The streaming service changes that could save - or cost - you money


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Aussies sure love their paid video streaming services. Who doesn't enjoy a weekend on the couch binging the latest must-watch show? A recent study commissioned by comparison service iSelect found that more than half surveyed say they're subscribed to at least one paid video streaming service, with Netflix the most popular.

But with cost-of-living hikes across the board, we know many households are looking for ways to save money, and streaming services could be firmly on the chopping block. In fact, the research also found that 40 per cent of Aussies with a paid video subscription service of any kind are considering cancelling at least one in the next six months!

However, since iSelect's commissioned study, some big changes have either already been launched, or are expected to be, for some streaming services. Read on as we break it down for you.

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The streaming service shake-up

Earlier this month, streaming giant Netflix launched a new lower-cost advert-supported plan for Aussies, costing $6.99 a month ($4.00 cheaper than its basic plan without adverts). Disney+ is expected to follow suit with a new ad-supported offering (its subscription is currently priced at $11.99 per month). Netflix also plans to introduce account-sharing fees globally in 2023.

With this information in mind, as well as the financial pinch many households are experiencing right now, it's understandable many may be thinking about downgrading their streaming service subscription, or indeed cancelling it all together.

While those steps would save you money, if you're simply not willing to give up binge-watching your much-loved TV shows and movies, or sit through ads, it could be worth reviewing and comparing your internet plan as well. Read on to find out why.

Internet needs can change

Whether it's your health insurance policy, energy plan or internet deal, it's important to make sure you're not paying more than you need to be when it comes to household bills and expenses.

For internet plans, there is no 'best' or 'one-size-fits-all'. Finding a plan that suits you will ultimately depend on your individual needs and circumstances. Think about what is most important to you... is it price, speed or amount of data included in the plan? Ultimately a cheap internet plan is no use if it doesn't provide the speed and data you require, and these requirements can change over time.

Maybe you're not using as much data as you did when you were working from home during COVID-19 lockdowns, or perhaps your kids are about to move out and won't be spending hours glued to their iPads or laptops anymore. Think about the last time you reviewed your internet plan and if your circumstances have changed since, you might be able to find a more suitable plan and perhaps save some money by switching.

Tips for finding a suitable plan

Not sure what kind of plan would be suitable for you or your household?

Here are some tips which may help you. Depending on your location and technology connection at your property, for a great experience and to avoid slow connections or buffering issues, many providers may offer 50/20mbps or faster plans. These are generally geared for connecting multiple devices, streaming online entertainment, or gaming. If you're keen on flexibility, opting for a month-to-month internet plan could be a good option to go for.

So, if you were planning to 'spring clean' your bills and expenses this year and haven't got around to it just yet, you've still got a few weeks! And don't forget to add your internet plan to the list.

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Sophie Ryan is the spokesperson for comparison service iSelect. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of the Sunshine Coast, and provides advice on how Aussies can save on their household bills.