Your latest cable bill is about $30 larger than expected and you’ve about had it with your cable company. You’re ready to walk the now well-worn path of cord cutting, saying goodbye to your cable company and never looking back. And why not? They never charge what they say they’re going to, and their customer service representatives seem to have their own definition of “service.”
Cutting the cable cord has become increasingly more popular with so many high-quality alternatives like Netflix and Hulu costing significantly less per month. But before you ring up Comcast Xfinity customer service or start cancelling dish network, consider the long-term impact of this decision.
The Murky Future of Streaming Services
After Netflix showed that streaming services could be more than just a repository of B-Movies and old sitcoms, Hulu and Amazon Prime quickly followed suit. Now new releases and high quality original content can be found left and right. The catch? If you see something you like, you need a subscription to the specific service. In other words, if you cut the cord on your cable TV, you’re probably not replacing it with just one streaming service. In fact, you’re probably already subscribed to a few.
Now consider the fact that Disney recently announced two new streaming services that are in the works for 2019: one for Disney / Pixar films and another for ESPN. They’re also considering two additional streaming services for the Star Wars and Marvel franchises respectively. When these services get rolled out, Disney films will no longer be available on Netflix and similar third-party platforms, meaning you’ve got to shell out for more monthly subscriptions if you don’t want to miss out.
This is only the beginning. As more and more people go without cable, cable networks will start to feel the sting. Some of them already stream television shows from thier websites. How long before they start protecting their bottom line with their own individual paid streaming services? And when they do, are they likely to let Netflix keep sharing their content?
What This Means for Your Wallet
Ok. Fine. There will be so many new streaming services that the web will start looking like the New Jersey Turnpike at rush hour. Aren’t they still cheaper than that $130 cable bill you just paid?
Individually, yes. But if you don’t want to be relegated to one corner of the entertainment world and severely limit your viewing options, you’re going to pay for more than just one, and those streaming fees will add up. In fact, you might find yourself stuck with a similarly sized but infinitely more complicated bill.
What You Can Do About It
If you really can’t afford it and know you’ll be happy with a little less down the road, then go through with that Comcast cancellation or tear up that list of Time Warner Cable packages. However, if you know you won’t be happy with just one service, especially when networks start pulling out of Netflix and Hulu, consider sticking it out. In the meantime, work on reducing that monthly bill instead of eliminating it.