Thursday, June 22, 2023

Cutting back on streaming services

A new report from Hub Entertainment Research indicates that consumers are cutting back on streaming services. The main reason is cost.

I'm not surprised, as I found out a while back that the number of streaming services can run up a bill pretty quickly. I've cut back on my streaming services in a couple of ways.

First, let's talk about the new report. Kayla Wassell from Cord Cutters News had an article recently that looked into the May report from Hub Entertainment Research. And she says cost is driving it:

Hub states "Complexity is as big of a limitation to new subscriptions as cost," with 82 percent of respondents claiming budget is one of many factors contributing to selecting a platform. The study showed that even if consumers could afford to subscribe to every platform, there’s still a clearly defined limit to the number they’re willing to have on board.

Roughly half of consumers' "total entertainment ecosystem" are considered must-haves. These include video, audio, gaming, social media, podcasts, reading, and other categories of entertainment. Hub reports the average household uses 12.7 different sources, which is consistent with last year’s findings. Households with kids used an average of 16.3 sources, while younger consumers used around 15.8 sources.

Of these entertainment sources, respondents reported only half to be vital to their households and the rest as perks they could live without if needed.

I have cut back over the years. One of the major things I did was to rotate services. I would subscribe to one service a month, cancel, then subscribe to a different service. I would rotate through a collection of services, and over a year, watch content from them all, at a fraction of the cost.

Lately, I've simply cut back. I found that I wasn't watching as much content from the subscription services, so rather than continue to pay for something I wasn't watching, I decided to pause subscriptions. I haven't subscribed to a service this month, and it's looking like I won't subscribe next month either. I've been watching mostly free ad-supported television (FAST) services.

Now, to be sure, I do have Peacock TV, but that is because I get it with Xfinity Internet service. That stops later this month, however, and I haven't decided to continue the service.

I also have Paramount+ as part of my Walmart+ subscription. I will keep that as long as I have Walmart+ and it's included. If they drop it, I may let it lapse as well.

I've had Amazon Prime for years, well before they launched Prime Video streaming, so as I plan to keep Amazon Prime, I'll continue to get Prime Video, but if it wasn't included with the other benefits, I wouldn't keep it.

Hulu is on hold. Apple TV+ stops when my free three months ends next month. AMC+ will end soon, as will Starz. Those last two were subscriptions for others that won't be renewed.

I will likely renew Frndly TV, which I've had since it launched and replaced the old Hallmark Feeln service.

My Streaming Life has included subscription services for some time. It will have fewer going forward.

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