Doing the math on streaming services

I subscribe to very few video streaming services as it is these days. Right now, it is just Max (my year sub is up soon) and Disney (my year sub lasts until February). I realize I barely watch stuff on them :face_exhaling:

I’m thinking of doing the thing that my parents and some colleagues do, where they activate as shows come out that they want to watch and deactivate when they’re done. I’m pretty sure the math is obvious, and I’d save money doing so, but I wondered if anybody here has tips or experiences doing something similar. I’m not too worried about forgetting to deactivate when I’m done with shows.

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts :slight_smile:

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The only drawback I’ve heard about is that supposedly more shows are being released incrementally, so you have to keep a subscription going longer to keep up. (Or wait until they’re all out, I suppose.) What’s old is new again

Yep, that seems to be one of the pickles exactly. Especially for something like Disney, it seems they might keep just enough Star Wars shows strung out across a year to keep me subbed all year anyway :thinking:

I’m keeping an eye on the strikes. Not going to stream if they don’t support creators with fair pay.

I’ve been rotating streaming services for years. For example, I loved Ted Lasso. So each season I would wait until the season was nearly complete then subscribe to AppleTV+ and cancel my subscription the next day. I do the same with Hulu, Netflix, etc. If I decide to keep a service I just re-up and repeat the process.They will ALWAYS let you know when your subscription is about to expire and occasionally offer a better deal if you do.

I’m not a fan of a lot of new content so I treat streaming services like movie rentals.


This is what I do and it’s very easy. When I sign up for a service I then turn around and cancel it immediately. I’ll still have access to the service for a month and I don’t have to mess with calendar reminders to cancel.

I tend to wait until a series has been fully released before I sign up with a service, though that’s probably more of a personal preference.

Now, I don’t have any strong fandom for particular IPs, so that also makes it a bit easier. If I was fully invested in Marvel or Star Wars I might handle things differently.

Also, I don’t have a habit of watching movies/tv shows regularly. I’ll dig in deeply when there’s something I like, but in general weeks can go by without watching anything.

Last thing, I keep a list of movies/shows I”m interested in watching —- so when I do have a hankering to watch something I just go through my list and choose a service to sign up for.

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We rotate and if a show is introduced weekly, we wait a month and then watch them a little faster so we can be done around the finale.

I think the math is pretty straightforward. Most services don’t offer a good enough annual deal to beat a few activations a year. The biggest impediment would be several household members with different tastes so on different release schedules. If we had that issue I’d have the older kids share the cost.

I think it’s good for us to have to choose to watch something more deliberately. It’s not just a financial benefit. It’s the extra friction that’s really worth the extra clicks.

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I subscribe to streaming services starting on 1st day of the month. Once the subscription is verified, I cancel it. During the month, if I find I have used it and still have things to watch on it, I’ll resubscribe before end of month.