Stream smarter, not harder

Hannah Holliday | Cartoonist

Video streaming services are at an all-time high. Cable has transitioned into adding Netflix, which has transitioned into adding one, two, three or maybe even more new subscription-based services. Although options can be nice to have, what some have dubbed the “streaming war” can make it difficult for consumers to know which purchases are worth it and which aren’t.

The overall idea of streaming services is great — for just a small monthly fee, subscribers have access to a wide variety of content that would have cost a large amount if purchased individually. Although investing in these services can be cost-effective, subscribing to every streaming service can quickly add up if we’re not careful. We need to think before we stream.

As time moves forward, a variety of options are joining the competition and are working to claim popular shows to attract potential subscribers — along with Netflix, there is also Disney +, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, NBC Peacock, CBS All Access, Apple TV+ and potentially more in the future.

It’s important to look into what shows each platform will be acquiring and decide whether a full subscription purchase is worth it. For example, NBC Peacock will likely acquire The Office for its new platform, but if The Office is the only show on the service that you are interested in, it’s probably not worth the monthly purchase.

With new streaming services on the rise, existing shows are being acquired by new platforms, and each service is working to produce its own original content. Before deciding to purchase a streaming service, check its projected shows going into 2020 and even 2021 to make the most informed decision.

Thinking before streaming is also important because paying a monthly fee makes the cost to stream seem incredibly low. Although this is true for the amount of content one is receiving, prices quickly add up when purchasing more than one service, and the overall cost can get out of hand. Paying $6.99 a month for a service is reasonable, but doing this for four services totals to $30 a month, which can be a big difference when calculating in other necessary items like food, gas and big purchases like tuition or extracurricular participation dues.

Additionally, some services are offering bundle packages for a slightly higher amount, which can seem like a great deal. Although it is if one truly uses each service paid for, these packages will just be additional money wasted if not fully considered. If you know you would get use out of Disney +, ESPN + and Hulu, then spending closer to $12 for all as opposed to around $7 each makes sense, but only making the purchase because it is a bundle is something that needs to be considered.

Overall, streaming is great. Consumers get a whole lot for their money and are able to access a variety of content for a small monthly fee. However, with the rise of new platforms, give thought to which services are worth the money and which you would actually use on a regular basis. Don’t stream mindlessly.