Amazon and Netflix are funding their own TV shows and movies to win your favour, and they're betting on star power to do it.
When Netflix show "House of Cards" won a hat-trick of Emmys and Amazon's "Transparent" took home a brace of Golden Globes, it served official notice that some of today's best TV isn't even on TV. As the streaming services vie to win customers, one of their chief tactics is to recruit big names from the movie and TV industries -- so we've run down the megastars who are developing new projects that you'll only be able to see online.
Netflix led the way for original content when it greenlit a political drama that traditional TV networks were too nervous to back, despite the involvement of Hollywood heavyweights Kevin Spacey and David Fincher. Netflix funded "House of Cards" and made it available to subscribers, providing telly addicts with a strong incentive to sign up to the service.
Amazon, Sony's PlayStation Network and Yahoo are also funding their own TV shows as incentives to sign up, while Netflix and Amazon are planning their own feature films too. Spacey and Fincher have been joined by creators such as the Wachoski siblings and Eli Roth, directing stars including Bradley Cooper, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Martin Sheen, Jon Hamm, Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd. Now, even bigger names are being tempted to try streaming as an outlet for their work, including Spike Lee, Baz Luhrman and Steven Soderbergh.
Click through our gallery to meet the megastars soon to be seen on stream:
Movie legend Woody Allen has even been tempted into making his first TV show. And he isn't the only star branching out into new territory: Leonardo DiCaprio is producing a series of documentaries and Bill Murray is bringing a galaxy of stars to a Christmas special.
Angeline Jolie's next directorial outing will be funded and distributed by Netflix, while her husband Brad Pitt is producing and starring in a film for the same service. The director of "Knocked Up" and "Trainwreck" Judd Apatow, is another hot property developing a project with Netflix.
These aren't the only big coups: Amazon snapped up Jeremy Clarkson and the "Top Gear" team when they left the BBC under a cloud. Hot comics including Aziz Ansari and Chelsea Handler are looking to Netflix for their next projects too. And streaming services are also providing an outlet for auteur voices who may have struggled to secure backing in other venues, including Terry Gilliam and Jim Jarmusch.
Streaming is also providing an outlet for old friends to reunite. Michelle Yeoh returns with a sequel to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". Bob Odenkirk and David Cross of "Mr Show" are teaming up again. And Ashton Kutcher is reuniting with "That 70s Show" co-star Danny Masterson in another show.
Netflix is also looking to a global market with its first non-English language projects. Gerard Depardieu will headline Netflix's first French production, while former "Doctor Who" Matt Smith is one of the Brits appearing in UK production "The Crown".
Netflix is available in various countries across the globe and costs $9.99, £9.99 or AU$9.99 per month to watch as many movies and TV shows as you want. Netflix original shows are usually made available globally at the same time. Amazon Instant Video is available in the US for $99 per year, the UK for £79, and in Germany. Other streaming services such as Hulu and Now TV are available, varying by country.