To stream or not to stream?

Streaming services are ideal for a winter’s night in but with more and more competing for your cash, here are some tips to help you choose the right ones for you and the whole family.

Decide which ones to axe

Look at the time you spend watching each TV service you subscribe to and you will probably find you watch some far more than others. Some services are better for TV than films and vice versa, so prioritising one or the other helps keep the content you watch most available while reducing the cost.

Go free

Many of the services offer free trials, which you can cancel before they expire to avoid being charged. Ideal for binge watching a new series or checking out a film you missed on the big screen.  

Toggle between services

Most streaming services can be paid for on a rolling monthly basis, so you can quickly switch between them and save by only paying for one at a time. The best way to watch new shows for the least money is to wait for all episodes to be made available, pay for a single month and watch them all in one go.

Find deals and bundles

Buying your streaming services in bundles or deals with other subscriptions can work out cheaper. For instance, many mobile phone contracts come with the option of a music or video streaming service. If you are committed to a particular streaming service, paying for a year upfront can also save you money.

Threaten to pull the plug

If you go to your account online and follow the cancellation process you may be asked why you are attempting to leave. If you select the “too expensive” option or similar, you may be offered a discount.

Buy with a gift card

Some streaming services such as Netflix, Now and Apple Music or Apple TV+ can be paid for with gift cards or vouchers, which can sometimes be bought for less than their face value. Bigger retailers such as Amazon or Tesco often offer 10% off in periodic sales, meaning a £100 gift voucher is available for £90, while smaller online retailers usually offer gift cards with smaller discounts of up to 5% depending on the value.

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