How to Start Saving Money on Streaming Services Now
Between the upcoming rollout of Netflix Account Sharing Fees and a wave of streaming service price increases, it can feel like a luxury to stream. If you add up the costs for each platform, you might find that you’re spending $500 or more per year. But you don’t have to strain your wallet.
Let’s say you’re subscribed to several streaming platforms, you watch one or two of them until your favorite series ends its season, and then you look for the next one. But is it worth keeping all those accounts active if you don’t see anything on them? I don’t believe.
Take a look at this budget-conscious strategy that can save you money on your streaming TV spend.
Rotate your streaming subscriptions
For cord cutter, switching from cable to streaming can be a smart financial move. Since you can sign up for monthly plans, it’s easy to hop on and off a streaming service when prices go up or the content gets boring. But according to Deloitte’s 2022 media trends report, the top reasons people are canceling their streaming subscriptions are cost and a lack of fresh content. Media companies call this behavior “churn”. We call this the rotation method and you should try it.
The incentive? You’ll save your coin and avoid content droughts. Let’s say a popular show like Teddy Lasso or The Masked Singer premieres on a streaming service. Find the total number of episodes and wait until they are all available on one platform at the same time. You cancel Apple TV Plus, Hulu, Disney Plus, or another service and resubscribe once all episodes are available to catch up. Alternatively, you can start streaming a show mid-season to save on costs. My monthly guide which streaming services to cancel can help you keep up.
The disadvantage? You don’t have instant access to every show you want to watch and have to wait for the entire season to air. And with many streaming services releasing new episodes weekly, you might not be caught up at the same time as your friends. If you’re someone who prefers to watch episodes as soon as they drop, you may decide it’s worth having multiple subscriptions at once. However, if you are patient, you can save some money.
The strategy can also work if you a Live TV streaming service to watch a specific sport or major event, such as March madness. Cancel service after the season ends, or switch to a cheaper platform with fewer channels like Sling TV.
Need help figuring out the best way to rotate? Follow the tips below to learn how to switch streaming platforms until your wallet feels happy.
Tip #1: Cancel your subscription before it’s charged
Set calendar reminders for your billing cycle and upcoming TV show or movie release dates. Give yourself enough advance notice to start or end a subscription. Apps like e.g JustWatch, TV Time and Hobi help you track when and where TV shows and movies appear on a streaming service. And JustWatch added a tracker specifically for sports. If you have a Google or Amazon smart home device, you can set reminders for specific dates and have a voice assistant like Alexa notify you about an upcoming bill or the release date of a stream.
Tip #2: Sign up for streaming service plans
Seek Discounts on streaming Services. For example, Starz is now $3 per month for three months, a drop from the regular $9 per month. You can also take advantage of the Disney Bundle, which offers access to Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus in a single package at a discounted price. And eligible Hulu subscribers can add Disney Plus for $2. Lastly, check with your wireless service provider to see which providers offer free streaming subscriptions.
Tip #3: Pick a standard streaming service or two
Subscribe to one or two must-have services for the year and choose just one or two other options that fit your monthly budget. Rotate bonus services according to what you want to watch and make sure you don’t miss your favorite shows while sticking to your monthly spending cap.
Tip #4: Only use monthly billing
Avoid annual subscriptions and be careful with your auto-renewal payment details. Your billing cycle can help you determine when is the best time to stop a service, even if you’ve only signed up for a free trial. The only benefit of signing up for an annual plan is that the price is drastically reduced.
Tip #5: Don’t cancel your subscription, pause it
Hulu enables you Pause your subscription for up to 12 weeks, and Sling has a similar option with conditions. Check with your streaming provider if you can take a temporary break without canceling.
Give it a try and if you don’t like it, you can always subscribe again. For more excellent tips on how to stream TV, check out this guide Netflix’s hidden tricks and our tips for best VPNs.
The best TV and streaming shows of 2023 you can’t miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more
View all photos