Tried and Tested - Does streaming save money over cable?

Tried and Tested - Does streaming save money over cable?

Now that HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is over, you may be asking whether your monthly cable bill is still worth it. With Netflix releasing new shows seemingly by the day, many are looking at “cord cutting”; paying only for internet access and subscription streaming services for entertainment.

I’ve personally subscribed to the trend for over ten years. I stopped paying for cable back in 2008, long before streaming services started to emerge. The early days were rough, but I survived with combination of digital antennae, DVDs and inviting myself over to friends’ houses to programs only available on cable. 

Today cord cutting is not an anomaly. With more options to stream top shows using your home internet, cord cutters no longer have to rely on cable access (or friends’ hospitality) to watch the premium TV.

Since 2005 when YouTube - the original video-on-demand service - launched, there has been a surge of streaming platforms. Netflix, Hulu, Roku, Amazon Video, HBONOW and many more, stream network and original content over the internet.

Even live sports games have entered the streaming market. The 2019 Women’s World Cup was streamed on fubo TV, a dedicated real time streaming service for football games.

Streaming services can also offer advantages over the traditional cable packages. There is on-demand entertainment and add-ons, such as Amazon Prime’s free and same day delivery. Traditional cable companies will not deliver your newly purchased blender or allow you to pull up “Frozen” at a moment’s notice to entertain kids. 

According to eMarketer, at the end of 2018, approximately 33 million consumers have cancelled traditional pay-TV service with no plans to resubscribe. This is an increase of 33% from the 25 million who had cancelled at the end of 2017.

As the cord-cutting becomes more of the norm, it begs the question – is it saving money?

I recently did the math when trying to convince my fiancée to cut the cord when we moved in together. Taking a look at our monthly costs cord-cutting was clearly the more cost efficient plan.


*($13), Hulu ($8), Dish’s Sling TV + DVR ($30), HBONOW ($15) and Amazon Prime ($10)

In our situation we save $99 a month, which means we could have an additional $1,100 a year.  That is money we can use for vacations, our upcoming wedding or investing for our future. 

Additionally, to maximize my potential savings I take advantage of the “subscription pause” feature many of streaming services have or simply unsubscribing when I’m not using a particular service. For example, I only subscribe to HBONOW during the Game of Thrones season (~3 months), saving $120 annually.

It may not be Lannister type money, but I’ll take it!

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