Cord Cutting Rising In Price, But Still Worth The Value
The world of online streaming has come along way in the past decade. Obviously video content has been around on the internet for a while, but it really started to take off 10 years ago with the rise of YouTube, Hulu and and then Netflix's streaming service in 2008. It has now become a huge medium in which most Americans get their entertainment. And while they're great sources of beloved movies and TV shows, the services have been exploring producing their own content, and with that, we're getting prices increases.
Two years ago, Netflix announced that they would raise the price of their standard option from $7.99 to $9.99, but would only affect new subscribers to start, but current subscribers would be grandfathered in for two years, before their prices would be raised. Next month is that two year mark, so if you're subscribed to Netflix for $7.99, be prepared for a $2 hike on your next bill. Personally, for the amount of time I use it, $9.99 is still a steal. I'd have to try really hard to run out of movies, shows and specials to watch on Netflix.
If you've been an Amazon Prime subscriber, you know what a great deal the $100 per year price tag it is for free two day shipping, and access to video and music streaming, among many other perks of Prime. If you've been waiting to pull the trigger on Prime because the $100 upfront cost is a little intimidating, you're in luck. They just started offering monthly packages. For just video streaming, it's now $8.99 per month, or $10.99 per month for the whole Prime experience. You spend more per year, but it's broken down into more manageable chunks.
To make no mention of the myriad of other streaming services out there. Hulu Plus has a two tiered pricing structure for a lot of current television programming, $7.99 for limited commercials, and $11.99 for no commercials. YouTube recently launched YouTube Red for $9.99 per month, to get ad free content, and are now getting into original content. For $5.99 a month, you can subscribe to arthouse and foreign film service MUBI. Turner just announced they'll be launching FilmStruck as part of their TCM brand, showcasing the Criterion Collection, indie films, foreign films, and classic films. The service will launch this fall, no price has been announced yet. Of course there's also HBO Now, HBO's stand-alone streaming service for $14.99 that gives you all of HBO's content, and CBS' All Access for $5.99, which will launch the next Star Trek series. Then you get into the niche audiences, like Shudder at $4.99 and ScreamBox at $3.99 for horror fans. ShoutFactory is free, with a pretty sweet collection of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Let's say you go with the top tier options on everything, that's a $80 price tag per month, not counting FilmStruck which doesn't have a price plan yet, but we can probably expect $10, approximately. Now we're at $90, and if you're like me, you're a baseball fan, so how about adding MLBTV for $24.99 a month, or $109 per season to save some cash, now I'm at $115 per month. Now all of this on top of your internet bill so you can actually watch this content.
I was having a conversation with a friend about all the monthly subscriptions, and they asked, "But at that point, aren't you just paying the same as if you had cable? What's the point?" The point is, I'm paying for stuff I want. It's not the cost. It's the value. I didn't have BBC when I did have cable, because it was $30 for an add on cable package that had one channel I'd only watch part of the year (for Doctor Who). What's the point of that?
The movies and shows and everything on all those services? That's all content I want, I enjoy, and I watch. As opposed to paying for all the cable packages I'd need to get that, and not using about 80% of it. That's worth the $10-120 per month price tag. It's all in what you need. Do I need all of that up there? No, and I don't have it all. But I have and pay for what I need. Again... that's the value.