Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ll be aware of the meteoric rise of streaming platforms and the far-reaching impact they've had on the world of television. Netflix is undoubtably the most recognisable name in the game, having grown into a media juggernaut that can boast the frontrunner for this year’s Academy Award for Best Picture amongst the thousands of original films, series and specials it offers.
Elsewhere Amazon have smartly capitalised on their strengths as a retailer to transform their LoveFilm business into Prime Video, whilst catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer and over-the-top sports offerings such as the WWE Network are as widely viewed as traditional live television broadcasts.
New platforms are constantly appearing, adding further to what has rapidly become a saturated market. The bubble is sure to burst at some point soon, particularly given the forthcoming launch of Disney+, which is going to squeeze out a lot of its smaller competitors with the depth of properties that the company own or are set to own following their acquisitions of Marvel, Star Wars and much of Fox’s back catalogue.
For now, however, there are hundreds of platforms attracting customers with specific interests by targeting niches, akin to the specialist cable television channels of yesteryear. Here are eight of these lesser-known services, all with something unique to showcase in comparison to the spectrum-covering offerings of the big guns.