I’ve shuffled around some of the streaming platforms I subscribe to and figured it was as good a time as any to do a little write up on what I use and what I’ve dropped and why. I suppose these are pseudo recommendations, but not really, since frankly, I don’t personally watch a lot of TV myself. I spend all day at my job with a TV going in the background, I have almost no desire to watch TV anymore.
Starting with what’s gone, for now. Netflix has been getting a lot of flack lately for a variety of reasons. One is the announcement that they plan to have an ad subsidized tier. Frankly, this is such a non issue, since it’s very unlikely they will add advertisements to existing tiers. More likely they will make a new tier, or two, with ads included, for less per month. The bigger reason they are getting flack is the recent price increase.
For what feels like the 3rd or 4th time in the last 5 years. I’ve used Netflix since it was ONLY DVDs. But at this point it’s up to $17/month. It’s considerably more than any other option. Also, while I don’t personally watch a lot, I do keep semi tabs on what my (adult) kids are watching, since they are the ones who use the services the most. Not so much because I care about content, just to know, “No one really watches Netflix much lately” so we can unsubscribe. Of course, I’m paying the bill, so it’s my call in the end to some extent. If they want to keep it, they can pick up the tab.
Another recently dropped service is HBO Max. I actually was not unhappy with HBO Max, and of every service available, this would probably be my personal choice to subscribe to, if I were only picking one. I’ll likely resubscribe again in the future. So why did it get dropped? I got HBO Max as part of my DirecTV package, which was heavily discounted through my job. That discount went away, and I have zero use for DirecTV, especially not at full price (it was a SIGNIFICANT discount.)
I suppose it’s worth mentioning that I also got rid of DirecTV, which I suppose makes me “officially” a cord cutter. Though in the past many years, the only thing we ever really watched on the service was the Super Bowl and the Macy’s Parade. In fact, when we moved in 2017, I moved the dish myself and it almost always needs a slight adjustment when trying to watch anything.
So what is kept and used?
- Hulu/Disney+ – This one is a package deal, and it’s a pretty good deal. Hulu has an alright selection of shows, but Disney+ includes Marvel, Star Wars, and well Disney. It’s something like $14/month for both combined.
- Paramount+ – My wife and kids like a lot of the crime drama shows on CBS, so getting Paramount+ seemed like a pretty good add to make up for the loss of Netflix. It’s quite a bit cheaper too at something like $5/month. Though that is with ads. Which I would not mind except the volume on the ads on Paramount+ are like 3x the loudness of the shows. Watching anything is an exercise on using the mute button. I tried to complain but their website feedback form does not work. It also has Star Trek, though I am still barely through what I started trying to watch 2 years ago and I really can’t get into the shitty New Star Treks. They really just do not feel like Trek, it’s too much flashyness.
- Discovery+ – Why is everything called “Plus”? Anyway, one daughter loves house and cooking shows, the other likes True Crime shows. Discovery+ has both of these. Plus I lost the ability to “log in with your cable provider” when I lost DirecTV for the individual apps like TLC and HGTV. It’s also $5/month I believe.
- AcornTV – My daughter likes to watch Murdoch Mysteries, and a few other shows on this service. I’m not real sure if it’s British based or Australian based, it seems to kind of be a mix of shows from both. It’s also $5/month. (Feels like a trend, though I may be off on a couple by a few bucks).
- Peacock+ – We picked this one up for a month so everyone could watch Yellowstone, which is sort of the current trendy hotness show. I was going to drop it after the first month, but it sounds like they may want to keep it for a few shows. There also seems to be a pretty good selection of movies available on Peacock+ as well. Also $5/month.
I am not positive on the pricing on some of these services, but they are close-ish. Some are paid annually as well. I wanted to add them more to stress why I am upset about Netflix. For the price of Netflix, I can essentially get 4 other services, Paramount, Peacock, Discovery, and AcornTV. For less cost I can get Hulu AND Disney+. If I wanted to re-add HBO Max, I am pretty sure it’s either $10 or $15/month. All of these are less than Netflix, for arguably a better product. I actually have never really been able to get into a lot of Netflix’s original shows myself. A lot of them have this weird off-putting-ness to them that I can’t quite put my finger on. In some cases I am glad I didn’t get into them because it sounds like a lot of them get cancelled with no proper resolution.
I suppose I should mention Amazon Prime as well. I don’t subscribe to Amazon Prime for their TV Streaming. It’s there, I use a FireTV, but I don’t subscribe explicitly for that. I am not sure I am going to keep Amazon. My current subscription ends at the end of December, and it’s not currently set to renew. Like Netflix, the price keeps going up and up, and all I care about is the Free Shipping. Everything else is a nice bonus, but I don’t factor into it, and I believe the new renewal rate is $150/year. This is over double what it was when I first subscribed to Prime. This would not be the first time I unsubscribed to Prime either.