One in five Aussies cancel streaming services to save
In the latest blow to Aussies amid the cost-of-living crisis, Spotify has started charging more for its 9 million local users to listen to songs, podcasts and audiobooks on the popular streaming app.
The hike - an 8.34% increase for those with Premium Individual accounts - may not be music to the ears of streamers, with recent research from Compare the Market finding that one in five Aussies are ditching streaming services to help their hip pocket amid rising prices.
It's now costing more than ever to be across all the blockbuster movies, hit TV shows, chart-topping hits and podcasts.
What are you paying for streaming services?
On average, research shows that Australians are paying $30 a month for two streaming services, totalling $360 a year just for in-house entertainment. Of course, this figure can blow out significantly based on the number of subscriptions you have, your streaming provider and your membership tier.
Unless you're utilising every subscription you have, these costs could be enough to cover an additional grocery shop, go towards surging electricity bills or even put aside for birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions.
Following a recent crackdown on password sharing, Compare the Market's research shows that one in four Australians would cancel their Netflix subscription first, with Optus Sport and Disney+ rounding out the top three choices.
Depending on your subscription tier, these services can set you back between $83.88 - $299.88 a year.
If Australians were also to give up a premium Stan account with Stan Sport, they could save up to $432 a year.
When did you last review your subscriptions?
Rather than giving up all your favourite entertainment options, Spotify's price hike is a reminder to review your subscriptions regularly to ensure they give you the most bang for your buck. You may also be able to customise your plans so you're not forking out as much.
For example, you'll pay more for the ability to stream in higher definition and binge shows across multiple screens, but cheaper options are available if you're willing to limit the number of compatible devices and quality of your streaming.
Switching from Binge's premium plan to a basic saves you $8 a month or $96 annually. If you can stomach ads, swapping from Netflix's premium plan to standard saves you $16 or a whopping $192 a year.
How can you save on streaming costs?
Just as insurers can reward you with lower premiums for paying annually, some streamers do the same with their plans.
Disney+ currently offers an annual subscription for $139.99, which gives you two months for free compared to paying monthly. If you were to pay month-to-month, you'd be forking out $167.88 a year. Similarly, an Amazon Prime membership is $79 a year or $119.88 if you pay month-to-month - the latter is setting you back $40.88 more yearly.
You may also be missing out on free subscriptions that businesses are offering across the board.
Alinta Energy offers complimentary Kayo subscriptions for 12 months when you sign up for select plans. Apple gifts customers a three-month subscription to Apple TV+ when they purchase an eligible Apple device. If you're on an eligible plan with Optus, you can receive up to 10% off your paid subscriptions when you link them to your SubHub account, while Telstra also offers customers three months of Apple TV+. These can provide significant savings, even if just temporarily.
And, if you do get FOMO when it comes to your TV shows and movies, remember that you can rotate subscriptions on monthly plans. Pausing or cancelling is free and could save you a pretty penny - especially when the same films or TV shows are available across multiple platforms.
Are there free streaming platforms?
Also remember that Seven, Nine, Ten, SBS and ABC all offer free streaming services, which allow you to catch up on free-to-air shows you may have missed, but also stream movies and other exclusive content.
While these options usually do include ads, it's an easy way to entertain the kids or binge the night away.
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