Does Cable TV Cord Cutting Actually Save you Money?

Does Cable TV Cord Cutting Actually Save you Money?
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When cord cutting first became a trend, people were tired of cable packages that were becoming more expensive and bloated. The largest and most powerful media companies would package their popular channels with their not-so-popular options, which meant more money for content you did not want. Cutting the cord to save was an obvious choice, but years later, not all cord cutters are really saving.

The Ever-Expanding Selection of Streaming Services

One issue that consumers face is the sheer scope of streaming services currently on the market. In the good old days of cord cutting, if you had Netflix, Hulu, GoLatino TV, and perhaps Amazon Prime, you were in pretty good shape content-wise. Then, HBO and Showtime started to make a compelling argument and maybe you borrowed login details from the family member who had still yet to cut the cord. But then, companies like Disney, Paramount and NBC Universal realized that while they were making a profit with Netflix, they could make an even greater profit by competing with them as a rival service.

Some Cord Cutters Are Saving. Many Are Not

A recent industry survey found that many Americans believe that they are paying more or about the same as they were when they originally cut the cord rather than less. Most blame the increasing selection mentioned above. Another $10 a month may not seem like much but begins to add up. The survey also found regional differences. Streaming services tend to cost the same no matter where you live. This is not the case with cable TV. People in West Virginia are paying more each month—about $25 on average—whereas people in New York are paying about $5 less a month on average.

Embrace Ordering À La Carte

Back when the threat of cord cutting first loomed for cable TV companies, the big demand among consumers is that they be able to purchase their television à la carte. In other words, they wanted to purchase the channels that they wanted individually and build unique packages.

Cutting the cord gives consumers this option to a degree. While the concept of channels does not exist among streaming services, such services do not have contracts. That means that you can drop them and resubscribe at your convenience. But the consumers who are not saving are not doing this. Consumers who are saving tend to have a budget and drop and subscribe to services each month.

Understanding Consumer Behavior

The concept of à la carte television was a lot more appealing when the consumer would be picking content once or twice a year or even less often. Managing your streaming services on a monthly basis can seem like a hassle, and so, the laziness of the average consumer is certainly a factor.

However, the newer streaming services are hard at work exploiting the psychology of their customers. Netflix changed the game by releasing entire series all at once and entering the term binge watching into our lexicon. Most newer services are drip feeding content to viewers and are purposefully making scheduling decisions that make it more inconvenient to drop them and resubscribe.

The Live TV Problem

Another issue is live television. Some cord cutters turned their back on live TV like John McClane walking away from an explosion. Others opted for HD antennas for free over-the-air live TV with various degrees of success. More consumers than not, however, apparently cannot live without live news and sporting events and turned to solutions like Hulu Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV. The problem there is that those services cost just about as much as the base cable TV package you dropped all those years ago.