Sunday, August 8, 2021

Cutting the cord, but not the expense

I cut the cord to save money. However, I realize others cut the cord for other reasons. I'm not about to think everyone cut the cord for the same reason I did. But it is the reason I cut. And that colors how I look at others when it comes to how they stream.

There's a study that says a lot of people who cut the cord spend a lot of money on streaming services. Now, I don't know if it's a true reflection, or a manipulation of the data, but spending $85 on average?

Many consumers who dropped their traditional pay TV services are finding that they can still face some hefty monthly bills for OTT services, with new research from Parks Associates reporting that cord-cutters are spending $85 a month on average for OTT services. 

That is roughly $30 less than what they were paying for pay TV services, according to Park’s "Cutters, Nevers, and the Rebundling of Video" research report.

That's a lot of money.I don't understand it. Keep in mind that during most of the year, my streaming cost is $6 for Hulu and $6 for Frndly.TV, which means there is someone spending $158 for every someone spending $12.

Of course, I'm not counting Amazon Prime Video cost because I had that anyway. I've been a Prime subscriber from way back, before there was a Prime Video. So, I'm not counting an existing expense into my cost. If I didn't cut the cord, I'd still have that cost, so it's off the table when it comes to figuring things.

And that's the key to these reports, I suspect. They're counting everything as part of "the cost of cord cutting" even if the cost was unrelated to cord cutting. It's dishonest. So, my cost doesn't include something I had anyway.

And, to me, Netflix is a lot like that. If you already had Netflix before you became a cord cutter, then the cost of Netflix shouldn't be counted. I'm not counting it as an expense because I dropped Netflix some years back. But, even if I still subscribed, I wouldn't count it.

Unless, of course, they are new expenses. If I wasn't a Netflix subscriber, then became one as part of cutting the cord, then yes, it counts. Same with Amazon Prime. But, for pre-existing subscriptions? Nope, it doesn't count.

So, I'm not sure what to think of the report of the average cord cutter spending $85/month on streaming. Maybe so, but I suspect it's inflated with pre-existing subscriptions or costs. Although my motivation for cutting the cord may be clouding my judgement.

Here's the thing, though. Even if it is, so what? If it give the users what they want, and they're happy with the service and the cost, then it's a good thing. Just like if a cable subscriber is happy with the service and the cost, then they're where they need to be.

But, I still suspect the numbers are all distorted. I know my Streaming Life costs nowhere near that much. And I enjoy it immensely.

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