Price hikes in streaming services mean that some Americans will no longer be able to afford a one-week vacation, with the total bill reaching north of $100 per month in some cases. Cord-cutters are feeling betrayed and sharing survival strategies on social media.
At first glance, paying for Netflix or Disney+ may seem insignificant compared to a $100-$200 per month bill for internet, cable, or mobile. However, once you add up all your tubes, hubs, flixes, passes, and pluses, you could get a sum reaching as high as $200 per month.
With wages growing below 5% annually, many streaming services have already gotten more expensive by double digits. And there may be more coming.
An ever-growing number of increasingly expensive streaming and subscription-based services now are one of the larger American household expenses.
Last year’s J.D. Power survey revealed that US households subscribe to more streaming services than ever, and their satisfaction has begun to decline. 60% of streaming households subscribe to four or more streaming services.
The total cost of streaming may set users back by the equivalent of a week-long vacation each year.
If you want to enjoy the latest and greatest shows and movies on your shiny 4K Dolby Vision and Atmos-capable TV. These are today’s prices:
- $22.99 per month for Netflix
- $24.99 per month for a Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ combo (you’re a smart saver by not buying them separately, right?)
- $19.99 per month for HBO Max shows you’re not willing to miss
- $11.99 per month for Paramount+ with Showtime
- $11.99 per month for the Peacock catalog
- $9.99 per month – Apple TV+
Those combined already would be over $100 per month. But wait. Where’s Amazon Prime?
- $14.99 per month – here’s Amazon Prime.
You also need music, so:
- $16.99 per month for Spotify for your family.
- $10.99 per month for Apple Music.
Maybe you’re an avid gamer, owning one or both of the main consoles. You can’t miss those plans:
- $16.99 per month for XBOX Ultimate.
- $17.99 per month for PlayStation Plus Premium.
- For $9.99 per month, you can gift yourself a Discord Nitro if you don’t want to look like a peasant among your peers.
Your phone can’t handle all those videos and photos, so throw in a plan for that:
- $9.99 per month for a 2TB iCloud+ plan.
- or $9.99 per month for 2TB Google One Premium
And there are services from Microsoft365, Adobe, Google or Apple app stores, and other software. Even social networks now want their share, so start saving for Facebook, Instagram, or X, and their plans, too.
You can easily go over 200$ a month in total if you’re an active user.
The average annual expenditure on renting, streaming, and downloading video per consumer unit in the United States reached nearly $114 back in 2021, almost four times the figure recorded for 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number doesn’t include the recent price changes and the fight on account sharing.
$200 per month, or $2400 per year, is more than enough for a one-week vacation or a new set of furniture for your home. According to doxoINSIGHTS, Americans spend $351 on utilities on average. Their cable and internet costs $118, and their mobile phone – $119 per month.
No wonder, on Reddit, people are starting to complain and look for workarounds.
Users sharing their strategies
Users on social networks were quick to notice a paradox.
“I was told that competition is supposed to lead to better prices,” one Redditor noticed.
“Remember when they said that competition would lead to better prices for the consumers? They lied,” said another.
Some felt betrayed after “cutting the cord’ to save money. Streaming companies just raised their prices and made the change largely redundant.
Others were quick to explain that companies are now operating in tough market conditions with high interest rates, and a saturated market is limiting organic growth, leaving price increases the sole option to cover rising costs. Also, gone is the era when newcomer startups entered the market with growth strategies based on massive losses to attract new users.
Why would that be a consumer problem? For some, it isn’t.
“So this is what my wife came up with. Cancel everything. Every month. We pick two, and we pay for them with an Amex gift card. Binge-watch everything you want next month, get another set of them the following month, rinse and repeat. Just started. We'll see how it goes,” one Reddit user shared his cost-saving strategy.
“Due to rising prices, I have done something I swore I would never do – cancel Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO. I’ve been with Netflix since the beginning of DVD rental days. Costs are just too high now. I can’t be alone in finally hitting the tipping point,” said another.
“Time to just have one a time, then. Watch the content it has to offer, cancel, move to the next service, repeat,“ users share a nightmarish scenario for streaming companies to manage.
Many shared similar coping solutions.
“An interesting correlation to this is that ever since Netflix has had more and more competitors, and prices continually rising, BitTorrent traffic has been steadily increasing worldwide,“ the most popular comment in the discussion reads.
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