We could all stand to pay a little less for our favorite shows and movies, right? Streaming services often claim to be less expensive than cable or satellite TV services—but is it true? Let’s compare factors like price, reliability, viewing experience, and flexibility to see if “cutting the cord” could be the right move for you.
One of the biggest—if not the biggest—reasons that customers switch from cable to streaming is their monthly invoice.
Cable companies often run large promotional discounts for your first month on a plan, but soon leave you to pay the full, ever-increasing bill with extra equipment fees. Add it all together, and your monthly charges can be well over what was advertised.
Streaming services are quite the opposite. Individual streaming services charge flat rate fees and offer monthly discounts when you bundle services. For example, you can bundle Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN for less than half of the average cable bill. The best part? Most streaming discounts apply to every single month, not just the first one.
But even if you don’t bundle different streaming services, you’re still avoiding hidden fees and taxes you’d normally get with cable networks, and that alone is worth celebrating.
Fair warning, though: depending on which streaming platforms you choose and how many you subscribe to, the cost can be similar to cable. Be mindful of how many services you sign up for, just like you’d be careful of how many pay-per-view shows you’d buy on cable.
It can be scary to commit to one television service over another, especially if that commitment is laid out in a year or two-year contract. That’s another reason cable companies offer flashy discounts on the front end—so you’re stuck with them even after the promotion.
Luckily, most streaming services are delivered on a monthly basis, with no contracts at all. This allows you the flexibility to try out new services that you like and cancel others that you don’t—without any long-term liability.
Both cable and streaming services come with a lot of content, but streaming offers a few distinct advantages over traditional cable:
- Stream everything on-demand, all the time. Fast forward, rewind, pause, and grab all the extra snacks you want. You won’t ever have to pull out a DVR or record a show for later. Your favorites, new or old, can likely be found on one streaming service or another.
- See content only available through specific streaming platforms. A good example is Netflix Originals, shows which will only ever be available on Netflix. Locking into a contract with cable means you’ll either miss out on these shows entirely, or you’ll end up buying the streaming service anyway. Either way, you or your wallet will not be completely satisfied.
- Specialize content for different members of your family. Many streaming services allow you to set up different profiles for different members of your family, so everyone can jump right back into their favorite content. Cable television does offer some parental controls, but it can’t compare to the customization that streaming provides.
- Spend more time watching shows, not ads. Fewer ad interruptions make for a better viewing experience overall. Most streaming services are ad-free, or at least offer ad-free subscription tiers, unlike cable services.
Life doesn’t always happen in front of the living room TV. Maybe your little ones like watching movies on the road, or you want to pause a show in one room and pick it right back up in another. With streaming, wherever you’ve got an internet connection, your favorites are at your fingertips.
Lastly, if you’re on the fence about streaming because you might not get local channels, worry not! You can always use an external antenna connected to your TV to receive local news, sports, and weather updates. A standard antenna won’t cost you more than one month’s worth of cable TV, and after that initial investment, all your local channels are free (like they were meant to be).
There are lots of things to consider in staying with cable or moving to streaming. If you have questions or want to discuss what’s right for you, we’re here to help.
Reach out to our customer service team at 1-800-431-1544. We’d love to hear from you.