How much will it cost a month to subscribe to all the major TV streaming services?jessie tan
The streaming wars have arrived, and no matter who wins, your wallet will be the biggest casualty.
For better or worse, we’re getting a whole lot more choices to watch content in an era where everyone’s cutting the cord on cable TV. In lieu of ditching Singtel and Starhub cable TV services, we’re now facing down a battlefield of multiple online streaming services.
Disruptive digital technology is always great initially — just recall how awesome it felt when you first had access to Netflix’s massive content library. But when new becomes normal, it just ain’t fun anymore.
Now, it’s not strange to subscribe to a handful of services just to catch up on every talked-about TV show or film. And with Disney launching its own heavyweight streaming service Disney+ in the US tomorrow, it won’t be too long that Singapore consumers have yet another subscription option and a thousand more things to watch. There’s a term to describe being overwhelmed with indecision from too many choices: option paralysis.
But hey, anything’s better than the old days of cable TV. Since we could be forking out a lot more moolah next year thanks to the tax in Singapore that’ll start hitting digital services, it’s probably a good time to think about exactly how much money we’re spending on on-demand entertainment.
Top exclusives: Stranger Things, The Crown, Bojack Horseman, Roma, Master of None, The Irishman
Why you should get it: Nearly everyone and their mother has a Netflix subscription. A vast, vast library of both original and syndicated TV shows and movies, allowing you to literally rot your eyes trying to catch up with past series, ongoing content, and hyped-up up-and-comers.
Price: $10.98 (SD quality), $13.98 (HD quality, 2 simultaneous screens), $16.98 (HD, Ultra HD quality, 4 simultaneous screens)
Amazon Prime Video
Top exclusives: Fleabag, Good Omens, The Boys, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, American Gods
Why you should get it: What you can’t find on Netflix, there’s a possibility that you’ll find them on Prime Video. Mostly The Office, Community, Parks and Recreation, and 30 Rock. Mainly The Office.
Price: Comes with an Amazon Prime membership, which is $2.99 a month
Top exclusives: So Bright 2, Assalamualaikum My Future Husband, No Sleep No FOMO
Why you should get it: Let’s be honest, you’re probably not interested in the Viu Originals. But you can stream a respectable list of Korean dramas, variety shows and movies.
Price: Free (SD quality with ads, watch only on phone, tablet or PC), $4.90 (HD quality, priority viewing, watch on TV)
Top exclusives: Doesn’t matter, because…
Why you should get it: …it’s the best anime streaming service out there. Sure, Netflix has some great anime titles, but it’s not as substantial or updated as Crunchyroll’s library. A must-have for any hardcore Japanese anime or manga fan.
Top exclusives: The Morning Show, See, Dickinson. They’re all original content — Apple TV+ doesn’t offer any syndicated shows and films.
Why you should get it: Right now, there aren’t a lot of compelling reasons why you should click subscribe. It’s likely that you got a year’s subscription to Apple TV+ for free after buying a brand new Apple device, so might as well keep it. Apple promises more high-quality original content from big names in the near future, but we’ll see.
HBO GO (via Toggle)
Top exclusives: Silicon Valley, Westworld, Succession, Watchmen, and an unknown show called Game of Thrones
Why you should get it: If you like HBO’s array of award-winning, edgy content and don’t like being a pirate, getting a HBO GO subscription is the best way to go about watching ‘em. It’s not that straightforward here though, cause they’ll need to subscribe and access it through Toggle, thanks to a partnership between Mediacorp and HBO Asia.
Top exclusives: Cobra Kai, Kevin Hart: What The Fit. Yeah, the rest of the exclusive shows have either ended or their renewal contracts are up in the air.
Why you should get it: No pre-roll ads should be enough merit, but you also get to download videos for offline viewing, enable songs to play in the background, and a YouTube Music subscription to boot. You laugh, but the kids of today are on YouTube for way longer than traditional TV.
Disney Plus (soon)
Top exclusives: The Mandalorian, Loki, WandaVision, Ms Marvel, Moon Knight, Lizzie McGuire, The World According to Jeff Goldblum
Why you should get it: Disney pretty much owns everything you and your kids have ever loved, and now they have their own platform to showcase all the content they’ve gobbled up. Movies and shows belonging to the entertainment juggernaut (including Pixar flicks, Marvel movies, everything Star Wars) will be pulled from other streaming services and plopped right onto Disney Plus. Thing is, we don’t know when Singapore will get the service.
Price: $9.55 (estimated)
So how much will it all cost?
A lot — so much so that you’ll question how cord-cutting was even supposed to save you money in the first place. If you’re subscribed to all of the above, it’ll be over $75 a month to enjoy some of the best movies and tv shows the world has to offer right now.
Let’s say you’re ditching the non-essential niche stuff like anime, K-drama and YouTube shows. It’s still a decent chunk out of your pocket at nearly $50 monthly. And we haven’t even factored in the additional costs you might have to pay once the digital tax kicks in next year.
All in all, it’s probably safe to say that you could be doling out up to $60 a month just for streaming services. Welcome to the new world of home entertainment — it’s painful for our wallets, but damn will we never run out of things to watch.
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