published : 2023-11-11

The Cost of Cutting the Cord and Streaming Content: A Thrilling Journey into the Future of Entertainment

Streaming services, cable TV, and the ever-increasing prices: What will it really cost you?

A family happily cutting the cord and streaming content on their television, taken with a Sony A7R III

In a world where streaming has become the new norm, nearly 50 million people have already abandoned traditional cable television. But as more streaming platforms enter the market and prices continue to rise, potential cord-cutters are left wondering if the grass is truly greener on the streaming side.

Reports vary on the average monthly cost of cable, with some suggesting it to be around $83 while others estimate it can go up to $125 when factoring in additional fees and equipment. On the other hand, streaming services like Apple TV+, Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu have all recently implemented price hikes, leaving consumers to question the value of subscribing to multiple platforms.

Netflix, a frontrunner in the streaming industry, recently increased its monthly charges for its Premium and Basic options. This price increase, along with the rising costs of other streaming services, could result in a combined monthly bill of approximately $147 for those looking to access the fullest range of content. However, this figure does not include the overall Amazon Prime membership fee, which stands at $14.99 per month.

A group of friends enjoying a movie night with various streaming platforms on their devices, taken with a Nikon D850

Of course, the total cost could be lower if one opts for less expensive plans or selectively uses specific platforms. Disney, for example, offers bundle options for its three services – Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ – allowing consumers to decrease their total bill.

In a bid to consolidate services, Verizon is reportedly working on a streaming bundle that includes Netflix and Max. This move aligns with Disney's plan to merge Hulu and Disney+, giving bundled subscribers the option to access both platforms seamlessly.

The surge in streaming's popularity is evident, as Nielsen reported that streaming services overtook cable TV for the first time in July of last year, with a viewership of 34.8% compared to cable's 34.4%. This shift can be attributed to the availability of new shows and limited sports programming on traditional television during that month.

A person holding a remote control with streaming service logos displayed on the TV screen, contemplating the cost of cord-cutting, taken with a Canon EOS R

As the landscape of entertainment continues to evolve, the cost of streaming and cable TV remains a subject of debate. The ultimate decision lies in the hands of consumers, who must weigh the convenience and variety of streaming against the potentially high costs. Only time will tell what the future holds for the way we consume entertainment.