It seems like every other week I hear about a new subscription-based movie streaming site that is being launched. In the wake of the overwhelming success that sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video have enjoyed over the last decade or so, it appears as if every major movie production company, TV channel, and media enterprise wants to jump into the game and get a piece of the billion-dollar pie that is premium subscription-based streaming. In some ways, this is a beautiful thing; but in others, it is also a bit taxing.
On the one hand, of course, it is always a blessing when a market of any kind undergoes greater diversity. Competition between brands and companies is, after all, a leading source of innovation. The more movie streaming options that there are on the web, the more likely you are to find the best movie streaming site for your personal preferences. Plus, each of these major movie streaming sites is actively working to outdo the other in terms of content.
Whether this takes the shape of creating award-winning and critically acclaimed original movies and TV series a la Netflix and Hulu, or this means striking unprecedented streaming rights deals for exclusive access to blockbuster hit movies as HBO Max recently pulled off, one thing remains constant: more movie streaming sites equals a content war which means a higher volume of better-quality movies to stream all around! In many ways, the rise of movie streaming sites has almost singlehandedly resulted in a renaissance of quality filmmaking the likes of which we haven’t seen since the ‘80s.
On the flipside, though, is the fact that the existence of more premium movie streaming sites also results in an increased burden on the viewer. In order to enjoy the full array of all of the awesome new movies and TV series that are being produced across all the best movie streaming sites, you are expected to juggle far too many subscriptions. And, for those of us with limited room in our monthly entertainment budgets, this can be an impossibility.
Just think of the best of the best movie streaming sites out there, the cream of the crop, the most in-demand. How many come to mind? 5? 7? Let’s see, just off the top of my head, we have Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney Plus, Peacock, and Vudu. Then add on your live TV streaming app of choice (be it Hulu Live or YouTube TV), and you’re staring down the barrel of at least $100 a month. And we haven’t even factored in the most hotly anticipated movie streaming sites, such as Paramount Plus, which will also come with its own roster of exclusive must-see movies.
Frankly, it’s getting a little out of hand. I know that I am reaching my limit, personally, of subscriptions that I can afford to pay every month. This is why I have taken a liking to movie streaming sites that do not require a monthly subscription. And I’m not talking about one of the
hundreds of free movie streaming sites on the web (though these are surely great alternatives as well for many). No, my main fascination as of late has been in tracking down the best movie streaming sites for renting and purchasing movies.
Lately, in my opinion, the best movie streaming sites are those like SF Anytime. This Swedish movie streaming site is lowkey, noncommittal, and very cool – just like me! This is the perfect match for anybody who wants a reliable streaming site that makes it easier than ever to find a specific movie, rent it, stream it, and be done with it. When you already have several subscription movie streaming services to your name, a site like SF Anytime is a breath of fresh air.
Why, though, you might be wondering, would you need a site such as SF Anytime to rent and buy movie streams when you already have an Amazon account, and Amazon has, like, everything and anything ever made by human beings available. This is a fair question, one that has a couple answers, actually … for one thing, yes, Amazon does have one of the largest libraries of movies to rent and/or buy, but the prices of these movies are sometimes exorbitant, especially when it comes to older or rarer titles. And as a sidenote: not every movie available on Amazon can be both rented or purchased; a surprising number of them, for whatever reason, only offer one option or the other.
Secondly, Amazon is far from the best movie streaming site when it comes to user interface. The site is simply not designed to be primarily a streamer. Therefore, it can be a little more cumbersome and difficult to navigate than would be ideal at times. By relying on a site like SF Anytime for your movie streaming, rental, and purchasing needs, you can enjoy a site that is built solely to stream movies. It may not seem like a huge deal, but, trust me, a solid user experience can go a long way.
So, then, of the many movie streaming rental sites, is SF Anytime really going to be the best one for you? Well, let’s dive in and take a closer look at everything this site has to offer, shall we?
SF Anytime is owned by the Swedish media behemoth, Bonnier. Consisting of 175 individual companies (of which SF Anytime is one) and spanning 15 countries, the Bonnier Group is a gargantuan European media conglomerate. Unfortunately, though, for the rest of Europe and the world, SF Anytime is only currently available in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. So, if you don’t live in Scandinavia, SF Anytime is probably not going to be the best movie streaming site for you.
The site launched in 2002 and was available only via web browsers at first. It has since expanded, though, and can now be accessed on select smart TVs, IPTV, and as a native Android mobile app. Over the years, the company has developed an impressive roster of content partnerships, including heavy hitters such as Warner Bros., 20th Century Studios, Buena Vista Distribution, Regency, and others.
I already mentioned that SF Anytime offers a better interface than Amazon, but what about it makes it superior? Well, for me, it is the dynamic, immersive, and smooth user experience paired with a clean and user-friendly organization and browsing structure. SF Anytime has managed to provide a top-notch user interface that doesn’t simply emulate every other movie streaming site on the market (the iconic Netflix layout).
Instead, SF Anytime users enjoy the convenience of a comprehensive site navigation tab that spans the left-hand side of the page. Here, you can quickly and easily access different means of browsing (New, Discover, Coming Soon, Movies, Series, Children, etc.) while also doubling as a user dashboard and search engine. This is a prime example of some of the best movie streaming site design you will ever see.
To the right, is a well-paced, dynamic, and responsive series of interactive menus. Not only is this site easy to use, but it looks incredible. I would go as far as to say that it is even fun to use, too!
Content and Features
Aside from renting movie streams and purchasing movies, SF Anytime doesn’t have a whole lot of special features. You’ll find several Scandinavian language subtitles and audio tracks, the ability to create watchlists, and curated collections for a more personalized browsing experience. Other than that, the most notable feature of SF Anytime is the content.
This movie streaming site grants users access to the newest and most popular movies of our times. They also have a sizeable library of classics and older movies, too. SF Anytime has a very diverse range of movies to rent or buy.
Mobile and Desktop Experience
Sorry, iPhone users. SF Anytime is probably not going to be the best movie streaming site for you. There is no iOS mobile app available at this time. However, there is an Android app, as well as Samsung and Panasonic smart TV apps. This may be the fatal flaw of SF Anytime – I would like to see greater platform compatibility.
Pricings and Plans
As you would imagine, prices vary quite a bit. What you pay depends on whether you prefer to rent or buy. You can also expect to pay more for newer, bigger movies, as well as an upcharge for HD quality. Generally speaking, though, rentals start at 19kr and many stream at 59kr.