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KooKu (IN)

3/5 User rating
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kooku.app

Have you ever been in the mood to binge watch a series but strapped on time? Binging TV shows – although extremely enjoyable, addictive, and fulfilling – can easily eat up hours of your time. In some cases (yes, I am speaking from experience here), a quick streaming session can easily turn into a whole day affair, especially if the show is particularly captivating.

Can anyone else relate to the shameful feeling of having to tell Netflix that, yes, you are, in fact, still there several times over again in one sitting? This may be a convenient feature if you should fall asleep, but it can also feel a bit judgmental when you are wide awake and starting your 12th episode of The Office (a moment of silence, please, for this show recently leaving Netflix…)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always have several hours in the day to spend engrossed in a Netflix show that I simply can’t turn off. Sometimes I only have a half hour or so on my lunch break and all I want to do is turn off my brain and turn on a good show! But a half-hour, of course, is just enough time to watch a single episode of many shows, and not even long enough to finish a full episode of a more irreverent drama, which usually run for about an hour.

What, then, am I to do if I want the thrill of a binge, but I don’t have the time? Well, one possible solution could be to turn to web series. Short format streaming sites have become increasingly popular over the last couple years, ideal for the streamer on the go. Perhaps you remember when everybody was convinced that Quibi would be the next big streaming service? Although Quibi underwhelmed in many ways and, ultimately, flopped, that doesn’t mean that short format streaming sites that specialize in web series and short films should be counted out altogether!

There are some great movie streaming sites out there that do just this. In fact, the one we will be reviewing today, Kooku is so good that it has earned its spot on my list of the best movie streaming sites of all time. By providing a solid blend of original web series, short films, music, and syndicated content, Kooku is an Indian movie streaming site that is, in many ways, unlike any of its competitors.

I have been writing movie streaming site reviews for years now. And, even though I love it, truth be told, the majority of the sites that I evaluate are, essentially, the same. Sure, each one offers slightly different content, perhaps you’ll find a cool and unique feature on a site here or there … but, by and large, there are so many movie streaming sites on the web that are simply mimicking each other or mimicking Netflix. It is rare that I come across a site that is truly doing something new, something exciting.

This is why I am so excited to take a closer look at Kooku. There are so few movie streaming sites out there doing what Kooku does. Perhaps that is where it gets its name from, the site’s

somewhat “cuckoo,” unorthodox approach to what a movie streaming site can be. Whatever the case may be, Kooku’s approach is working, at least in my opinion. If Kooku is crazy, I don’t think that I want to be sane!

But is Kooku the best movie streaming site for you? Well, the only way to find out for sure is to take a closer look at everything that this streamer has to offer … So, let’s dive right in, shall we?

Design

Kooku’s site design is pretty par for the course when it comes to movie streaming sites. The best way to describe the interface might be to say that it is average. It presents itself the same way that every other premium movie streaming site presents itself: an emulation of Netflix. Even though almost every streaming site takes on the Netflix layout, some sites do a much better job at it than others. And Kooku, I must say, is not the best at doing so that I have ever seen.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like the site is impossible to navigate or overly cumbersome. It’s just missing some of those small elements that add up to creating a stellar movie streaming site experience. In other words, Kooku has borrowed the classic Netflix layout, but neglected to include some of the more dynamic functionalities.

Let’s take a tour. When you land on Kooku’s home page, the first thing that you are likely to notice is an extra-large banner at the top of the page, promoting various featured titles. Below this, you guessed it, is a series of horizontally situated menus that are organized by category. Browse Kooku’s offerings by Recently Watched, Popular, Originals, Web Series, or Songs.

This is where some of that magic touch seems to be missing. It has become common practice for streaming sites to provide this layout, but usually they go one step further to provide an intuitive side-scroll function, allowing you to smoothly and seamlessly browse a long list of titles without leaving your page.

This usually takes the form of an arrow to the right and left of the thumbnails, integrated into the list. Maybe I’m being picky, but Kooku’s placement of the arrows above each list makes for a clunkier user experience, I think (if ever so slightly). The other concern of mine is the sizing of these thumbnails – they are a little too big, I think, which results in a somewhat cluttered appearance.

But hey, maybe this won’t bother you in the slightest. It is my job to be extra picky when it comes to this kind of thing, after all. Chances are it won’t affect your enjoyment of this movie streaming site in any serious way.

Content and Features

As I said earlier, Kooku specializes in short form content. As of right now, all that can be viewed on Kooku are short films, web series, and music videos. This can definitely be a positive when it comes to streaming on the go or when you’re on a time crunch. However, I know that this kind of content is not for everyone. So, this fact could be a dealbreaker for some streamers out there.

The only other downside to Kooku’s content is the fact that, unless you are already familiar with Kooku, none of it is likely going to be readily recognizable. This is due to the fact that A.) Kooku is primarily concerned with putting out new, original content, and B.) put simply, web series and short films simply aren’t as popular or well-known as full-length films or TV series.

That being said, as far as web series are concerned, Kooku provides nothing but high-quality content. So, if you are a fan of shorter, quick bingeworthy material, perhaps Kooku will, in fact, be the best movie streaming site you could find.

When it comes to features, though, this site is somewhat sparse. Short of being given the ability of unlimited streaming and downloading of Kooku movies and shows, there aren’t many features to speak of. But when we get to the price point a little later on, I don’t think this will be all too disappointing…

Mobile and Desktop Experience

Personally, I think that Kooku is best experienced as a movie streaming app. Given the brief and concise nature of the shows and movies available here, this is the perfect app for streaming on the go, while waiting in line, during your commute to work or school, etc. Nobody wants to stream a 3-hour long movie on their phone, right? But an 8-minute webisode? That is much more realistic.

Unfortunately, at the time of this review, Kooku is only available on Android devices (sorry iOS users!). It has an average user rating of 3.6 on the Google Play store, and, generally speaking, I would say that the app is about just as mediocre (decent) as the desktop site. it’s nothing revolutionary, but it gets the job done.

Pricings and Plans

Kooku is, by far, the most affordable premium movie streaming site that I have ever come across. I couldn’t even believe my eyes when I looked at the pricings. The monthly subscription price of Kooku is only $1.99! Or, if you grow to love Kooku, you can subscribe annually for only $16 a year. For one of the best movie streaming sites and apps on the market today, this truly is a steal!

Likes & Hates:
Short form content ideal for mobile streaming
Lots of great original web series and films
Super-affordable
Unlimited HD streaming and downloads
No iOS app (Android and browser only)
No popular or recognizable content
Short webisodes and movies are not for everyone