A Guide to History Hit TV: The Netflix for History Buffs
Netflix offers a solid selection of historical documentaries and dramas. However, if you’re a history buff looking for a larger selection of shows, you should check out History Hit TV.
History Hit TV is a streaming service that’s packed full of historical documentaries and dramas. They cover an impressive number of time periods, cultures, and locations.
This article offers an introduction to History Hit TV, which we’re calling “the Netflix for history buffs.”
What Is History Hit TV?
History Hit TV is a video streaming service that focuses on history shows and series. The service went live in 2018 following a successful crowdfunding appeal on Indiegogo.
It is the brainchild of the British historian, Dan Snow, and his team. History fanatics will probably recognize Snow’s name—he’s responsible for the excellent History Hit podcast and has fronted history shows on the BBC, PBS, National Geographic, and the History Network. He also does live shows on tour.
Importantly, History Hit TV invests 10 percent of its profits back into various history education projects around the world.
Who Can Watch History Hit TV?
Anyone can sign up for and watch History Hit TV. There are no regional restrictions or country restrictions regarding availability.
How Much Does History Hit TV Cost?
History Hit TV offers two subscription packages—monthly and annual. History Hit TV costs $4.99/month or $49.99/year.
Paying annually effectively provides you with two free months per year, but there are no refunds if you want to cancel midway through the billing period.
There is no restriction on the number of videos you can watch on either of the two plans and both plans offer a 30-day free trial when you sign up as a new user.
Where Can You Watch History Hit TV?
It is in development now. @HistoryHit is working on it asap. Defo before the summer…. Thanks so much for the support.
— Dan Snow (@thehistoryguy) January 22, 2018
Unsurprisingly, there are lots of ways to watch History Hit TV. Apps are available on Android, iOS, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire. There’s also a full-featured web app. A Roku app is currently under development.
What Content Is Available on History Hit TV?
This is the million-dollar question. Which videos are on the service for you to watch? After all, if the content isn’t up to standard, the eye-catching premise of the app is worthless.
Thankfully, the scope of content is excellent. You’ll find TV series, documentaries, short films, full-length films, live shows, and even coverage of history festivals. There’s also some audio-only content.
Most of the TV shows and documentaries are fronted by well-known TV historians such as Neil Oliver, Jason Kingsley, Bettany Hughes, Andrew White, and Dan Snow himself.
The developers have designed the app to make it easy to find new videos to watch. There are three broad categories under which the content is available: Timeline, Collections, and Series.
Within the Timeline section, you can choose from Ancient and Classical, Middle Ages, Early Modern, Age of Revolution, Victorian, Twentieth Century, and Information Age.
The service splits Collections across categories such as Military History, Historical Drama, and Social and Cultural.
As the name suggests, Series shows specific series in alphabetical order.
Parents will also love the app due to its extensive list of educational videos. The content is subdivided into Key Stage Three, Key Stage Four, and Key Stage Five for straightforward navigation.
History Hit TV offers a surprisingly large amount of original content—there are at least 100 shows available. You can find them in the History Hit Originals collection.
Like all of the video content on History Hit TV, the subject matter of the Originals is diverse. Example show titles include “A Nation in Shock: The Assassination of JFK,” “Saving Timbuktu’s Manuscripts,” and “The Silk Roads: Changing Perspectives”.
Some of the original content are just one-off episodes, while others are mini-series. You can even find short, sub-five-minute videos in the History Hit series. They are perfect for playing if you don’t want to get too involved with a long and complex series.
Are There Any Downsides to History Hit TV?
History Hit TV is undoubtedly a welcome addition to the media streaming landscape. However, while it will serve history buffs well, it isn’t perfect.
Most notably, non-original content is only available on the service for a short amount of time. Sure, it’s a similar approach to that taken by apps like Netflix, but because the library of content on History Hit TV is significantly smaller than on the likes of Netflix, it’s more noticeable.
The upshot of the high rate of turnover is that if you see something you’d like to watch, don’t put off watching it for too long, as it might disappear again quickly.
Presumably, due to the costs of licensing content, you’re also not going to find much content from networks like BBC and the History Channel. That’s not necessarily a bad thing—History Hit TV shines a light on shows you might otherwise have missed—but it’s definitely something that you need to be aware of.
Note: Check out some of the best BBC documentaries on Netflix if you still can’t find something to watch.
Do You Need Another Streaming Service?
Look, we get it, people are starting to suffer from streaming service fatigue.
The fragmentation of Netflix’s once industry-leading catalog into multiple different services such as Disney+ is making cord-cutting much less attractive.
But History Hit TV is different. Much like Primephonic (a music streaming service that offers classical music ), it’s a niche product that appeals to a narrower spectrum of history enthusiasts.
History Hit’s CEO Tom Clifford accepted this in a statement when History Hit TV launched:
“Our fans are hungry for unrivaled access to history content anytime, anywhere and on a number of devices.”
And remember, because you are not necessarily stuck in a contract, you can dip in and out as you please, subscribing for a month of access at a time.
Other Ways to Get Your History Fix
To summarize, History Hit TV is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn about the past. But it is not the only way for history-fanatics to get a regular dose of new content.