Streaming services have become a staple in many households, even before the pandemic kept people inside. It’s not hard to see why — a relatively small outlay per month gets you unfettered access to more games, music and TV shows than you could ever hope to buy or rent, let alone store on your devices. The monthly costs can easily make sense, particularly if your household voraciously devours content.
How much you’re willing to spend on streaming services is another story. Are you only willing to pay for one or two providers that you know you’ll use every day, or are you all-in? That is, of course, assuming you’re interested at all. If you’re the sort who prefers to hold on to permanent copies of everything, streaming could easily be a non-starter.
There are cases to be made for and against heavy spending. Many of the best shows are on providers like Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, or Netflix. The costs of subscribing to multiple streaming video services could easily be justifiable if you want to watch it all. And if you’re a gamer, a service like Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, PlayStation Now, or Switch Online can give you an instant library. Music services like Spotify and Apple Music can also be easy to justify if you’re constantly searching for hot new albums.
At the same time, there’s little doubt that subscription service fatigue is a very real thing. A $10 fee here or there isn’t much, but it can quickly add up if you’re a completist. If you ditched cable over costs, there’s not much point to paying just as much (or more) for the streaming services that replaced it. And yes, subscription services by their nature leave you with no permanent copies. If you prefer to have lasting collections, it might be wiser to limit streaming to those services where you’re not attached to the content.
Next: The best video streaming services