One of the more interesting things to happen during quarantine was the influx of streaming services that debuted, all with their own original content and exclusive/licensed content from wherever you get content these days. You can blame Netflix, honestly. Once companies like ViacomCBS (Paramount+), WarnerMedia (HBO Max), Apple (Apple TV+), Disney (Disney+, and Hulu, lowkey), and Amazon (Amazon Prime Video) realized that they could mimic what makes Netflix great (streaming movies and TV on demand) with the movies and TV shows they already own, while doing something Netflix is still trying to perfect—making quality original programming—the entire industry shifted. Now HBO could make an original series available entirely on HBO Max, similar to what FX was doing for Hulu with their FX on Hulu slate. It’s dope when it works—Disney+ owned the timeline when WandaVision dropped new episodes, and we found out that a lot of y’all really liked The White Lotus. The thing is, with so many companies vying for your eyeballs and wallets, we’re living with an influx of really dope content that we may never get to finish watching, because who has THAT kind of time?!
Gone are the days of paying one cable company for the ability to watch damn near everything they are providing. Hell, many Americans just started cutting the cord and embracing a full streaming life (thanks to services like Hulu and YouTube TV, which provide live television programming and DVR functions, just like your cable provider). That sounds like it’s easy to manage, but then comes a weekend where you don’t have HBO Max but Dune can be seen at home, or you’re not a Peacock subscriber and really want to watch Halloween Kills on the couch. FOMO can be an easy thing to combat until the entire timeline is discussing a scene from a show you can’t watch because you haven’t signed up for the latest streaming service. This is in no way a cry out to go back to paying the cable company to sort out your entertainment dollar. This is a tool to help you realize how much it costs to watch all of the strong content out there.
In a time when we want you to be more financially aware, we came up with a simple tool—a streaming calculator, if you will. Maybe you’re finally moving out of your parents’ house and they aren’t letting you keep the Netflix login. You decide, since you’re paying the bills, maybe you want more options than Netflix, but can only spend so much on entertainment services. With this calculator, you can scroll through and select your favorite television shows and/or streaming services. When you’re done selecting, hit “calculate,” and you will get a receipt that shows you, plainly, how much it costs to stream those shows.
Now there are a few caveats. First, we didn’t include streaming sports content. Frankly, with so many different services within each sport, it became a major headache just sorting that side of it out yourself. [Ed note: That said, just know that for whatever comes up on your receipt, you’ll have to allot funds for whatever you’ll be using to add a sports package to your life.] And secondly, know that the prices can fluctuate on services like Hulu and Peacock, based on if you want to pay for ad-free viewing. We also didn’t factor in deals (like what Disney+ does if you bundle Hulu with it), as, again, there are a number of differing factors on how one can save money on streaming content based on what kind of phone or other services they have.
With all of that out of the way, now is the time to figure out how much it costs to watch your favorite movies and shows.