Intro: How to Save Money on Streaming Services
As prices go up on streaming services, what was once thought to be cheap is getting more expensive. This article will break down how to save money on streaming services so your TV viewing habits don’t break the bank!
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#1: Churn, Baby, Churn!
You don’t have to subscribe to every streaming service all at once.
Virtually every major streaming service offers memberships on a month-to-month plan with no commitment, meaning you can cancel without any penalty. So don’t be afraid to cycle through, or “churn,” from one streaming service to another.
Some streaming services, like Hulu, also give you the option to pause a membership. If you’re ever concerned about whether or not you’ll be charged or if your cancellation really went through, verify your next billing date in the settings on your account.
Here are some situations that make sense to churn from one streaming service to another:
- You subscribe to a live TV streaming service to watch sports games, and then cancel or downgrade to a cheaper plan when the season is over.
- You bingewatch all of your favorite shows on Netflix one month, and then switch to HBO Max the next.
- You sign up for a special discount that lasts for three months, and then cancel until a new promotion comes along.
By contacting the customer service teams of your streaming services or going through the account settings, you can schedule a cancellation for a future date. Another strategy is to set a reminder on your phone so you won’t forget to cancel your account.
#2: Be on the Lookout for Deals
Several major streaming services offer deals throughout the year. Many of these occur around specific holidays or promotional periods like Black Friday, Prime Day, or National Streaming Day.
Here are some discounts and deals that are worth noting:
- Some cellular providers, like Verizon and T-Mobile, offer free streaming service subscriptions to their customers. You can find more about Verizon’s offers here or T-Mobile’s offers here.
- Students discounts are offered on various streaming services such as Prime Video, Paramount+, and Discovery+.
- Military discounts are offered on some streaming services such as Discovery+ or through third-party sellers like The Exchange or GovX.
- If there’s a streaming you know you’ll subscribe to all year, you can save money with an annual plan. Streaming services that offer annual plans include Paramount+, Disney+, HBO Max, and Peacock.
Sometimes deals will pop up for streaming services that you’re already subscribed to and are only available to new customers. In that situation, try cancelling your subscription and signing up for a “new” account.
#3: Free Trials
Is there one show in particular you want to watch? Try signing up for a week-long free trial to bingewatch it, and then cancel when you’re done.
Although some streaming services, like Netflix and Disney+, have gotten rid of free trials, many still offer them. For a full list of streaming services that offer free trials, go here.
As noted before, you can even schedule a cancellation after you’ve signed up with some streaming services to ensure you’re never charged.
Streaming service bundles allow you to save money by combining multiple services into a single, monthly bill for a cheaper rate.
The choices for streaming service bundles are still few and far between. That is expected to change, however, as streaming services consolidate. HBO Max and Discovery+, for example, are expected to launch a bundle option at some point in the near future.
For now the bundles that are available are a good option to consider if you would have otherwise paid for the individual streaming services separately.
Bundle options currently available include:
- The Disney Bundle: This includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ together. You’ll get a very wide selection of on-demand content, as well as some live sports through ESPN. Get the Disney Bundle here. Want to skip the sports content? You can also pair Disney+ for $2.99 with Hulu. Find out how here.
- The Showtime Bundle: This gives you Showtime and Paramount+ with a savings up to 28%. For now they must be watched through separate apps, but at some point in the future Paramount plans to offer Showtime content in the Paramount+ app for the Bundle customers. Get the bundle here.
- The Spotify Student Bundle: College students can bundle Spotify Premium, Hulu, and Showtime together for $4.99/mo. Find out more here.
- Apple One: A number of Apple’s services are available as a bundle called “Apple One,” including Apple TV+. Get more details here.
#5: Watch Free TV
Free streaming apps are on the rise. These allow you to watch live channels as well as on-demand movies and TV shows for free with advertising. Some of the most popular free streaming apps include Tubi, Pluto TV, Freevee, and The Roku Channel.
The ad breaks can be a bit of an annoyance, but its a trade-off for free content. Every major streaming player or smart TV platform has free apps to download.
If you’re interested in watching local channels, consider buying an antenna. These typically start out at $30-$50, but unlike a streaming service don’t require a monthly fee. Once it’s set up you’ll get dozens of local channels to watch shows, sports, and local news for free.
Final Thoughts: How to Save Money on Streaming Services
How do YOU save money on streaming? Any tips we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comment section below!