a novice streamer, you may still find JustWatch useful as a quick reference point when the mood strikes to find a specific TV show or movie.
Though I downloaded it as a temporary addition to my devices for this review, I’ve decided to keep it on my phone and Chromecast with Google TV to see if it’s a long-term solution for my streaming organizational needs.
Since it’s available at no cost, has access to many popular streaming services and is available on most popular devices, I have to say that I’d recommend giving JustWatch a test spin.
You really don’t have much to lose by trying it out, and getting rid of it is as simple as deleting the app from your devices.
Have you tried out JustWatch already? We’d love to hear about your experience with the app in the Clark.com Community!
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