Subscription cycling for streaming – best approach
Remember when the only streaming service you had was Netflix? Feels like forever ago when that was the case. Currently there’s an overload of streaming platforms, and they all come at a cost which quickly adds up. That’s where “subscription cycling” comes in.
Subscription cycling is a phenomenon that is often associated with subscription-based services, particularly some of the bigger streaming services such as Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. It refers to the pattern of customers subscribing and unsubscribing from a service on a regular basis.
If you want to keep up with the most popular shows out there, it doesn’t feel like there’s an alternative anymore than to subscription cycle.
Take Apple TV for example: they currently have some of the best content out there, rivaling HBO. Shows such as Severance and Ted Lasso are must watches, and even the ones The Afterparty and Servant are high quality for genre enthusiasts. That said, whenever I activate Apple TV I’m usually through the content in a month and I then unsubscribe until there’s enough new content on it.
Subscription cycling is becoming a more common phenomenon in the streaming market, but at the moment it’s mostly hitting smaller services such as Apple TV and Paramount+. Netflix and Disney+ have fared better. (Despite the fact that Netflix often offers wrong aspect ratio of films…)
According to research by technology company Samba, only 29% of U.S. adults have subscription cycled in the past six months but over two-thirds of plan to in the next six months of 2023. Read more here.
Our tips to make sure you don’t burn through money by keeping too many streaming services live are:
- Keep track of how much you’re watching on a streaming platform. If you’re down to e.g. one movie a month, is it really worth paying $10?
- Keep your amount of live subscriptions to a minimum. If you have one (or two) streaming services in play, go through their content
- Wait to activate a new streaming platform until you’re through the content of the ones you have up and running, or
- Wait to activate a new streaming platform until your new favorite show is back. If it’s a weekly show we usually wait to activate the streaming service until the whole season is wrapped or there’s only the finale left (to catch up before the internet starts spoiling things)
Anything we’ve missed? If you’re interested in reading more of our thoughts on streaming platforms, read here why Mubi is a disappointing streaming platform.