Magic Stream, The Future of Magic Learning - Platform Review

I've had full access to Magic Stream for the last 3 months and have given it a thorough use. I want to share my experience with you in case you're wondering whether you should sign up for the platform yourself, or to compare notes if you already have had a chance to play with it.

As with all of my reviews, I share the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's important to note that this is all 100% my opinion and yours may differ. Either way, if you have questions about anything, please feel free to reach out.

What is Magic Stream?

If the name of the platform isn't a big enough hint, the easiest summary is that Magic Stream is a website where you can watch magic tutorials.

It's not a site where you can go and buy tutorials individually. Instead, you buy a subscription to the site and then have full access to their entire catalog, which is hundreds of tutorials!

Where to sign up?

It's pretty easy to sign-up directly on Magic Stream, or on Ellusionist's website. Click below to get started:

Sign up for Magic Stream

The subscription model allows you to either buy monthly subscription, or sign up for a whole year. The year-subscription has a pretty good discount on it, so you end up paying for only about 10 months.

And just a note, by clicking that button above -- or by using the code BABBITS10 at checkout on Ellusionist -- you'll actually score 10% off your subscription!

Magic Stream Review

To review Magic Stream, or to review anything, is to provide an opinion of "the thing" by judging it against a set of standards. These standards can be personal, or set by the broader community or industry, but they are standards nonetheless. This platform is, at the bare minimum, a "video streaming platform", so I asked myself... "on what points do you rate a video streaming platform?"

The content, obviously, is the biggest thing to judge. I have a section dedicated below to going over the content in Magic Stream, but a quick summary would be to say that there is a wide variety of tricks, suitable for beginners to experts, and the average quality is really good.

The pricing and value of the content, another data point to consider, is where personal opinion comes into the mix. What I find a good value, well, the next person might think it's way more affordable. Or, not. Given the content that is currently on the platform, and the amount of time that I have to actually sit down, watch, and practice magic, the annual subscription (which currently sits around $100) is a steal. There's no chance I can go through all of the content that I would be interested in, while giving time to actually learn and practice the tricks, in that amount of time. And if I go to purchase each of the tricks individually, yeah no, $100 for all of this is beyond worth it in the magic world.

After the above, the website itself is what we'd need to review. I do say "website", and I probably should've clarified this earlier, but they don't really have a mobile app experience. There is an Android app (low rated), but I didn't find one for iOS. I only used the website, on my computer, so that's all I'm really discussing in this write-up. And, after speaking with them, they're mainly focused on the website experience anyways -- which works in my favor!

We don't need to dive into too much on this since y'all know what you like and don't like from websites, but here's an overview of my impressions about:

  • The user experience of Magic Stream is okay. If you're looking for a specific magic trick and don't know the name of it, it might take you a minute. If you're just browsing, or know exactly what you're after, it's easy-peasy. The video interface is really good too. I have a few "feature requests" (below) that would make this jump from "okay" to "great" though.

  • The features of the site are, well, as expected. The purpose of it is to stream magic videos, and that's what it does. It's missing a "related videos" type of thing, and the community aspect (more on that below) is lacking, but neither of those have stopped me from using the site to watch videos.

Overall, it's an online video streaming platform that's catered to delivering magic videos. It's affordable, they're adding new content fairly regularly, and it's easy to use.

The "Content"

The content, or more specifically the collections of videos, available on Magic Stream are easy to review. They're great. That's all that needs to be said.

Ok, perhaps I should expand...

At the time of this writing, as far as I am able to count, there are just over 300 collections available. A "collection" can be one or more videos for a specific trick, like Latch by Geraint Clarke or Surface by Daniel Madison. The videos are often separated into parts, such as a performance video, history, one or more how-to instruction videos, and credits. Based on the trick itself and the magician(s) teaching, the videos can be quick and to the point or extended and verbose.

They have several categories for tricks from cards to coins, mentalism and street magic, things that are more advanced and others suited for beginners. I don't know the full list of magicians that have contributions, but it's a lot.

After speaking with the support staff, I learned that they don't have a set schedule for new content, but they do still add content regularly. They put a focus on quality over quantity, and this was due to their initial attempt at promising consistently regular additions that forced lower-quality videos. Given that their library is so extensive as it is, I don't see this leading to a consumption issue in the least bit, and I would personally prefer quality tricks over mass-produced fodder.

The statement above, about their initial "let's add a lot of videos" emphasis, does mean that some of the older videos can be lower in quality. Honestly, I only noticed it in one video about how to make a specific gaff (the camera angle wasn't the best), but even that wasn't terrible.

I don't know which, if any, of the tricks on Magic Stream are exclusive. I do know that several of them are things that you can purchase on Ellusionist... because I have purchased them.

Some tricks on the site require gaffs or some other "thing" that you would need to buy -- which feels like a ballsy move in my opinion. It's like walking into a magic shop and the guy behind the counter first demos the trick, then shows how it works. Before you buy it. If you're familiar with how cheap some magic tricks feel once you buy them -- what I call "magician's buyer's regret" -- then you'll likely know more tricks would end up not being purchased this way. It would need to be a quality trick, something I can't easily make myself, to move me from watching the "how to" to jumping to another site to buy the thing.


And it's already happened twice so far!

I'm not going to review the actual "tricks" themselves in this post (or at all on this site, if I haven't purchased the actual trick individually), but I will mention that a couple of them are "meh" while others have grabbed my attention fully. I missed half a day of work last week for Fade by Chris Mayhew and have been practicing sleights for it daily ever since.

Again, with over 300 tricks available across a wide range of magic, you're going to find a ton of things you're interested in.

The "Community"

The community features of Magic Stream come in the form of a forum where community members can ask and answer questions, and then the form of being able to comment on individual tutorials. I think that both have their own merit, but neither are done very well on this platform.

I have no idea what the member-size of the actual community is. There could be a dozen people, a few hundred, or thousands. More, less, I have no clue. But if the activity of the community forum is an accurate indication, I would say it's closer to a dozen. There aren't a whole lot of posts from people and the ones that are there are weeks, if not months, apart. Some of the posts have replies, some don't. Standard forum I guess. Except, there's only a single "general" category. No separation for card magic, coins, mentalism, etc. There also isn't any promotion of using the forum, or links to it from anywhere else. Really, it's just a place you might stumble across.

Personally, I would have really expected Ellusionist to use this to push their Discord server here instead of implementing a built-in mini forum. There's probably even a Discord plugin or widget where they could embed it directly into the site.

On the tutorial commenting front, the comments there make the videos feel like Instagram posts. Not like YouTube, just Instagram. The comments are almost always super short. Yes, some are ridiculously long, but the majority of ones I've seen are akin to "this is great 🔥" or "not worth the money, don't buy this trick 👎". I've seen a handful of the latter type, which I found to be odd since the tutorial's free and buying the trick just gets you the tutorial (which you already have) and maybe a PDF that you could've made yourself. None of the comments, or the way users are commenting, are the platform's fault -- it's human nature.

However, Ellusionist could attempt to lead the comments into something more constructive by changing the placeholder text from "Write a comment on this collection" to something like:

Ask questions to get tips from the community, or share your suggestions for handling or ideas for alternate performance techniques!

Sure, folks could always still say "Cool tutorial💪💪", but with a better lead prompt, they'd be more likely to post something useful instead.

Feature Wishlist

Magic Stream launched, officially, in April 2017. I don't know how far it has evolved in that time though. Did it launch with all of the features it currently has, or have they continued making updates? Either way, I have a list of feature-desires when it comes to the site. Things that would bump up the user experience and overall quality of the platform.

  • The ability to add videos to a Watch Later playlist.
  • Closed Captions!
  • Links to where to buy the product the tutorial's for, if applicable.
  • An indicator that lets you know a specific tutorial is for a product that is no longer available.
  • An indicator that I have watched a specific video or collection.
  • A "light mode" version of the site. The high-contrast white text on black background kills my eyes.
  • A "related videos" or "recommended for you" feature, which is pretty common in video platforms these days.

There isn't a "feature request" ... feature, but they do have a Contact Us form. I used it to submit the above list to them and they got back to me pretty quickly and mentioned that they do have a few things on their roadmap, so that's a plus!


One thing I didn't do in this review is to compare Magic Stream to competitors; or, "other magic streaming platforms." There are several, but I don't think that that comparison fits into this specific review. I will -- and have already started -- writing a post to give overviews and comparisons of several though. If you know of any other platforms too, please let me know about them so I can make sure to include them!

But yeah, Magic Stream.

Is it really The Future of Learning Magic? I can't say. However, I can say that at present, it's the way that I'm learning magic.

If you don't already subscribe, I recommend giving it a shot. Heck, by not buying a single deck of cards this month you can get a month's subscription and check it out. If you want to save more in the long-run though, my personal suggestion is the annual subscription. Either way, check it out:

Sign up for Magic Stream

On that note, I'm going to go find a new trick to learn!

Share This!

Previous Post Next Post