What The Tech: Netflix and It’s Streaming Services
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — If you cut the cable or satellite cord a few years ago to save money, you’re not saving as much as you did initially. In January Netflix bumped subscriptions to $10 a month for 1 screen and $20 if more than one person wants to watch on other screens.
Netflix isn’t the only streaming company raising prices. When the pandemic began, YouTubeTV was $50 a month. It’s now $65. Hulu plus Live TV raised its price to $70 a month, but that includes the additions of Disney+ and ESPN+ to the package.
Earlier this year Amazon increased the price of Amazon Prime which includes its streaming video service, to $140 a year. Those are not the bargain they once were.
Some streaming services are more affordable. Disney+ is still $8/month and that service continues to grow its subscriber base with over 100-million paying customers. There’s more competition today than a couple of years ago. HBO Max is $10 a month for multiple screens and Apple TV, which just won a Best Picture Oscar, is $5 a month.
If you combine a live TV package, and a few of those extra services, the monthly cost for all of that content is around $90 a month, not counting the Amazon Prime Subscription cost. And you’ll still need to pay for the internet in order to get those streaming services.
You can save money by “churning”. That’s unsubscribing to one or more services and binging the movies, shows, and special events on another. When you’re finished with Ozark or Stranger Things on Netflix for example, unsubscribe and switch to HBO Max or Hulu for a few months.
Watch the special series on those services, then cancel and switch back to Netflix when the next season of your favorite show comes back around. Since none of the streaming services require a contract, you can subscribe and unsubscribe as often as you’d like. Netflix plans to stop subscribers from sharing their login information with others and will likely offer an advertiser-supported tier at a lower cost sometime in the next year.
But you have to wonder, how soon will the cost of streaming be as much as the cable subscriptions millions of TV watchers paid before cutting the cord. You can save a lot of money with an antenna to pick up local live channels and stream movies and shows on free streaming services such as Tubi, Pluto TV, IMDB, and The Roku Channel