Streaming Price Hikes: A Nightmare Or Just Easy Daydreaming?

Still looking for all that savings when it comes to moving to all streaming from your traditional pay TV package? Keep dreaming.

If you were to buy all the major streaming services -- virtually all advertising-free -- Netflix Premium, Hulu, Max, Disney+ Premium, Peacock Premium Plus, ESPN+ Standard (with Ads); and Apple TV+ -- that would come to a pricey $139.40 per month.

That is a 23% increase over the same pricing a year ago.

If you wanted to be a bit more frugal and buy four ad-supported services (ESPN+, Hulu (with Ads), Peacock Premium (with Ads) and Paramount+ Essentials) and three big ad-free services (Netflix Standard, Disney+ Premium, and Max) -- that brings you to a cost of $110.40 -- up 15%.



And this does not even include whatever monthly package you have for Amazon Prime (which includes Prime Video) at $14.99 a month, or a bit more for Prime Video with no advertising.

All this compares to an average cable TV bundle of around $83, according to But of course, depending on what additions you have, that package balloons to over $200.

Even then you still have some 200 linear TV channels to consider -- which would also include local TV stations (and local news), weather, and scores of low-rated, niche channels. This is still consider “basic” stuff -- basic TV channels that we have had for decades.

If you are not continuing with a legacy pay TV bundle, you need to find an alternative (and modest) way to incorporate all that into your packages. (And yes, legacy owners -- Paramount Global, NBCUniversal, and Walt Disney -- can be found adding in some of those local stations into their streamers).

But the overall picture is confusing -- and it is still difficult to determine whether you are getting a good value. Plus, this does not even factor all the efforts made in program discovery and search.

But no -- this is not a veiled industry-wide attempt to grab your hard-earned entertainment dollars. These businesses are still losing lots of money in the process of making all these streaming changes a reality to growing profits.

In that vein, these subscription pricing hikes with 15% to 22% growth rates makes sense to them.

But does it make sense to you -- at home? The picture is still fuzzy, pixelated and cloudy -- or maybe sharp. You choose.

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