Global Niche streaming services available in Romania
Don’t trust mainstream streaming services to provide quality content? No problem! Many niche services serve religious, political or other minorities.
Here are some that we tested as available in Romania. (Many that advertise worldwide are not. Believe me, I tried them, and they were blocked or “not yet available in your country.” So while these do not contain any Romanian content, they at least work in Romania and may be of interest to expats.)
🇨🇦 Muslim Kids TV. $$$
Primary language – English. Some shows in Bahasa Indonesian and Urdu, and maybe Arabic
They claim they have the “the largest collection of entertaining, educational, safe Islamic content designed just for kids.” The content I looked at is safe, but I do not know how large the collection is because the search doesn’t seem to find everything. (Some of the shows that we watched through the “popular now” list, I was unable to find when I tried to search for them through the search bar. But they were still there under “popular now” the next time I checked.)
In addition to shows, there are other online activities including games. The email list includes discounted and other activities including webinars for parents. Muslim Kids TV seems like a great resource for children under 9. I am not an Imam and know very little about the Muslim religion, so I cannot advise how good it is from that perspective, but as a parent the content looks great for younger children. This is a Canadian company and should travel anywhere. Tested in Romania, works in Romania.
Urdu nursery rhymes, muslim history, the Canada crew, Operation ouch, Franklin, learning Arabic.
🇺🇸 Yippee TV $$$
Mostly English. Some Spanish.
A Christian channel that is non-denominational (but seems protestant). Not a lot of content and most of what is there seems to be aimed at very young children. Other faith based “Christian” networks have blocked out Romania for some reason. An American company, so if it works in Romania it should work anywhere. Hopefully more content will be added soon.
One big plus is it sells through Vimeo. Therefore, it is less likely to double charge you.
Veggie Tales episodes, but doesn’t include the films like Jonah movie. Minecraft tower of Babel and other Christian Youtubers. Pilgrims Progress.
🇺🇸 Crossfix plus (bankrupt?)
English, some Spanish subtitles
First, a warning. Most of the message board is people claiming to have been double charged, and unable to cancel their account.
Apparently, the company went out of business.
Said to be a Christian alternative to Netflix. Some films with Danny Trejo, films with Bible characters and famous protestants like Luther and Harriet Tubman. Also, some documentaries on American issues like one that explores whether Harry Potter is part of the occult. I kind of miss youth group, but not that much.
Production values are okay, although the shows I tried to watch were just too boring to finish.
I would not recommend trying to get the paid version because there are also a lot of bad reports with the better business bureau.
🇺🇸 DailyWire $$$$$
“Conservative” TV, with Jordan P Peterson (he came to Romania for business days), Candace Owens and some other guys who I only know from Youtube. These are the kinds of people who dislike the kind of content on HBO and Mubi, so they made their own channel. Mostly talk shows, the kind of stuff you see on youtube, but they promise children’s shows soon and they have a couple of movies.
I did not actually test it because the content just looks so dull, and I am not sure that complaining about liberals qualifies you as a conservative. Also, their terms and conditions asks you to give up your constitutional and moral rights. What, conservatives who hate the constitution and morality? No wonder their Youtube shows are so dull.
Better conservative stuff can even be found on the ultra-liberal HBO Max. Most English language conservative classics from 1970s onward are on Sky Showtime. DailyWire is probably the worst and most expensive streaming service available in all of Romania.
Jordan Peterson, documentaries, Prager U
🇫🇷 Mubi. $$$$$
French, English, Portuguese, Arabic, and more
The same kind of films as on HBO Max, but more Portuguese and French selection and almost nothing in Romanian. Some great French films, but if you don’t speak French you might have trouble finding content.
They claim they have the best films. Hahahaha. For English, even Skyshowtime has more classics. There is a feature where you can list your favourite films, and there is also a list of Mubi’s greatest films of all time.
Annoyingly most of the films on these lists are unavailable on Mubi. Also, almost nothing here is suitable for family viewing. (And the English language content is the worst).
There are some movies that you might see at an LGBT film festival, but I would expect it to be more like an LGBT adult cinema. (Anyone who has ever been to either can correct me on this).
I don’t know how a lot of this passes for art, the documentaries are so boring they make Euronews look like Coppola. The English language content is only recommended if you suffer from insomnia.
But, yes, some of this did win awards. And even if there are not a lot of films by great filmmakers, there are films about filmmakers.
If you don’t speak French, and you don’t want to be a filmmaker, then I do not recommend Mubi. Okay, subscribe for one month to watch the Chaplin films without adverts, and continue your subscription if you like reading subtitles or want to learn French. (Even most of my favourite French movies are not on there, but some classic Francophone movies are).
This should travel anywhere, but the prices are in Euros and I have not tried it outside the European Union. It will travel within Europe as it is a French company. (Also available in the UK, I heard about it from Brits).
Art house, French and developing world cinema, and Chaplin.
🇺🇸 Youtube premium $$$$$
Not a streaming service you say? Well, part of the worst part of Youtube in Romania are all the adverts for gambling and streaming services. I got Youtube premium twice, to skip the ads.
Why? Well, a lot of the shows that you pay for on streaming services are available for free on youtube. And it you are using youtube for research anyway (how to do a guitar solo, or just watching the latest memes) why not watch it without annoying adverts?
Unfortunately, a lot of shows made for Youtube now have inline product placements, so you still see ads between the opening credits and the like and subscribe. But a lot of classics are legally on Youtube without those placements.
The problem, of course, is the autoplay often shows the worst content (blurb, inline ad, stupid meme, like and subscribe). And the ads are terrible, especially the ones that interrupt shows aimed at children.
(legal uploads include) ALF, Bewitched, Classic Adams Family, The Real Ghostbusters, GI Joe, Mircea Bravo, Daily Wire shows, Fox News, Saturday Night Live, Daniel Roxin, iilluminaughtii, IRS Medic
Not yet available –
We are waiting to add Viaplay and a few others, but they are not available in Romania yet. Pureflix doesn’t seem to work in Romania.
Conclusion? If you are considering making a Niche channel, there is a market for it, and the competition is pretty dire. Even though I am busy, I am considering making my own niche channel myself, after seeing how poor most of the competition is. I like MuslimKidsTV and YippeeTV, but neither has a lot of content. The others, I would not recommend to anybody.