Sundance Now is a premium on-demand streaming service with a unique content catalog. Rather than take a Netflix-like approach of appealing to everyone, Sundance Now caters to audiences who appreciate thoughtful, well-produced films, documentaries and TV shows.
It may not have the same breadth of content as some of its competitors like Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, or Paramount+, but it’s definitely a good option if you love independent dramas, documentaries, and more. Read on, and our full Sundance Now review will help you decide if this streaming service is right for you.
Explaining our rating for Sundance Now
Sundance Now is a niche streaming service, and there’s no doubt about it. It doesn’t have that much content, though it has more than some competitors like Apple TV+. Still, we like this streaming service overall.
Why? In a word, quality. Lots of other streaming services require you to filter through tons of schlock before you find something that’s really worth watching. Who hasn’t spent an hour scrolling past shows on Netflix, only to end up watching something mediocre?
That’s not a problem with Sundance Now. Its thoughtful films, engaging shows, and timely and incisive documentaries are always a joy to watch. And with plenty of licensed content from abroad, they have a surprisingly large selection of content to enjoy.
As for the experience of using Sundance Now? It’s fine. It works on most platforms, streaming quality is good, and it has good device support. It’s also affordable compared to some competitors, and remains ad-free, despite the recent shift by many streamers toward free (or cheaper) ad-supported memberships.
For these reasons, Sundance Now is definitely worth checking out. Get a free trial now and try it for seven days — and if you like it, consider sticking around for a while longer. You’re sure to love what you watch.
What is Sundance Now?
Sundance Now can trace its roots to the mid-1990s, when Robert Redford, the founder of the Sundance Film Festival, wanted to broaden access to the independent movies shown at the festival. Sundance Channel was born, and was later renamed SundanceTV in partnership with Showtime.
AMC Networks bought the channel in 2008, and then launched SundanceNow, an on-demand rental service. In 2016, SundanceTV and Sundance Now merged into today’s streaming service. Sundance Now is dedicated to showing “authentic, emotionally moving stories told from unexpected global perspectives.”
It licenses content from domestic and international studios, and Sundance Now also produces its own high-quality original shows and movies. Beginning with the critically-acclaimed dramedy This Close in 2018 and continuing with the popular hit A Discovery of Witches, Sundance Now has established a unique position in the streaming market. It now has more than 35 Original or co-licensed shows.
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Sundance Now 60-second summary
Sundance Now licenses films, documentaries and TV shows that have high production standards and tell compelling stories. It also has a growing lineup of original shows and movies, with recent critically-successful additions including The Suspect, Upright, and This Is Going To Hurt, to name just a few.
Sundance Now offers support for most modern streaming devices including phones, tablets, computers, and most living room streaming devices, too. There’s no limit on simultaneous streams, too, which makes it great for big households.
The content is great, and the quality is good, too. Sundance Now offers both SD and HD video, depending on your connection. A/V enthusiasts beware, though – it doesn’t offer 4K or HDR support.
Minor issues aside, Sundance Now is an excellent choice for people who enjoy its kind of content. Simply put, the service works well, it has lots of great stuff to watch, and it comes in at an affordable price point.
Sundance Now pros and cons
The biggest limitation of Sundance Now — and its biggest strength — is that it does not appeal to everyone. You need to like the specific kind of content Sundance Now streams to even consider subscribing.
It doesn’t quite have the high-profile shows that competitors like Netflix and HBO Max have — like Stranger Things or House of the Dragon. But if you like more niche, indie movies and shows, Sundance Now certainly won’t disappoint.
- High-quality content
- Low monthly and annual fees
- Easy sign-up and cancellation process
- Supports major streaming platforms
- Appeals to a limited audience
- No support for in-app cancellations
Sundance Now plans and pricing
Sundance Now is quite affordable, and you can get a look at its latest prices in the pricing table below. As part of your subscription, you’ll get full access to their ad-free library of content — and you can save a bit of cash with an annual subscription.
7-day free trial
$6.99 / month
Plus 67 series On-demand some originals shows and exclusives
3 simultaneous stream
Overall, we think that Sundance Now comes in at a pretty attractive price point. It’s certainly not going to break the bank, especially when comparable plans from competitors like Netflix cost more than twice as much.
It’s also ad-free. In recent years, competitors like Paramount+ and Peacock have launched low-priced ad-supported tiers, and Netflix will follow suit in late 2022. If you don’t like ads (we sure don’t), the fact that your shows won’t be interrupted by ads is definitely a good thing.
Free trial and renewals
New subscribers get 7 days to give Sundance Now a try. When you register, you must provide your credit card information. As soon as the trial expires, Sundance Now will charge you for the first month or the first year depending on which subscription option you choose. You’ll automatically pay the going rate for a yearly or monthly subscription.
And, unlike many streaming services, Sundance Now is not in the habit of raising its prices every year. The rates the streaming service charges today are the same rates Sundance Now offered when it launched in 2016.
There’s no guarantee they won’t raise prices in the future, but compared to competitors like Netflix (which raised prices three times in the same time period), Sundance Now is starting to look like a bargain.
Beyond the United States, Sundance Now is also available in Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Subscription rates are similar to those in the United States, but will vary depending on exchange rates and the licensing costs of each country’s content catalog.
Sundance Now content library
Sundance Now’s reputation among critics is growing. The streaming service has curated a respected collection of high-quality TV shows, films and documentaries. The Sundance Now series State of the Union earned 2019 Emmy Awards for the two lead actors, as well as the Primetime Emmy for Short Form Comedy or Drama Series.
Below are some of the shows available on Sundance Now.
State of the Union
Every week, Tom (Chris O’Dowd) and Louise (Rosamund Pike) go in for marriage counseling. Before heading into the session, they pop round to the local pub for a drink and to hash out their differences. The ten-minute episodes gradually reveal how the couple got together and what has been forcing them apart.
Set amidst the glamour of the French Côte d’Azur, this crime drama features Julia Stiles as the wife of a billionaire whose murder leads her into the French criminal underworld. Although critics’ reviews were mixed, all complimented the setting and cinematography. Stiles herself relished the chance to play a rising mafiosa.
A Discovery of Witches
This romance-fantasy tells the story of Diana Bishop, an academic who specializes in the history of alchemy. She also comes from a family of witches whose legacy Bishop prefers to deny. While reviewing an ancient manuscript Bishop unlocks a spell that drags her back into the world of witches, demons… and attractive vampires.
Sundance Now stream quality
Sundance Now only supports SD and HD video streams. The app bases its video resolution on the quality of its internet connection. Streaming in 4K resolution or high dynamic range (HDR) video quality is not possible.
If you have a really fancy TV, this may be a bit of a disappointment, but overall, the quality of the sound and picture of Sundance Now is quite good. During Flixed’s review of Sundance Now, the streaming quality was consistent with no video artifacts or audio glitches.
Sundance Now device support
Sundance Now’s portfolio of apps covers the most important streaming TV platforms, but it isn’t as comprehensive as competing streaming services. There is a workaround using Amazon Prime Video, but it imposes other limitations on your Sundance Now experience.
Sundance Now on Roku
Sundance Now is available on Roku, and supports all modern Roku streaming devices, as well as Roku-based smart TVs. You can install it from the Roku Channel Store in just a few clicks, log in, and start streaming.
Sundance Now on Amazon Fire devices
Sundance Now supports Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Tablets, and Amazon Fire-based smart TVs, too. You can install it from the Amazon App Store and start streaming in moments.
Sundance Now on Apple TV
Sundance Now has a great app for Apple TV’s tvOS. You can even subscribe to it directly through the Apple TV Channels subscription feature, if you want.
Sundance Now on iPhones and iPads
Along with support for Apple TV, the Sundance Now app works perfectly on both modern iPhone and iPad devices, though some older models may now be unsupported.
Sundance Now on Android phones and tablets
Sundance Now supports Android phones, tablets, and Android-powered smart TVs. However, reviewers don’t think very highly of it, with many of them complaining about device lag, app freezing, and other such UI problems. If you’re primarily an Android user, subscribe at your own risk!
Sundance Now on smart TVs
Sundance Now does not create dedicated apps for Smart TVs, such as Samsung’s Tizen OS. However, it does support TVs that run the Roku, Amazon Fire, and Android TV platforms, so you should be able to install the app natively on any TV that uses these operating systems.
Sundance Now on desktops and laptops
You can use most modern browsers to stream Sundance Now. Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, Safari — it’s your choice! Just head to their website, log in, and you can start streaming right away. The whole process is pretty seamless.
Sundance Now On Other Platforms
Sundance Now does not support any other streaming platforms. There is another option that will let you watch Sundance Now on other streaming platforms. When you subscribe to the Sundance Now Channel in Amazon Prime Video, you can use Amazon’s app to watch Sundance Now content.
This means that you can watch Sundance TV on devices that are not normally supported by the app, like TiVo, certain smart TVs, and the Xbox or PlayStation gaming consoles.
Sundance Now offline viewing
Offline viewing is a convenient feature when traveling. Many services let you download content to their mobile apps so you can watch videos even when you have no internet connection.
But Sundance Now is not one of those services. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support offline viewing, even though this is a feature that most competing streaming services have added over the last few years. You can’t download shows for later or watch Sundance Now without an internet connection, which is a bit disappointing.
Sundance Now customer support
Sundance Now offers two ways to get help: a knowledge base and direct email support. If your issue is something very specific, like a billing error, then you can open a support ticket by using a form on the company’s support site or emailing support directly.
If you have a more general question, you can try to find the answer in Sundance Now’s Knowledge Base. The articles cover the most frequently asked questions about how to get started, device support, and how to manage your account.
How to cancel Sundance Now
If you’ve looked at the Sundance Now content catalog and decided that these are the kinds of shows you like to watch, then you probably won’t be interested in canceling. But sometimes, like when you’re going on an extended vacation, canceling is necessary.
Fortunately, the process is fairly straightforward. When you enter the Sundance Now website’s My Account page, you’ll find a Membership Settings section. Selecting “Cancel Membership” takes you to a confirmation page where you get to make the final decision.
Keep in mind that this process only works through a desktop or mobile browser. You cannot cancel your Sundance Now subscription through the company’s apps. If you subscribe through one of the apps, you will have to go through that app store to cancel your subscription.
That’s not too hard to to, but is still a little frustrating, since the process for each app store is slightly different.
Sundance Now refund policy
When you cancel your subscription, you do not get a refund of your unused time. That’s not much of a problem with a month-to-month subscription. However, you won’t get a refund if you cancel an annual subscription either. If you aren’t sure which payment term to get, your safest bet is to go month-to-month until you’re absolutely sure the annual plan is worth the risk.
Unlike services like Netflix or Hulu that want to appeal to everybody, Sundance Now is not out to capture all audiences. You have to like the kinds of shows and films Sundance Now curates to even consider subscribing. But if you do, then there’s a lot of value in this niche subscription service.
Minor quibbles include the poorly-updated state of the Sundance Now Knowledge Base and some gaps in device support. However, these issues will not matter to most people. What will matter is the growing number of high-quality original and exclusive titles in Sundance Now’s catalog.
So if you’re interested, give Sundance Now a try. you can get started for free. And if you like what you see, their monthly and yearly subscriptions are affordable enough that you can maintain your membership without putting a hurt on your wallet.
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