Take one look at all of the different streaming apps and services available on the Play Store, and your head might begin to spin. All of these apps offer the ability to watch your favorite movies or stream your TV shows from pretty much everywhere. But the truth is that just about all of them are after one thing – your money.
That’s not to say that there aren’t streaming services available that just provide content, but you usually have to deal with ads to varying degrees of annoyance. Slowly but surely, there are more apps becoming available that put the content first and foremost, without ads hiding content, and implementing new and refreshing experiences. This also applies to Christian apps that are trying innovative approaches in the pay they deliver media to our mobile devices.
The Chosen: Jesus Christ Story is one of those new apps, which combines a few different neat and useful integrations that we haven’t seen elsewhere. As the name suggests, the app acts as a platform for you to watch The Chosen, which is an independently-funded television series. The series launched back in 2017, and has gained much acclaim as this is touted as “The #1 Crowd-Funded Media Project of All Time.” This is a bold claim, but the truth is that we don’t really see all that many shows and movies with crowd-funding providing the means for production.
If you want to check it out, the app itself is completely free and is available on both iOS and Android. Currently, the Android version has a Play Store rating of 4.9-stars with more than 63,000 reviews. That’s pretty impressive as it is, considering that one wrong move could spell the end of any Android app.
Loading up the app for the first time presents a slide show, sharing what you can expect to find when using this. After that, you’ll be taken to the main screen, where the second season is highlighted, but there are tabs at the top, where you can switch between the first and second seasons, along with the extra commentaries that have been added. The developers even threw in a view counter at the top of the app, along with a share button if you want to share the show and the app with friends and family.
At the bottom, you’ll find a few different tabs:
- Gift Factory
- Pay It Forward
- Thank Yous
From the Watch tab, tap on any episode, and you’ll be able to start as fast as your internet connection allows for. But instead of immediately turning your phone horizontally (like you normally would when watching content), just leave it in vertical mode for a moment. This is where you see the uniqueness of The Chosen’s app. Next to the “About” section, there’s a “Comments” section where you can have meaningful discussions with others who are watching the same episode that you are.
For the two series premieres, The Chosen displayed the shows in a live stream capacity, opening the floor for you to share your thoughts about the show as it happened. Being able to comment and have conversations with others who are watching the same show as you, at the same time, is pretty incredible. Of course, this isn’t anything new, as it’s not much different than the likes of YouTube Live Streams or Twitch, but it’s still pretty great to see this implemented in an app that you wouldn’t expect to see.
You can download episodes directly to your device in order to watch them whenever you have the time and don’t want to worry about eating up your monthly data limits. The Pay It Forward button under each show and in the bottom toolbar takes you to the crowd-funding portion of the app. From here, you can make a single donation, or subscribe for a monthly donation in an effort to help crowd-fund the next season. Currently, the company is attempting to secure funding for the third season of The Chosen, which, at the time of this writing, sits at 82% funded with two days left.
And while you may be rolling your eyes about this, it’s important to remember that you aren’t forced to actually back the project. The buttons are placed as such so you can donate if you want to. But if you just want to enjoy the show and ignore everything else, that’s possible too. Oh, and if you get tired of watching it on your phone or tablet, then you can take advantage of the Cast button found in the top right corner.
When you look at the show’s information on IMDB, you’ll see similar ratings with the show, on the whole, garnering a 9.7/10 rating with more than 14,000 reviews. The Chosen has completed its second season, with eight almost hour-long episodes per season, providing plenty of content if you get hooked on the story.
The show is currently in the funding process for the second episode of the third season. As we stated previously, the makers have raised about 82% of funding for the episode at the time of this writing, raising more than $1.5 million across more than 127,000 different users. Even if you aren’t the religious type, it’s interesting to see the popularity of The Chosen, as it continues to rise while winning the Grace Award for “Most Inspiring Performance in Television”, along with being nominated for the Most Inspiring TV Program from Epiphany Prize.
Taking a look at the cast, and you’ll likely see some recognizable faces. Jonathan Roumie has been seen in different shows and movies highlighted by Ballers and Chicago Med, along with many others. Another recognizable face is Erick Avari who plays Nicodemus in the first season of The Chosen. Avari has been in a wide array of movies over the years, including Planet of the Apes, The Mummy, and Mr. Deeds.
It shouldn’t come as too much surprise that we don’t have a “star-studded” cast, but the truth is that you don’t need that in order to tell the story of Christ. As someone who is not all that religious, I was captivated by the first episode, and can’t wait to watch the rest of season 1 before diving into season 2.