April V. Taylor
As cash strapped Americans have looked for ways to trim their monthly luxury expenses and as the number and variety of available streaming services has continued to grow, more and more people are realizing how easy it is to get a complete entertainment experience without having to spend hundreds of dollars on a cable bill every month.
Some of the newest streaming services highlighted in a recent Time Money article include Dish Network’s Sling TV and HBO Now. Sling TV provides consumers with a small portion of the most popular “basic” cable channels, and HBO Now finally offers consumers the only streaming option that includes HBO shows, adding a previously missing option for those looking to completely give up cable TV. Amazon, Netflix and Hulu are among the streaming services that have been wooing consumers away from cable for some time.
Figuring out what combination of streaming services provides consumers with the unique viewing experience they are looking for at the cheapest possible price can prove daunting because of the variety of options and combinations, but consumers are not left to figure it out on their own. Cord cutting “calculator” websites have sprung up to help customers pick which services they are interested in while showing them how much money they are likely to save when using streaming services versus cable.
Two of these sites include The Verge and Slate. The one area these sites do not cover is the option many streaming services, such as iTunes and Amazon, offer for customers to purchase shows a la carte, which allows customers to plug any wholes that may exist in the streaming options they choose. One of the best examples of the potential to save money is a customer choosing to subscribe to Netflix and Amazon Prime, costing just over $200.00 a month and saving nearly $600 over a comparable cable package for similar programming.
One option high-tech consumers forget too easily is the ability to use an indoor TV antenna, which generally costs less than $10, to access free network content that includes such major live events as the Super Bowl and the Oscars. Streaming services, when combined with free access to network television, have long been the better option for most consumers. Rather than allowing cable companies to keep them trapped paying hundreds more each month for entertainment because of the pricing of triple play packages that include internet, consumers need to empower themselves to research options, especially when it comes down to saving hundreds of dollars a month and thousands of dollars a year on entertainment costs.