7 Ways to Spend Less on Streaming Services

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KEY POINTS

  • Streaming apps can get pricey, but you may be able to spend less on these services.
  • Student discounts, bundled plans, and annual billing are some examples of ways to save money on streaming services.


Find out how to spend less on your favorite streaming services.

Most households pay for at least one streaming service. These apps provide convenient entertainment, but they come at a cost. If you feel like you're spending too much money on your favorite streaming apps, you may be able to make changes that help you trim your spending. Here, you can find out how to spend less on streaming services.

If you rely on streaming services for entertainment, you're not alone. In 2021, Leichtman Research Group conducted a study to determine how popular streaming services are.

The study found that:

  • 58% of survey respondents have more than one subscription video-on-demand service.
  • 78% of all U.S. households have at least one subscription video-on-demand service from Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

With those stats in mind, it's safe to assume that most of us use streaming services regularly.

Are you paying more than you want to for streaming entertainment? Following a budget is essential, and spending more than you can afford can create financial issues.

Here are some ways to spend less money on streaming services:

1. Sign up for bundled plans

If you subscribe to multiple streaming services, you may be able to pay less by bundling your service into one plan. There are a few money-saving bundle options available. One example is The Disney Bundle which bundles Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu (with ads) into one affordable monthly price of $13.99. Read more about other streaming service bundle options.

2. Take advantage of student discounts

If you're a student, make sure that you take advantage of student pricing. Many companies offer discounts to eligible students. One company doing that is Hulu. Instead of paying the $6.99 monthly rate for Hulu with ads, eligible students can pay $1.99 each month. If you're looking to spend less, you can review additional streaming service discounts for students.

3. Downgrade your service

Many streaming service providers offer several plan tiers. You may be able to pay a higher fee to eliminate ads, add more users, or improve the video quality. But that doesn't mean that the most expensive plan is the best choice.

If you don't utilize all of the features of your current plan or are open to eliminating some features and, in return, paying a lower price, you may want to explore downgrading your plan.

4. Compare annual and monthly pricing

Many streaming service providers offer discounts when you commit to annual billing. If you're looking to save some money, compare the prices for monthly and yearly subscriptions.

Here is one example of how you could save: A monthly subscription to Disney+ costs $7.99. If you switch to annual billing, you'll pay $79.99, saving you about $16 over the course of a year.

5. Share subscriptions with family and friends

Another way to spend less on streaming services is to share subscriptions with family and friends. Many subscribers have family plans available for multiple people living in one household. If you live with roommates or family, sharing a group plan may be a great way to save some money.

Spotify Premium Family, which allows six people living under one roof to share Spotify Premium, costs $15.99 per month. That is a per-person price of less than $3 monthly.

6. See if you qualify for carrier discounts

Some wireless carriers give eligible subscribers access to free or discounted streaming services. Make sure that you're not missing out on free or discounted perks. You may be paying for a service that you can access for free.

One example of a wireless provider that offers a streaming freebie is AT&T. Those who subscribe to the AT&T Unlimited Elite Plan get access to HBO Max without ads for free.

7. Give free trials a go before committing to paid plans

One final option is to put free trials to use. Most streaming apps offer a free trial period. This is a great way to check out the available programming and make sure you can benefit from paying for a service before actually committing to the expense.

If you sign up for free trials, make sure that you remember to cancel before the trial ends. Otherwise, your card may be charged. Many providers require you to link a credit card when signing up for a free trial.

Yes, streaming service apps can get expensive, but the above suggestions may help you trim your spending so you don't break your budget. For additional money-saving tips, check out our personal finance resources.

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