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5 Tips to Spend Less and Watch More With On-Demand Streaming Services

Are you spending to much or looking to access more content this year? Read our top 5 tips on how to spend less and watch more on-demand streaming services.

On-demand streaming services continue to be in demand as more and more competition is entering the market in Singapore. If you are like me, you probably have multiple streaming subscriptions from Netflix to HBO Go, and are surprised at how much money you've been spending each month on entertainment. Moreover, according to a new report by GlobalWebIndex, 19% of Singaporeans have said they significantly increased the amount of time spent streaming TV in 2020.

graph comparing sg vs other countries in tv streaming during covid-19

Streaming service providers offer exclusive or original content, like the recent Zack Synder's Justice League exclusive on HBO Go, making it difficult to say which streaming service is the best. The answer simply depends on your interests and the content available. So how do we manage our subscriptions and get access to the most content in 2021?

1. Take Advantage of Family Plans or Multiple User Options

Divide and conquer. If your goal is to have the most access at the lowest cost, dividing the cost among other family members or close friends immediately saves your wallet. Many streaming services offer multiple users across multiple devices to stream at the same time. Now take this strategy and move across multiple streaming services to access the most content at a fraction of the cost.

Typically, though not always the case, adding more users requires spending a little more money a month. Either way, your overall cost will go down. That being said, if the splitting arrangement comes to an end, make sure to reduce your membership to a base plan. Don't spend extra dollars on something you simply don't need--leading us right into our 2nd tip.

2. Manage Your Subscriptions

According to Finder.com, the average Singaporean spends S$57.69 on subscriptions every month. If you cut that expense in half and invested the extra S$25 per month in a brokerage account (conservative 5% rate of return per year), you can see exactly how much you are losing in opportunity cost for services you don't use.

invest_sub_returns

So whether you are an Android or Apple user, look at the recurring subscriptions under your account. If you have multiple accounts, it may be best to check your bank statement and see what automatic payments are going out. If you notice a subscription service you haven't used in the last two weeks, maybe it is time to cancel and do some quarterly cleaning.

3. Take Advantage of Free Trials

Many streaming services offer introductory free trials. With this in mind, plan your subsequent free trial to be in line with your next binge or long three-day weekend. This way, you can use your free trial for the show you have been waiting for when you have the time to watch.

In the last year, many mainstream streaming services have been offering extended free trials to provide home entertainment during lockdowns worldwide. So you might get lucky and be able to binge more than a few seasons before your trial expires. Make sure to remember to cancel the free trial if you are not looking to continue the subscription, as your credit card will automatically be billed after the free trial ends. This tip goes well with our next one.

4. Plan Your Binges and Rotate Streaming Services

Even though we might all have our favourite, It is hard to say which is the best on-demand streaming service. They all have a unique value proposition that plays to different consumers. Some may have a wealth of original content, where others have the most exclusive access to classics we all know and love. Either way, plan your binges, make a calendar, and rotate your subscriptions. There is plenty of content for the average user to run a few months on each streaming platform before getting bored.

Moreover, most streaming services allow you to cancel and resume services at your convenience. So take a look at what you want to binge in the next few months and activate the streaming service that offers that content. In the meantime, you can deactivate streaming services that you don't plan on using and save considerable cash in the long run.

5. Look for Discounts

You may not notice, but most streaming services offer some kind of discount. Some offer student discounts while others may offer discounts through your internet service provider, or mobile phone service.

Suppose you've taken a look and can't find any discounts being offered through your other monthly expenses. In that case, there are rewards credit cards that offer cashback or other rewards for streaming subscriptions that can save you a few dollars a month.

Stephen Lee

Stephen Lee is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion, specializing in insurance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the University of Washington, and his prior work experience include risk management and underwriting for professional liability and specialty insurance at Victor Insurance. Additionally, Stephen is a former US Peace Corps Volunteer in Myanmar (serving between 2018-2020), where he continues to provide business development consulting services to HR companies in Asia Pacific.

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