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niconico Free Review: How can I watch for free? (Updated 2022)

If you're looking for a great source of free videos, Niconico is easily one of the most popular out there. With hundreds of millions of registered users, it's a huge site that can be relied on for tons of content. So if you're interested in anime, manga, gaming, and everything else related to Japan culture, Niconico is definitely worth checking out! I've got a full review up today so make sure to read it!


Nicole Sommer
Last updated: Monday, 02.October 2023
Author Biography
Hello. My name is Nicole Sommer. I am a big soccer enthusiast and do a lot of reserach around the easiest way to watch soccer on TV and online across the whole globe.
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Ever since YouTube came out many years ago, other video streaming services have been trying to find ways to do it better and take its spot as the most popular and widely used free video streaming site on the web. So far, however, no service has been able to unseate YouTube. It is still, by a huge margin, the most popular and widely used free video streaming site on the web. It has the largest community of users (with billions of them) and, thus, is still the site with the highest number of videos on the web.
That doesn't mean that there isn't room for another video streaming site to rise up and take YouTube's spot, though. People, it seems, are becoming increasingly fed up with YouTube. There are a number of issues that people have with the site, most of which YouTube appears not interested in changing in the slightest. The ads, for instance, have grown increasingly frequent and obnoxious on YouTube over the years. People have been quite vocal about how annoying they find this, but YouTube has not throttled them at all. In fact, if anything, the ads on YouTube have only become more prominent since the outrage.
Second, people have been critical of YouTube for years for how their platform censors content. Yes, I'm not just talking about the fact that they don't let any adult content on the platform, this has to do with their policy of demonetizing channels and videos that happen to express beliefs that differ from those of YouTube. That means if someone publishes a video stating a political belief, say, that YouTube doesn't like, they can just demonetize that video, make it so that the user can no longer earn money on the site, or, in the most extreme cases, simply take the video down.
This has happened numerous times in the past few years, most famously with YouTube's decision to demonetize Joe Rogan for something he said on his podcast. In place of issuing a statement about their disagreement with what he said, YouTube simply demonetized his channel. This is a rather draconian policy, don't you think? Especially considering the fact that Joe Rogan wasn't even expressing a hateful, racist, or particularly hurtful belief.
Over the last decade or so, there has been an influx of numerous competitor sites gunning for YouTube's user numbers. Nobody has been successful in dethroning YouTube, but the good news is that, if you are sick of YouTube, there are plenty of alternative sites out there for you to check out. These alternative sites offer a slightly different type of content, so you can find whatever you're looking for!
If you're looking for a new streaming site to get your entertainment fix, check out Daily Motion, Vimeo, Meta Café, or D Tube. These sites offer a variety of different content and are less reliant on ads than You Tube.
Let's learn more about Niconico today, the most popular site in Japan. It has a large collection of recorded and live videos, making it a great source of news, live TV, anime, manga, gaming, and other fun videos.


Niconico, a video streaming service, used to get its videos from YouTube. However, as Niconico grew larger, YouTube began to experience the strain of increased bandwidth and traffic that Niconico was putting on them. This resulted in YouTube blocking access to Niconico. The site ceased operations almost immediately.
But, two weeks later, niconico was back up and running on its own video server, and on May 7th 2007, niconico announced that it would be releasing the mobile version of the service. The mobile version of Niconico Douga has been available on NTT DoCoMo and Au devices since August 9th, 2007.
Niconico quickly became a leading video streaming site in the world. As of October 31st, 2011, it had nearly 24 million registered users and 6.9 million mobile users. In 2012, the site unveiled its ?Zero? update, which significantly increased video quality, streaming speeds, and other upgrades. Since then niconico has also been made available on the Nintendo Switch in Japan, making it the Switch's first third-party app available in its app store.


There are certainly plenty of poorly designed video streaming sites out there. I don't think it fair to say that niconico is poorly designed. I think it would be more accurate to say that the design of this site just isn't for me. It's kind of cluttered, sprawling, and difficult to navigate. I have trouble figuring out the logic of the user experience as you scroll down the page - the section sequences don't seem to make a lot of sense to me, but maybe that's just me.
The site menu bar, which is thin and stylish, makes things a little bit easier. Here, you can browse the site by Videos, Images, Live, Channels, Blomaga, RPG, Apps, and More. I suppose I would like it if these sections also materialized on the home page more clearly, so that I could quickly browse each one.


It really just depends on what kind of content you like to stream! If you love manga, anime, gaming videos, etc., then there is a good chance that you will love all that is available on niconico. There is also some kind of cool live video experience to enjoy on niconico, which is another added bonus. So if you're looking for something new and unique to watch, check out niconico!
There's a lot of great content on niconico, and most of it is also available in high definition. Obviously, this depends more on the uploader than the site itself, but fortunately most of it is free.

Mobile and Desktop Experience

Honestly, I think the mobile app is where niconico really shines. The whole platform feels like it was made specifically for mobile devices, with all videos conveniently archived and featured by category and recent uploads.
The app has a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 on the Apple App Store, and it looks great. My only real issue with the app is that it only comes in Japanese, with no option to switch to other languages. Unless you speak and read Japanese, you will not be able to use this app.

Pricing and Plans

Although it is completely free to use niconico, they do offer a premium version of the service. For 550 yen a month or 6,600 per year, niconico Premium members get an ad-free experience, the ability to live stream their own broadcasts, and additional MyList slots (about twice as many videos can be archived into playlists for premium users).

Suggestions that I have for niconico

I think niconico should start expanding more to a global audience. They have the numbers, community size, and servers (it seems) to do so. I would love to see what niconico would look like if it expanded beyond the borders of Japan a little more. Make the app available in additional languages, start to expand into the European and American markets a little. Other than that, I think niconico has a pretty great video streaming service here, especially for Japan.
Nicole Sommer
Nicole Sommer is a true soccer fan and loyal supporter of FC Arsenal and 1.FC Köln. She plays actively her self as central forward in the women's aquad of TuS Köln in Germany. In her spare time she spends a lot of time online including researching the soccer streaming space. Her research has been published in several online soccer magazines.
Fastest livescore
  • ✓ Fastest goal alarm
  • ✓ Most leagues
  • ✓ Fast scorers info
  • ✓ Quota integration
Other Websites
  • — No livescore
  • — Long delay to the goal alarm
  • — No player info
  • — No odds
Best soccer videos
  • ✓ Instant goal stories
  • ✓ International transfers
  • ✓ Summary videos
  • ✓ All livestreams at a glance
Other Websites
  • — No goal videos
  • — Local TV channels only
  • — No summaries
  • — Often illegal streams
Compact stats
  • ✓ All constellations
  • ✓ Real time game statistics
  • ✓ Live tables
  • ✓ Football predictions
Other Websites
  • — No exhibitions
  • — No player infos
  • — Obsolete tables
  • — Not suitable for betting

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niconico Free Review: How can I watch for free? (Updated 2022).

If you're looking for a great source of free videos, Niconico is easily one of the most popular out there. With hundreds of millions of registered users, it's a huge site that can be relied on for tons of content. So if you're interested in anime, manga, gaming, and everything else related to Japan culture, Niconico is definitely worth checking out! I've got a full review up today so make sure to read it!

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