OPINION: Streaming affordability beats cable services

By Andrew Ayala

The stream wars have come with the continual release of multiple streaming services and packages, which try to give consumers more bang for their buck. 

Society has always been on-the-go, but today’s day and age allows people to take technology anywhere, which is what makes streaming services much more convenient than cable.

Currently there are 40 to choose from, all of which have certain shows that are exclusive to that service. 

The fact that consumers have options as to what they want to pay for creates a more personal entertainment library.

Smart customers will pick and choose out of the 40 services to cater to their own viewing habits.

This allows those who don’t care for sports to not pay the additional package or fee that usually comes with cable. It also doesn’t require customers to purchase a movie channels package, when they can buy a subscription from the service directly.

A study from 2018 on advocacy.consumerreports.org says, “the average cable bill in our study costs consumers $217.42 a month.” 

The base price is usually around $150, but cable companies have hidden fees, which is what causes a higher bill. These hidden fees can include installation, modem or router rental, and even something as ridiculous as an HD technology fee.

Streaming services have gotten rid of the middle-man that was cable as well as any hidden fees. If a viewer chooses to purchase all 40 services, the                                                                       price is $353.43 per month. 

There are a few that offer ad-free premium services for a higher price. The average consumer will not require all of them and that price doesn’t count bundles, which include multiple services in a packaged price.

The success of streaming services can be seen in the numbers. A chart on statista.com shows that as of the third quarter in 2019, there are 158.33 million paying Netflix subscribers. 

24-hours after its launch, Disney+ was downloaded 3.2 million times according to apptopia.com, a website dedicated to give statistics and provide analytics.

The fact that these services allow for multiple profiles on one account is also very convenient. This allows people to go half-and-half on a bill or even trade account information like they are Pokemon cards. 

The only downside is that there are services which only allow a certain number of devices to watch at once. 

Netflix, for example, allows up to six devices to be registered to an account and only two movies or shows to be streamed at once. There is an option to upgrade so that four movies or shows can be streamed on different devices at once.

I pay $34.95 per month for Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Crunchyroll, Spotify, Showtime and Hulu. Each service costs around seven dollars except Showtime, Spotify and Hulu, which come in a student bundle for $4.99 a month. This has been the most affordable option as a student.

Students should take advantage of the bundles because these deals allow them to enjoy their favorite shows, movies and songs while paying a fraction of the price.

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