Turns out streaming isn’t a bargain anymore

By Microsoft 3 Min Read
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Sick of paying through the nose for cable TV? Just cut the cord! For years, that was a mantra of gleeful cord-cutters looking to save on their favorite TV services. But after a seemingly endless series of streaming price hikes, cord-cutting costs are finally catching up to cable.

According to a recent analysis of streaming and cable TV prices conducted by the Financial Times (by way of 9to5Mac), subscripting to the top streaming services now cost more than the average price of a cable TV bundle.

Specifically, the analysis found that a “basket” of the most popular streaming services now costs $87 a month, up $10 from just a year ago. That’s more than the monthly cost for the typical cable bundle, which is $83 a month, the Financial Times reports.

The news shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone subscribed to a streaming service. Lately, the biggest streamers have been announcing one price hike after another, from Peacock and Disney+ to Hulu and even NFL+ and Shudder. And while Netflix hasn’t foisted a price hike on us lately, it recently killed off its most affordable ad-free plan.

Indeed, Disney+ subscribers have seen the most dramatic price hikes. As the Financial Times details, a Disney+ subscription in October 2022 (back when there was only one Disney+ plan) cost a mere $7.99 a month, including ad-free viewing plus downloads and 4K video quality. Starting in October, that same plan will cost $13.99 a month, a whopping 75-percent increase.

While other streamers haven’t raised their subscription prices as quickly as Disney+, almost all of them have hiked their fees to one extent or another.

Peacock, for example, will raise the price for both its Premium and Premium Plus plans this month (up $1 and $2 a month, respectively), while Paramount+ nixed its old Premium plan and moved subscribers to the just-renamed Paramount+ with Showtime plan, a change that entails paying an extra buck a month.

Why have streaming prices gone up so quickly? Because the streaming gold rush is over, and rather than looking for growth from the big streamers, Wall Street now wants to see profits.

Of course, those of us who cut the cord years ago probably won’t be in any rush to go back to Big Cable. But if you’re still looking to save money through cord-cutting, you’ll be better off investing in an over-the-air DVR than forking over for Netflix or Disney+.

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