Sunday, November 27, 2022

Subscribing one month at a time

I've mentioned before about my way of subscribing to streaming services. It's a very cost-effective way of watching the content I want to watch.

Now, first a few things that I do that you may not do. Or, more accurately, some things you do that I may not do.

First, I don't subscribe to a cable-like service. Examples of what I'm talking about are:

  • Frndly TV
  • Philo
  • Sling TV
  • Vidgo
  • YouTube TV
  • Hulu+Live TV
  • Fubo TV
  • DirecTV Stream

Those run from $7/month (Frndly TV, with lots of family friendly content), to $25/month (Philo, which has no news or sports channels), to $40/month (Sling TV, which is the cheapest with news and sports channels), up to DirecTV Stream (starts at $70/month).

Some people just have to have their cable channels. I don't. So, I'm not paying for those services.

Full disclosure: With me, there are actually two exceptions to this. During college football season, I'll subscribe to a service that has the channels I want. Generally, that's Sling TV for ESPN. This year, when Disney temporarily pulled ESPN from Sling TV, I switched to YouTube TV. But generally, Sling TV (now $40/month after Disney got a price increase for their channels) is my go-to service.

I do generally keep a subscription to Frndly TV. I was dropping it earlier this year as part of a subscription cleanup, but a bargain happened at that time and I did another year for a good price. It ends in the spring.

So, I don't (normally) have a subscription to one of those cable-like services. When I subscribe to something, it's one of the on-demand services. Here are the ones I normally use:

  • AMC+
  • Apple TV+
  • BritBox
  • Discovery+
  • Disney+
  • ESPN+
  • HBO Max
  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • Paramount+
  • Showtime
  • Starz
I would add Peacock to the list, but it's free for me with Xfinity Internet. If I had to pay for it, I would through it into the mix. I could add Paramount+ to that as well, as I'm currently a Walmart+ member, and the $5/month Paramount+ is included. However, I will usually do the $10/month Paramount+ when I do that service.

I'll sometimes subscribe to the Disney Bundle, which has Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+. And sometimes I'll do the Paramount Bundle, which is Paramount+ and Showtime.

I'll subscribe to just one service for a month -- sometimes one of the bundles, meaning two or three services -- and then cancel at the end of the period. The next month, I'll do a different service. Over the year, I cover all of the services at least once, and sometimes more, depending on things. I keep my budget at $15/month, so if a service is less, I can subscribe to more than one service.

So, for a lot less money than most people pay, I can watch all of those services during the year, catching up with a binge weekend or two if necessary.

If you want to watch content from many different services, there are ways to keep the costs down, and still include the content in your Streaming Life.

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