Cutting the Cord: Is It Worth it to Get Rid of Cable?

Every day it seems there is a new streaming service being released, promising the best content for a cheap price. More people are tossing their cable plan and switching to streaming now more than ever. The main reason for cutting the cord is to avoid advertisements and pay less.

The amount of streaming services are endless: there are currently over 200 available. According to Statista, the top five most popular streaming services are YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Vimeo respectively.

Most streaming services fall between a six to eighteen dollar monthly price range. Netflix costs between 8.99-17.99 dollars a month; Hulu costs between 5.99-11.99 per month; and Amazon Prime Video costs between 8.99-12.99 dollars a month.

Keeping track of the cost of each streaming service can be overwhelming and stressful, so it may seem easier to pay one amount to a cable company instead of paying different amounts to different companies. However, streaming services prove to be more cost efficient than cable.

According to 2018 Consumer Reports and cable TV statistics: “US customers pay an average of $217 and above monthly for the whole package of cable TV.”

Conversely, the price it costs for a combination of streaming services such as Netflix Premium, Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazon Video, HBO Max, Paramount Plus, and Apple TV Plus, would be around 70 dollars per month, which is already cheaper than cable.

The number of people who have switched from cable to streaming is drastic. According to Tech Crunch, “By 2021, US cord- cutters will amount to at least 40.1 million.”

Many cable companies are fearful, as they are constantly losing customers. According to Variety, “AT&T lost 1.16 million TV accounts. […] Comcast and Charter also have some worrying figures, with losses of -149,000 and -101,000 respectively.”

Cable companies are attempting to keep the cord plugged in.

A recent Frontier customer inquired about reducing her cable bill and threatened to go to an all-streaming platform. When the customer service representative reviewed her service bill, he found that there were updated channel packages now available for less than what she was currently paying each month.

As an incentive to keep her as a cable customer, he doubled her high-speed internet, resulting in better service with 166 dollar savings per month. This customer explained their massive savings via online chat.

Furthermore, as more people cut the cord, people believe network television is dying.

According to Forbes, Ned Sherman, leader of Manatt’s digital and technology transactions group, said, “While television remains the leading platform for video viewership among all consumers, the smartphone is dominant among those 18-34, which bodes well for mobile- first content strategies.”

He explains that the amount of time watching TV is diminishing and more people are spending time on their mobile devices watching things like YouTube and TikTok.

Therefore, Sherman argues television is not exactly dying, but is adapting to new circumstances and technology.

According to Sarah Kelleher from Comscore: “Having options doesn’t mean that consumers aren’t choosing live TV. Research based on US viewing behavior showed that live TV still dominates this space when looking at the total hours spent consuming content.”

She argues that people are still watching television live in addition to having streaming services. She claims that live television will not be affected by new streaming services and is still doing well. However, the large increase in cord- cutters over the recent years seems to debunk her claim.

Although the switch may save you money and make your viewing more entertaining by avoiding ads, before getting rid of cable, it is important to calculate and compare your cable bill to the price of each streaming service you desire since everyone’s costs are different.

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