Thursday, May 4, 2023

Picking a streaming service

There are multiple of different ways to pick streaming services. My way isn't the way most people do it, because there is some work involved, and many people would rather pay more and work less. And if the money saved by the extra work isn't worth it to them, then my way isn't for them.

First, let's clarify what I'm talking about. I'm referring to streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Apple TV+, Paramount+, Peacock, Starz, AMC+, and the like. I'm not talking about the cable-like services such as YouTube TV, Fubo, Sling TV, and so forth.

I'm talking about the (mostly) on-demand services, not the (mostly) live/linear services.

So, what I do is pick one, subscribe to it for a month, then at the end of the 30-day subscription cancel the service. During the 30 days of the subscription, I'll binge the service. At the beginning of the next month, I pick a different one and focus on that one. The next month, a different one. And so on and so forth. Over time, I watch them all, but only pay for one a month.

Most people don't do it that way. They subscribe to a service, or to a few services, and just keep them. And that's a perfectly legitimate way of doing it. My way lets me (over time) watch everything from all the services (or all the services I want) without the expense of all the services every month. Rotating around spread the cost out, but delays when I watch some stuff. To me that's worth the extra work and the extra wait.

That might not be worth it to you. You should do it however it works best for you.

Regardless of which way you do it, how do you pick which service or services to use? Well, recently, a question along that line was posed to TV Answer Man, and they gave seven questions you should ask yourself when making the decision. They are reasonable questions, and put together should help you make a good decision. They include:

1. What content do I want to watch? Different video streaming services offer varying types of content. Some specialize in movies, while others focus on TV shows or documentaries. Determine the kind of content you’re interested in and research which streaming services offer it.

2. How much does it cost? Video streaming services come in different price ranges, from free to premium. Determine your budget and compare the subscription fees of the services you’re interested in. Also, consider the cost of any additional features you may want, such as ad-free viewing or access to live sports events.

There are seven in all, and the article is worth a read.

My Streaming Life may be a little more complicated in how I subscribe to services, but I still have to ask those questions from time to time, just to ensure my picklist of services is what I want. Even if you simply subscribe and keep, rather than rotate, you should ask those questions from time to time.

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