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How to save £100s a year on streaming services

author: Helen Fox

By Helen Fox

From groceries to petrol to energy bills, there are few living costs that haven’t gone up in price in recent months. And, streaming services are no exception.

Disney+ raised prices last year, and Netflix recently announced price rises for 2022, as well as trialling additional fees in some countries for those who want to share their account with someone outside of their household.

This means that now may be a good time to re-evaluate what you pay for streaming services and see how you could save. We’ve gathered our tips to help you tackle your streaming subscriptions – you could save over £100 a year!

Consolidate your subscriptions

As a nation, we spent £4.46 billion on streaming services in 2021, and The Guardian estimates that subscribing to every service available would cost us each £2,500 a year! Most streaming subscriptions cost between £5 and £10 per month each. So, even if you only subscribe to a select few, trimming them down further could still save you upwards of £60 a year.

Here are a few things to think about that could help you decide which subscriptions to keep and which to cancel:

  • Content overlap – Streaming services pride themselves on offering unique, exclusive content you can’t find anywhere else, but a bit of overlap is still inevitable. If you find you’re watching the same things on multiple platforms, at least one of them can probably go.
  • Unused subscriptions – The release of a hotly-anticipated show may have been what drove you to subscribe to a service, but have you used it since the show ended? If you haven’t, then you could save some money by unsubscribing until the next series comes out.
  • Forgotten free trials – Lots of streaming services offer free trials that we sign up to, then forget about. Do a quick audit of your bank statement to check what you’re paying for and unsubscribe from anything you'd forgotten about.
  • Your go-to services – Many of us have several subscriptions, but we still have favourites that we turn to the most. Why not keep these and unsubscribe from the others?

Remember, if you unsubscribe from a streaming service, you can always re-subscribe later if you miss it, or something new is released that you’re interested in!

Check your packages

While some streaming services charge a simple monthly subscription fee, others have subscription tiers. Checking you’re on the most appropriate tier for your use could enable you to downgrade your package and save a bit of money.

For example, with Netflix, subscription tiers cost from £6.99 to £15.99 a month. Comparing what’s on offer in each tier with what you need could show you that you could downgrade your subscription to save. Let’s say you currently pay £10.99 a month for the standard tier but only really need the basic one. If you downgraded, you could save £4 a month, or £48 a year!

Merge subscriptions with your household

Are you and other members of your household each paying for your own subscriptions to streaming services without knowing? Call a house or family meeting, and compare notes on who uses what streaming services, and which account they access them with. If you have any overlap, merge them!

Almost all streaming services have family and household packages for multiple users that cost a little more than one individual subscription, but not as much as two. Individual users will still each have their own profiles, so you don’t need to worry about someone messing with your playlists and recommendations!

Spotify’s family plans in particular are great value for households. Spotify Duo gives two people in the same household access to Spotify Premium for £13.99 a month – a £5.99 a month (or £71.88 a year) household saving compared to each of you paying for yourselves.

Or, their Family plan gives you up to six accounts for £16.99 a month as well as bonus features for children, saving you as much as £42.95 a month, or a whopping £515.40 each year, as a household!

Likewise, an Amazon Prime household package allows two adults from the same household to benefit from a single Prime membership. If you were each paying for your own membership before at £7.99 a month, this could save you £95.88 a year between you!

Find freebies

As well as free trials when you sign up for a service, it’s often possible to find free or cheaper access to streaming services through other accounts you have. For example, phone networks often throw in free streaming services as a perk for both new and existing customers. O2 are currently offering 6 months free on either Disney+ or Amazon streaming services when you take out a new contract, or upgrade as an existing customer. This could save you as much as £60! But, you’ll need to weigh up the saving against the cost of the contract to make sure you’re not left out of pocket overall.

Or, if you have a Tesco Clubcard, you can swap £8 worth of vouchers for a 3-month Disney+ subscription, saving you £15.97 vs. paying for the subscription.

Find out how your Netflix subscription could help you improve your credit score!

Disclaimer: We make every effort to ensure that content is correct at the time of publication. Please note that information published on this website does not constitute financial advice, and we aren’t responsible for the content of any external sites.

Couple in bright apartment watching TV together Couple in bright apartment watching TV together