Skip to content

What Is Crackle and Is It Really Free?

Most video streaming platforms cost quite a bit of money to enjoy. However, Crackle offers a lot of movies and shows for free, which means we can all try it out.

Crackle is one of many services that offer more content than you could ever hope to watch. Of course, the service is ad-supported, but does that really matter when you’re having fun?


What Is Crackle?

Crackle is an on-demand streaming platform that provides free access to movies and shows from a wide range of content makers. Since Crackle is available on pretty much all platforms, it’s easy to jump from one device to another.

Whether we’re talking about titles that reached their peak a few decades ago, like Riptide, or more modern shows like Sherlock, Crackle has it all, and it’s all free to watch at any time.

One thing that’s cool about the service is that they also have some original series and movies you can watch. Crackle features a lot of content you can watch, although you shouldn’t expect to see the latest films. After all, licensing movies and shows is costly and newer content is that much more expensive.


Crackle debuted back in 2004 as a video platform called Grouper. In 2006, the company was purchased by Sony for $65 million.

Not long after that, the platform was rebranded as Crackle and started featuring more entertaining content, especially from Sony’s library. As of December 2020, Crackle is no longer under Sony’s umbrella, belonging instead to Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment.

Is Crackle Really Free?

Yes, Crackle is free to use, but there are ads. You can enjoy your free TV shows and movies with or without an account. There are plenty of ads served to you, but that goes with the territory of any free streaming service.

Crackle serves ads before the content starts streaming and during the episode or movie. While the ads are frequent, they’re not annoying. You’ll manage Crackle just fine if you’re used to enjoying YouTube for free and dealing with all those ads.

Crackle also offers accounts to users, but there are no paid tiers. So whether you have an account or not, it won’t influence how many ads you get. It will, however, come in handy if you want to activate apps on your smart TV or enable parental controls on your account.

Where Is Crackle Available?

Much to the sadness of film and show fans across the world, Crackle is only available within the United States and its territories. Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve encountered a free streaming platform that is geo-restricted to the United States. Another notable service is Pluto TV, which is also free and ad-supported.

Crackle attempted an expansion in Latin American countries and Canada in previous years, but the company pulled the service from those markets after a while.

What Devices Does Crackle Work On?

Crackle works on pretty much any platform that supports streaming in any way, which makes the service that much more appealing. After all, when you can jump from your smart TV to your smartphone, then later to your computer or gaming console, you really can’t ask for more.

Crackle comes with apps for most devices, or you can access Crackle on the web.

What Content Does Crackle Offer?

Crackle has licensing deals for films and TV shows from a lot of providers, including Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures, A&E Networks, CBS Media Ventures, Miramax, MGM, Lionsgate, Hallmark Entertainment, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros, to name a few.

There are lots of TV shows you’ll find here, including 21 Jump Street (featuring Johnny Depp), 3rd Rock From the Sun, The Abbott and Costello Show, Bear Grylls: Survival School, Betty White’s Pet Set, and others.

The movies tab also features a lot of engaging titles, including The 11th Hour, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 24 Days, Mr. Nobody, Killing Season, Melancholia, Vice, Last Knights, Burnt, and many others.

How to Use Crackle

Crackle comes with an intuitive interface, making it super easy to interact with the service. The main page features a little of everything; it tries to suggest cool shows and movies to watch, hoping you’ll find something to like.


You can easily access the TV and movies categories from the top bar, or try the search bar to look for specific titles.

You can add any title to the Watch Later list if you want to check it out down the road. You also have the common navigation buttons, allowing you to skip through the video. As far as settings go, you can enable closed captions by clicking the gear icon, which is a useful feature to have. You can adjust the subtitles by changing the font and color or size.

Another feature that you should consider is parental controls. However, you’ll need an account for this, so make sure to set that up with your email address. Then, in your account settings, you’ll find the Parental Controls section. The problem, however, is that this feature is basic—you only have a toggle to activate or deactivate the parental controls. You cannot adjust what type of content to block in any way.

Furthermore, many horror movies, for instance, are “not rated,” which means the feature would not block the content in the slightest. We recommend checking all content your child watches on Crackle for this specific reason, as we’re sure other films or shows are missing ratings.

Is Crackle Worth It?

Crackle is a great service, especially since it will cost you nothing to try it out. It has lots of cool films and shows to watch, and Crackle is adding more titles all the time.

Thankfully, Crackle is not the only service that offers content for free, so you can enjoy other similar platforms when you have some free time on your hands.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.