Wednesday, April 3, 2024

How much do we really spend on streaming services?

A recent article from Cord Cutters News says that a majority of streamers pay under $40/month for streaming services.

The breakdown isn't simple, because nothing is every simple. The two largest groups in the survey pay over $40/month, even though those two groups together fail to make a majority.

Here is the breakdown:

According to our readers, more than 66% of cord cutters spend $50 or less on services each month. Only 23.5% of our readers pay $51 or more each month.

Here is a full breakdown of how much our readers spend of TV content each month.

  • 5.7% spend $0 to $10 a month.
  • 10.1% spend $11 to $20 a month.
  • 12.5% spend $21 to $30 a month.
  • 19.9% spend $31 to $40 a month.
  • 23.9% spend $41 to $50 a month.
  • 23.5% spend $51 or more a month.

4.5% declined to answer or said they don’t pay anything for video services. (This group was not included in the 66% of cord cutters who pay less than $51 a month.)

That last paragraph explains why the numbers only total to 95.6%. Of course, that makes the total 100.1%, which is impossible, but rounding accounts for that.

So, what do I spend? Well, I decided to run the numbers, and was surprised by just how much I spend, and how much I don't spend, depending on how you count it.

Here's the complication: Prime Video. I pay for Amazon Prime. But, I paid for Amazon Prime before Prime Video even existed. I subscribe for shipping benefits. I rarely watch Prime Video, and when I do, it's because somebody else wants to watch something there, and I go along with it. So, not counting Prime Video, and not counting a large portion of Paramount Plus -- the basic service is included with Walmart Plus, and there is a large discount on the upgrade -- it turns out that I only pay $16.74/month for streaming services.

Only, that's not right either. You see, during the college football season, I pay for Sling TV. I do it in a way that four 30-day subscriptions cover the entire season and bowl games, so I don't pay that every month. But, I do pay $40/month for those 4 months, and $0 the rest of the year. That averages out to $13.33/month over the year, bringing the total to $30.07/month.

But wait, I actually use ESPN Plus during college football season, bringing the average over the year to $33.73/month. Still not bad. And that's my number.

Of course, if I were to count Prime Video (which I pay for but don't use; family members have subscriptions and I watch it with them), the number jumps quite a bit, to $45.32.

My Streaming Life costs more than I expected. I thought I was under $33.73/month, but I'm not. Still, it's not bad, and a lot cheaper than cable.

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