"Streaming video" (or VOD, Video On Demand) refers to video (like a movie) which is delivered to an end-user upon request (demand) over the Internet in a continuous transmission or stream. Typically, the video is viewed in real time, but it may also be capable of being downloaded for later viewing. When a subscription fee is charged (like Netflix), this delivery mechanism is called SVOD, Subscription Video On Demand. If you make the purchases one at a time (like iTunes), it is called TVOD, Transactional Video On Demand. Some SVOD services (like Disney+) offer premium content for an additional one-time fee. This is called PVOD, Premium Video On Demand. The Satellite services DirecTV and Dish Network utilize a format known as NVOD, or Near Video On Demand, which is a fancy term for pay-per-view. Another interesting piece of terminology is vMVPD, virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributor; e.g., pay-TV services that are only available via broadband connections (Sling TV is an example). Finally we have AVOD, Advertising Video On Demand, which is the model used by streaming services when you don't pay a fee, but you are forced to receive advertisements just like over-the-air television. Enough of the alphabet soup, you say!
All of these methods of delivery are different from over-the-air, cable, or satellite television, or a video on disc (DVD or Blu-ray), which you can learn about on our Television or DVDs web pages. Globally, there are over 1 billion video subscriptions, an increase of over 25% during 2020. If you are exploring "cutting the cord," see our article entitled Cord-Cutting Options Supporting Audio Description. LAST UPDATED: Jun 19, 2021.
Many new TV sets (calling themselves Smart TVs) and cable boxes offer Internet access with then allows built-in access to multiple streaming services. Alternatively, you may purchase a number of devices which plug into your TV's HDMI input port, and from there you switch the input to that port, answer setup questions one time to connect to your wireless internet, possibly download one or more free apps, and then access the streaming services listed on this page through this new device and its own remote. While there may be a few other similar devices, here is a list of the most popular ones:
While most of the information on this page is USA-only, we do have this list of streaming services in the UK which offer audio description as of January 2021, thanks to Sonali Rai of the RNIB:
You can also read this Access Services Report from 2019 to read an evaluation on how the various UK services are doing.
The following airlines are known to provide audio described content via their in-flight entertainment systems: American, ANA (Japan), British Airways, Emirates, KLM, Lufthansa, United, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia. Such services would only be available on flights offering individual screens on seat backs or those which support using your own device (like an iPad or computer). Note, however, that most services do not offer audio MENUS, so you will probably need sighted assistance to select a movie with AD. For more information on accessible airline in-flight entertainment systems, see this post in the Perkins Blog: How to Watch Audio Described Movies on Your Next Flight. And from Mar '20: United Airlines introduces a fully accessible seatback entertainment system. Watch a video on the new United system. In July 2020, United Airlines was honored by the ADP with the Dr. Margaret R. Pfanstiehl Memorial Achievement Award in Audio Description.
The following section lists all we know about video streaming services, with the ones actually providing some description listed first. Most, but not all, require a subscription or pay-per-view. Our table is divided into two categories:
Note 1: Any reference to pricing is subject to change and is
rounded up to the nearest dollar. Some services offer a discount
for paying for a full year.
Note 2: Amazon's Fire TV Recast DVR, used in conjunction with a Fire Stick, is NOT a streaming service. It is a DVR for over-the-air programs, but it does support AD.
NO-AD or DON'T KNOW AMC On Demand | AMC+ | BET+ | BritBox | BroadwayOnDemand | Comcast Choice | Crackle | CuriousityStream | discovery+ | Documentary+ | ePix | FandangoNow | FilmRise | Fox Now | frndly | fuboTV | Hallmark | HappyKids | HBO | Magellan | Means TV | NBC | Peacock | Philo | Plex | Pluto TV | Quibi | Redbox | Roku Channel | Showtime Shudder | Sling TV | Spectrum TV Choice | Toon Goggles | Tubi | Vudu | Xumo | YouTube Premium
|Service||Description of Offering||Examples|
The following services are known to include at least some audio described programming.
The ABC app offers access to live content and select previous episodes from iOS and Android mobile devices, Apple TV, and other devices in select markets for free. Generally (but not always), if an ABC show offers audio description, the show will be described using the app. NOTE: To activate description, you must do so via your device settings, not the app itself. For example (with iOS devices): Settings, General, Accessibility, Audio Descriptions, On. NOTE: ABC Digital was the recipient of the ADP's 2017 Achievement in Audio Description - Media award for this app!
|black-ish, Shark Tank, The Conners, The Rookie|
Apple TV app (as described by Apple) is: "Apple
Original shows and movies from Apple TV+. Just the premium
channels you want. Thousands of movies to buy or rent.
Popular streaming services and cable TV providers ... all in the
Apple TV app. On all your screens. It’s the ultimate way to
watch TV." "Customers can subscribe
to Apple TV channels within the Apple TV app - paying for only
the ones they want - and watch on demand directly in the app.
Subscribers can watch and download shows and movies both online
and offline. Through Family Sharing, up to six family
members can share subscriptions to Apple TV channels using just
their Apple ID and password." For more information
about how to find audio-described content, please visit
Note that THIS app is how you get to
Apple TV+ (below).
||For Apple TV: Depends on provider|
||On November 1, 2019, Apple TV+, "the first all-original video subscription service," became available via the Apple TV app for $5/month for a family plan. According to Apple, Apple TV+ is the "new home for the world's most creative storytellers featuring exclusive original shows, movies and documentaries. It [features] a brand new slate of programming from the world's most celebrated creative artists, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, ... and more." All original content is audio described in nine languages! With over 40 million subscribers, they currently offer over 60 titles; see Apple TV+ Described Videos. Note also that trailers for Apple TV+ content are described in the Apple TV app. NOTE: the (subscription) Apple TV+ is accessed via the (free) Apple TV app. Verizon Unlimited Data customers will have new offerings which offer 6-month or 12-month free Apple TV+, discounted bundles, and even some bundling free on the most expensive plans.||All original content such as See, The Morning Show, The Elephant Queen; plus a few old standards like Charlie Brown movies|
streaming service, rolled out in the fall of
which may include a set-top box running Android and Talk Back for
their talking interface.
It has replaced DirecTV,
U-Verse TV, AT&T Now, and AT&T Watch TV for new
promotional pricing is available between $65 and $130/month.
Sep '20: We have been advised by their customer T Jones
that the AT&T Now app on an iPhone does
support AD from CBS, Discovery, FOX, HGTV, NBC, TBS, TCM, and
TNT, but not
ABC or The CW or On-Demand. The DVR does record AD (but
has limited capacity and retention time limits). Probably because this user was
diligent in filing a complaint with the FCC, AT&T has been
expanding description to these networks (versus a smaller list
We hope availability of AD does or will include the other
variations of this service, but we rely upon user
input to find out! Please tell us your experience.
To access AD on the AT&T TV app using an iPhone, do the following:
1. Launch the app and flick right until you hear the word Video.
2. Perform a double tap.
3. Next, flick right to Audio and Closed Captions and double tap.
4. Next, double tap on Alternate. The audio will immediately switch to the SAP Channel.
5. Then flick right to the Done button to close the dialog.
Articles: AT&T Now is Shutting Down (Jan '21).
|Most networks as noted|
|The new CBS app (which you need to download from your device's App Store - there is no central link) completely replaced the former CBS app which migrated itself to become Paramount+ in March 2021. It offers audio description for shows which are described on the CBS television network. These shows are available to everyone for free for 28 days after release and longer if you sign in via a content provider sign in (like a cable TV network). You can trigger AD from a menu on the upper right of the screen. Important note! As of May 2021, eight series are audio described here (and on Paramount+) which are not described on network TV. This may change in the fall.||Bob Hearts Abishola, the NCIS franchise, S.W.A.T., Young Sheldon|
|The free Channels app takes input from an antenna and/or a cable fed to an HDHomeRun tuner ($100 to $250) which in turn connects to your router; then you can use the app on various devices to control and watch channels. An optional subscription service gives you access to a virtual DVR with all the usual options. Audio Description is supported. Read our review of the Channels app and HDHomeRun Tuner.||Depends on network|
|Disney+ has been available on almost every streaming device in the USA and Canada since November 2019 for $8/month, with a focus on family-friendly shows and movies from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm (the Star Wars franchise), and National Geographic. You will find over 650 titles in our list of Disney+ Audio Described Titles. $14/month will get you a Disney+ / ESPN+ / Hulu bundle. As of March 2021, Disney+ had over 100 million subscribers globally. NOTE: Disney was the recipient of the ADP's 2020 Achievement in Audio Description – Media award, specifically for having 300 titles audio described on day 1 of the new service and expanding rapidly from there.||All Disney+ Originals like The Mandalorian; oldies like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; and the complete Star Wars series|
|Google Play Movies (officially part of Google TV and also known as the Google Play Store) is an online video on demand service operated by Google. The service offers movies and television shows for purchase or rental, depending on availability (but the TV shows don't carry AD tracks as far as we know). Beginning in June, 2021, we are listing Google Play movie titles on the ADP Website, where they currently offer over 50 audio described titles.||Cinderella, Fantasia, the Indiana Jones series, the Santa Claus series, Wonder|
|AT&T's WarnerMedia's HBO Max debuted in May 2020 at a cost of $15/month and added audio description in March 2021. In June 2021, a $10 a month ad-supported option became available, but some shows are excluded in this plan. The service has 44 million subscribers. You can view our list of over 250 HBO Max Audio Described Titles. The streaming service features WarnerMedia films and television shows and includes content from properties like HBO, DC, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, plus original programming (released weekly, not all at once; 50 scheduled for 2021) — all told, 10,000 hours initially. Some offerings run simultaneously with first-run cinema release. HBO Max is offered at no extra charge to AT&T and Charter customer subscribers who already pay for HBO (or who subscribe to the AT&T Internet 1000 Plan), as well as former HBO Now subscribers. It is also available on basically all media devices. After a year of informal negotiations with HBO regarding AD, a Settlement Agreement with the ACB was announced on October 19, 2020, resulting in the March 2021 rollout. In May 2021, AT&T announced that they were splitting off WarnerMedia (which owns HBO Max) into a new company with Discovery (which owns the discovery+ service) in mid-2022.||Aquaman, Mare of Easttown, Snowpiercer, The Wizard of Oz, Wonder Woman|
(available only in the USA and owned by Disney) costs $6/month for the
advertising-supported version; $12/month for no ads. They
also offer an upgrade to
Live, but the Live portion does not support audio
Hulu also offers a bundle with the Disney+
and ESPN+ services for $14/month, and/or you can add
HBO Max for $15/month. Hulu has over
40 million subscribers (as of May '21) and currently offers
titles with audio description; see Hulu
Audio Described Titles.
HISTORY: Hulu and advocates from the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and Bay State Council of the Blind (BSCB) reached a settlement agreement in October 2018 to increase the accessibility of Hulu's streaming service to individuals who are blind or have low vision by January 2020. Starting 1Q2019 Hulu undertook efforts to make its website and software applications accessible via screen readers and to provide audio description tracks for some streaming content. Rollout has been slower than expected, and the ACB continues to work with Hulu. Read Hulu Becomes Latest Streaming Service to Commit to Accessibility for Blind Users, including case documents. Hulu is jointly owned by Disney (full control) and Comcast (33%, silent partner, agreeing to sell its share in 2024 or sooner).
|A Handmaid's Tale (Original Series), Fyre Fraud (Original Documentary), TV Series like Bones and The Last Man on Earth|
|IMDb TV offers FREE movies and TV series (with ads), SOME of which are audio described. You can access it via a web browser or via an app using an Amazon Fire product, Roku device, iOS device, Android device, or via the Prime Video app (IMDb section). Offerings in AD are somewhat limited (varies from 15-30 titles) and are listed at the bottom of our Prime Video AD page.||Titles change each month|
Apple's iTunes (which is being replaced on iOS devices by the Apple TV app and is not the same as Apple TV+) offers over 1500 movies with audio description tracks for rent (streaming) or purchase (downloading). They are designated with the icon after the movie title in the description. To find audio described content on iTunes on a PC or Mac, open iTunes, go to Store, select Movies (Ctrl-2 on a PC, Command-2 on a Mac), and click "Movies with Audio Descriptions" in the Movies Quick Links, which is on the side in a PC or Mac browser. If you have a Safari browser, you can click this iTunes AD link. You may also check individual movies of interest, or see our alphabetized list of iTunes Audio Described Titles. Also see: How to Rent a Movie from iTunes.
|American Sniper, Beauty and the Beast, Ghostbusters, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Smurfs: The Lost Village, Table 19, The LEGO Batman Movie|
The dominant* provider of streaming video with audio description with over 200 million subscribers worldwide is Netflix, a subscription service available in nearly 200 countries ($9-$16/month in the USA for unlimited viewing using web browsers, tablets, and handheld computing devices). They offer over 1500 audio described TV series, documentaries, original programming, and children's shows in the USA. Once a member, you can find a link labeled "Audio Description" at the bottom of the main page when viewed via a web browser, or in a menu on other devices, or you can see our alphabetized list of Netflix Audio Described Titles anytime. See our page Audio Description via Netflix for more information. NOTE: Netflix was the recipient of the ADP's 2015 Achievement in Audio Description – Media award, as well as the AFB's 2017 Helen Keller Achievement Award. Apr '21: Getting Started with Netflix for People with Visual Impairments. (AFB Feb '21)
|Criminal Minds (TV Series), Grace and Frankie (Original Programming), Making a Murderer (Documentary), 3 Indiana Jones and Solo: A Star Wars Story (movies), plus tons of children's programming|
||Paramount+ (the successor to the original CBS All Access app as of March 4, 2021) offers access to over 30,000 movies and TV episodes via on-demand programming from CBS, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, and other ViacomCBS channels and brands, plus movies from the Paramount Pictures studio, and live NFL sports. Local live content is also currently available in select markets. They plan to offer an upgrade adding Showtime at some point. There is a fee for service ($5/month ad-supported or $10/month ad-free). They currently offer over 50 shows with audio description; see our list of Paramount+ Audio Described Titles. Streaming devices supported include Chromecast [not tested], Apple TV (V4 and up), iOS and Android devices, and some streaming services like Prime Video. (They do NOT mention Roku.) They also support AD via a Firefox browser and MS Edge. (We presume Chrome and Safari also.) A user says that for Apple TV: "When playing a show, swipe down for a menu: info, closed captions, and audio. Go to audio, then languages. If AD is available, it’ll be there." Other devices work similarly, except on an iPhone, the Audio Description option under Accessibility Settings is the only control. The name of the service will change (from CBS All Access) in Canada, too, but full content will be delayed until later in 2021. Nordic countries and Australia follow later.||The Stand, Star Trek Picard (and Discovery), The Twilight Zone, The Good Fight, NCIS (recent seasons), Blue Bloods, Mission: Impossible|
|NBCUniversal (a subsidiary of Comcast) began its streaming service named Peacock on April 15, 2020, and began offering audio description (delayed due to Covid-19) in June 2021. Rollout of AD is initially only on Peacock Originals and one NBC TV show. They offer 16 (initially) audio described programs; see our listing of Peacock Audio Described Titles. Pricing is: (1) a free, ad-supported version; (2) a $5 per month option with limited ads; and (3) an ad-free tier for $10 per month. It has 42 million subscribers as of May 2021. They offer films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination, and other major studios, plus original series, news, sports, late-night, and reality, some of which (like Jimmy Fallon) are presented earlier than on TV. Peacock does not yet have any agreements with Amazon (for Fire products, verified June 2021), or Google's Chromecast and Android TV. (You can get Peacock running on an Amazon devices as described in this article on Side-Loading Peacock on Amazon.) CNBC Article.||Intelligence, Punky Brewster, We Are Lady Parts, SVU: Organized Crime|
|The PBS app is available for select platforms like Windows 10, iOS, and others. They offer access to local and national shows on demand. The app by itself offers little Audio Description (but American Experience and Nova were reported in May '21). However, if you are a sustaining member of your local PBS station, you get access to a feature called Passport, which means you have access to additional shows. Within that group of shows, a few more do have audio description. Please send us any titles you find...||Minimal offerings, but includes American Experience, Nova, and Ken Burns' Country Music Special|
|Sorry, no examples!|
Amazon began offering audio described videos in June 2017, and they call their service Prime Video, available to the over 150 million Prime subscribers. They offer more described programming than any other service and show no sign of slowing down! They offer over 2800 movies and Amazon-produced TV shows with audio description tracks, with multiple viewing devices supported including all the "Fire" products. Some of the programming is available free to Amazon Prime members, while the majority of it requires a payment for either online streaming or downloading. For access information and title listing, see our page Prime Video Audio Described Titles, or go directly to the Amazon AD Video page for title selection. (NOTE: You may find that our own page contains a more current listing than Amazon's and is easier to use ...)
|Bosch (TV series), Arrival, Divergent, Fences, Office Christmas Party, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|
Vimeo is a free streaming service where users upload their own videos. A very small number of the uploaded videos contain audio description and are generally so-designated in their titles. Our link takes you to the list of titles matching "audio description" or "audio described," as both terms are used, but many of them are demos, movie trailers, or discussions of audio description.
|Driving Blind (movie), Muse of Fire (documentary), Movie Trailers, Short Films|
|YouTube TV, a Google subsidiary, is a paid OTT (over-the-top) streaming subscription service which streams live TV from the five major broadcast networks in the USA, plus over 70 other channels for $65/month. They refer to this service as Cable-Free Live TV. Our testing indicates that audio description is available, though not 100%. For instance, one user tells us that on-demand content does not have AD, while another user says it is difficult to navigate with an Apple TV. We offer this guide to accessing YouTube TV AD, and a user offers this review. CAUTION: On April 30, 2021, YouTube TV was dropped from the Roku App Store due to a contractual disagreement. Potential NEW customers who use Roku devices for access should take notice and check first to make sure this has been resolved.||Depends on network|
Other Streaming Services, NONE of which offer
description as far as we know.
|The AMC On Demand online video rental or purchase service does NOT support Audio Description per their support desk in October 2019.||None|
|AMC+ is a new $9/month service that brings together content from across AMC Networks’ brands, including AMC, Shudder, Sundance Now, and IFC Films Unlimited, along with other select AMC programming. We know that IFC Films produces AD tracks for many of its newer videos, and folks have indicated they wish Shudder offered AD (it doesn't); but to the best of our knowledge, AMC+ does not offer any audio description. Write them!||None|
|BET+ is the streaming component of BET, Black Entertainment Television, a division of ViacomCBS. It offers "Exclusive Originals, Tyler Perry and Classic Hits" for $10/month. Their support group confirmed in January 2020 that they do not offer any audio description at this time.||None|
|BritBox bills itself as "The biggest streaming collection of British TV...ever. Dramas, comedies, mysteries, documentaries, soaps, lifestyle and more." Alas, none are audio described. In October 2019, they said that AD was a "great suggestion" that would be passed to their Editorial Team for review. We don't know how the following promise for AD in 2020 will affect the USA offering, but see this November 2019 article: Blind People Left Outside The BritBox… For Now.||None|
|Broadway On Demand is a new streaming service in 2020. "A base subscription to Broadway On Demand will be free with access to premium content available in a paid tier membership. In addition to live shows, the service will feature an array of archived content in partnership with artists, concert series and performance venues around the world. It will also feature educational materials and masterclasses, as well as backstage footage." (per Cord Cutters article). As far as we know, they do not offer any AD.||None|
|Comcast Choice TV allows a user to subscribe to a Comcast video service without purchasing or using a set-top box. You can watch on the Xfinity Stream app. You must, however, have an Xfinity internet plan. The base cost is reportedly $30/month, which includes broadcast TV and DVR. The latest information we can find is in the following article: Comcast brings pay-TV upgrade option to Flex. We can't confirm the availability of AD or not.||tbd|
|Crackle (also known as Crackle Plus) is a US-based free OTT video streaming platform for movies, TV series, and some original programming. It is a joint venture between Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (majority) and Sony Pictures Television (minority). It features a rotating list of titles from Sony and its subsidiaries. It does not offer any audio described content that we can find. In January 2020 they said they offered some and intended to offer more, but they were unable to provide any titles, and we couldn't find any ...||None|
|Crunchyroll is an anime streaming company which has been around since 2006. Currently owned by AT&T's WarnerMedia, it is being purchased by Sony's subsidiary Funimation in 2021. It has 4M paid users out of 100M registered users worldwide. Anime has no history of providing audio description, and we know of no AD plans for Crunchyroll at this time.||None|
|CuriousityStream is "where viewers can journey through our world and beyond with thousands of documentary features and series ... stunning visuals and unrivaled storytelling to demystify science, technology, history and nature ... access available worldwide on your television, laptop or mobile device." $12/year. "Unfortunately, we do not currently [Feb '20] support audio description language tracks on our videos. It is something that we are looking to improve as inclusivity and accessibility are very important to us."||None|
|discovery+ (whose name begins with a lowercase "d") debuted in the U.S. on January 4, 2021 as "the definitive non-fiction, real life subscription streaming service." Owned by Discovery Communications, it launched with a partnership with Verizon that gives their customers with select plans 6-12 months of discovery+ for free; it is $7/month for everyone else. It is debuting across an initial 25 countries starting with the U.K. and Ireland, as well as India. They claim that "At launch in the U.S., discovery+ will have the largest-ever content offering of any new streaming service." That number is 55,000 episodes from partner networks HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, and Animal Planet. As of April 2021, they had 13 million paid subscribers. They do not offer audio description and have no announced plans to do so; but we note that partner networks HGTV, Discovery Channel, and starting July 1, 2021, TLC, all offer audio description (although ironically TLC will replace Discovery network as requiring AD at that time). In May 2021, AT&T announced that they were splitting off WarnerMedia (which owns HBO Max) into a new company with Discovery in mid-2022.||None|
|Documentary+ began operation on January 28, 2021. It is free, operates on most streaming devices, and offers both short and full-length documentary films. One source of new content will be the Sundance Film Festival. We have no reason be believe they support audio description.||None|
|Epix, owned by MGM, is a $6/month streaming app which can also be purchased via your cable provider or through Amazon Prime Video or Apple TV. The channel's programming consists of recent and older theatrically released motion pictures, original television series, documentaries, and music and comedy specials. We have no reason to believe they support audio description.||None|
|FandangoNow (formerly M-Go) is a pay-as-you-go rent or purchase site for both movies currently in theaters and previously released, plus current or previous TV series. It operates on a variety of devices; however, it does not offer any audio described content at this time. As of September 2016 they were not able to confirm any plan to offer audio described content.||None|
|FilmRise is a FREE streaming service with about 10,000 films. There is not much content that was recorded originally with audio description tracks, but they have confirmed (April 2020) that they do not have the capability to offer any at this time.||None|
|The FOX NOW app offers free access to Fox shows for iOS, Android, and other mobile devices; however, they do not offer any audio described content at this time. (They replied to our February 2016 inquiry: "it is not a feature we offer on online streaming at this time.") We asked again in February 2018 and received no reply.||None|
|Funimation is an anime streaming service owned by Sony. In 2021, they are purchasing another anime service, Crunchyroll. We have no reason to believe they offer any AD.||None|
|frndly TV is a family-friendly streaming service with 14 channels including Hallmark and CuriousityStream for $6 per month. We have no reason be believe they offer audio description as none of the channels they carry do at this time.||None|
|Fubo TV advertises itself as "100+ channels with local sports, news, Cloud DVR included" for $65+/month. We sent them an email asking if they support audio description, and this was their reply: "Audio description or Text-to-Speech is not available as a feature on fuboTV; however, most of the supported devices like RokuTV do have this feature built in in their settings." We are not quite sure how to interpret this response until we get user feedback.||tbd|
|Hallmark Movies Now is Crown Media Family Networks’ subscription video on demand streaming service, launched in October 2017. They offer around 1,000 hours of commercial-free Hallmark-branded original "unique, feel-good programming" NOT currently found on the company’s regular TV networks. Most popular streaming devices are supported, and the fee is $5/month. While they do not offer audio description at this time, we are hopeful they will after Hallmark is required to offer AD on its TV network beginning in July 2021.||None|
|HappyKids.tv is a free streaming app available on all major streaming devices. They describe their service as "Non-stop Rhymes, Music, Popular Shows, Stories, Activity Guide and Movies ... Trusted by Over 6 Million Parents." They do not support audio description.||None|
[This is NOT HBO Max]
HBO and its
do not offer any audio description. (HBO Go is no longer
available.) HBO Now is being renamed
HBO Max, or for Roku or Amazon devices, just HBO for now. "The idea is that most HBO subscribers should be
using HBO Max unless the platform they pay through hasn't struck
a deal to offer it yet. In that case, they’ll use a new
app named HBO, which is a revised version of HBO Now" (per this
6/12/20 CNBC article and others).
History: See the article HBO’s ‘My Brilliant Friend’ Discriminates Against Blind People. Technically speaking, HBO has offered at least two programs with AD long ago: "Educating Peter" and "Monica and David," both of which focused on people with disabilities. But since this is so rare and with no further commitment yet, we leave them listed as not offering description. The settlement agreement described under HBO Max does not apply to regular HBO via cable and satellite services.
|MagellanTV is a streaming service billed as "Documentaries Worth Watching." Plans start at $5/month. They have 1500+ titles. We have no reason to believe that they offer audio described content.||None|
|Brand new in 2020, Means TV bills itself as "the world's first post-capitalist, cooperatively run streaming service." They offer "a library of films, documentaries, and shows with new programming added all the time [and] live weekly shows covering news, the working class, gaming and sports." It costs $10/month, has no ads, and operates on browsers, smartphones, and via streaming devices.||None|
|The NBC app offers free access to new and classic NBC shows on various devices, including iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, and Roku; however, they do not offer any audio described content at this time that we know about.||None|
|Philo is a low-cost subscription streaming service offering 60 channels for $20 per month including DVR. Networks include HGTV, History, Discovery, and Nickelodeon; however, Philo does not pass through any audio description. They replied to our inquiry in December 2019 with this comment: "I will ... forward this as a feature request so hopefully, popular demand can get this feature ... added soon." In July 2020, a blind user reported she is working with Philo as a beta tester to make the app more accessible. Kudos! When she asked if they would add AD for HGTV, History, etc., they investigated (kudos again) but replied that engineering thought "it would be a disproportionately large task for us to add the ability to load secondary audio tracks at this point," but they would reassess later. If you would subscribe to Philo if they offered AD, write them!||None|
|Plex is a new streaming service in December 2019 which offers thousands of movies for free on many streaming devices. We contacted them to ask if they support audio description but received no response. In July 2020 they announced the addition of over 80 free live TV channels including Reuters TV, Yahoo Finance, Toon Goggles, Kidoodle TV, KidsFlix, and fubo Sports Network. Read: Plex launches its free movie and TV streaming service and Plex launches a live TV service with over 80 free channels, most available worldwide.||None|
|Pluto TV (owned by ViacomCBS) is a free streaming app with over 250 channels. They don't seem to want to provide a list of them, but that's what they claim! Reportedly it is accessible, at least on an iPhone, but it does not support audio description.||None|
Quibi launched on April 6, 2020, as a mobile-only streaming platform. It closed operations on December 1, 2020. Its claim to fame was short 7-10 minute episodes, hoping to appeal especially to commuters. They did not offer audio description. In January of 2021, some of Quibi's content was picked up by Roku.
|Redbox, known for its red self-service DVD and Blu-ray disc kiosks, also has a streaming service that it calls Redbox On Demand. As far as we know, you cannot access an audio description track as an alternate language. Let us know if you can! Dec '20: Redbox has introduced "Free On Demand, an ad-supported streaming destination promising hundreds of titles arriving weekly that are 'curated to the tastes of Redbox audiences.'" We think this is called Free Live TV on their website, and again there is no indication of audio description.||None|
|The Roku Channel is a free streaming service exclusively for Roku owners and Samsung Smart TVs. A quick check by a user in March 2020 of a movie known to have AD did not offer any AD option.||None|
|Showtime offers a streaming service, but no audio description. In January 2019 they responded to an inquiry from someone as follows: "Unfortunately, at this time Showtime does not offer any described video for any of its content. Neither for original or licensed content."||None|
|Shudder is a subscription service for the horror, thriller, and suspense genres, with originals, movies, TV series, podcasts, and live streaming events for under $5/month. Nothing is audio described, but they passed along a request from us to add it in March 2020. A number of users have expressed interest in having AD on this service, so email Shudder if you want AD!||None|
|Sling TV, owned by Dish Network, is an OTT (Over the Top) streaming service which offers over 50 channels including CNN, ESPN, TNT, TBS, The Cartoon Network, and Blockbuster on Demand, and supports the usual cadre of devices like iOS and Roku. Subscriptions start at $35/month, discounted for the first month. At YE20 they had about 2.5 million subscribers. There is an optional associated device named AirTV 2 which streams local stations to your TV and also has a DVR function. When used with Sling TV, all stations appear together in the guide. Their smartphone app itself does not support audio description; and user experience reports no AD.||None|
|Spectrum TV Choice is a $25/month streaming service with user-selection of 10 cable channels received (i.e., a la carte). There is a slightly less expensive option called Spectrum TV Essentials. You must be a Spectrum Internet customer to use it. We do not know if they pass through audio description.||tbd|
|Toon Goggles is one of several children's programs video streaming services, supporting iOS, Android, and Windows. They do not offer any audio described content at this time. In February 2018 they indicated they had no timetable for adding it.||None|
|Tubi claims to be "the world’s largest ad-supported video on demand service with over 20,000 movies and television shows from nearly every major Hollywood studio." It was purchased by Fox in March 2020. We have written to ask if they support audio description.||None|
|Vudu, originally owned by Walmart but sold to Fandango in 2020, offers movies for streaming rental or sale on a variety of devices; however, it does not offer any audio described content at this time that we know about. They passed our February 2016 inquiry along for future consideration.||None|
|Xumo, now owned by Comcast, is a free streaming service which features over 190 different genre-grouped channels. According to Cord Cutters News, "With Comcast’s NBCUniversal Peacock launching soon, XUMO will likely see NBCU content and branded channels to promote the new service soon." They also offer a free Kids TV Channel with 40+ shows.||None|
|YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red) is a subscription streaming service; however, it does not offer any audio described content at this time. They responded to our inquiry in February 2016 by saying they would pass the request along to their product team. See however YouTube TV above.||None|
There are many other streaming video services that we don't know anything about, but we don't have any reason to believe any of them offer audio described content. The world is going crazy with streaming services! If you find any worth mentioning, please let us know.
If you learn that any service above has started offering described programming, please advise the webmaster!
* Studies continue to show that the dominant player in the fee streaming video market is Netflix by large margin over its nearest competitors: Amazon's Prime Video, HBO Go, Vudu, and Hulu. (These statistics do not include the free videos on regular YouTube, a very highly used service.) iTunes actually has more described movies than Netflix has described videos, though if you count individual series episodes, Netflix exceeds iTunes. Also, iTunes only offers movies, while Netflix has a constant influx of new content, and it is all included for one fee, so we still consider Netflix "dominant."
(From Yahoo! Finance article, April 2019)
Streaming Platform Base Prices (AARP Nov '20)
The following information was originally supplied by ADP Media Committee member Timothy Wynn in October 2018 based on his experimentation with YouTube TV and has been updated with additional user input in August 2020 and later. All information here is, of course, subject to change. Please submit your own experience to the webmaster.
See also: Cutting the Cable Cord with YouTube TV (AFB, April 2021)
AD access method: