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According to Finder.com, 58% of households in the UK are subscribed to at least one online streaming service. It can be a really convenient way to watch TV or listen to music, but the monthly fees are already going up. So how can you cut your costs while still having fun?
Well, start by looking at your current subscriptions. Are you really using them all or are there any services that you rarely, or never, use? If so, cancel the ones you hardly watch. Then consider the one(s) left over.
Does it have a cheaper version that includes adverts? Many streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+, Paramount and ITVX, offer ad-supported options for a lower monthly fee. You’d save £72 a year by watching the occasional advert on Netflix rather than paying for the basic ad-free version.
You could also consider a ‘bundling’ option. For example, you can get Sky TV, Netflix and Discovery+ for just £26 a month when bought together.
Mobile phone streaming bundles are also very popular. Vodafone currently offers entertainment from YouTube Premium, Spotify Premium or Amazon Prime included in any mobile plan.
You could also share streaming accounts. Some streaming giants have cut down their sharing use recently, but there are still many that allow family or close friends to split the costs. For example, Amazon Prime offers sharing between two adults who are Prime members, and they can also have the whole household sharing the account including up to four teenagers (aged 13 to 17). Apple TV Plus also allows you to enjoy six simultaneous streams on one account and Netflix can be shared by several people in the same household.
A lot of people sign up to a streaming service for just one or two series they want to watch and are not really interested in the other programmes. So if that’s you, wait until that service offers a free trial and sign up for it. Then watch what you want to watch and afterwards just cancel. Popular streaming companies such as Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Paramount Plus, BritBox, ITV Hub+ and Discovery+ all offer free trials of different lengths.
Look out for the sales too. Like many other products and services, streaming services often offer seasonal discounts around major holidays or events. If you can wait then you may be able to save money that way. You can also find free streaming services being given away as a perk by some companies. Give it a Google! Lloyds Bank, for example, gives its Club Lloyds customers a free film each month through Rakuten TV.
And finally, consider alternatives. Streaming services are convenient but they’re not the only way to get your entertainment. Consider renting or purchasing movies, if that’s all you’re interested in, swapping DVDs (if you still have them) with friends and neighbours, making the most of free sites like TPTVencore.com, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4 and My5 or listening to music on free platforms like YouTube and Spotify.