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Are Streaming Services Worth It? 10 Reasons to Subscribe Today

Over the last decade, the way we watch TV and movies has changed dramatically. Gone are the days of being tied to expensive cable packages with hundreds of channels we never watch. Instead, we now have access to an unprecedented selection of on-demand content that can be streamed anytime, anywhere. The rise of streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and others has revolutionized home entertainment.

Streaming adoption has skyrocketed in recent years as more consumers cut the cord. According to Deloitte‘s 2022 Media Trends report, more than 80% of US households now subscribe to at least one paid streaming service, up from just 10% in 2009.[^1] And on average, Americans subscribe to 4 different services.^2

[^1]: Kevin Westcott et al., "2022 Digital Media Trends, 16th Edition," Deloitte Insights, March 28, 2022,

If you haven‘t made the jump to streaming yet, you may be wondering if it‘s really worth it. As an avid streamer myself and someone who has tracked the industry for over a decade, I can confidently say that the answer is a resounding YES for most people. Here are 10 key reasons why subscribing to one or more streaming services is one of the best entertainment values today:

1. Watch on your schedule

One of the best things about streaming services is the convenience and flexibility they offer. No more planning your life around TV schedules or setting the DVR. With streaming, an entire library of content is ready and waiting for you on your schedule. Feel like binge-watching an entire season of Stranger Things in one day? Go for it. Only have time for one quick episode of Abbott Elementary? No problem. You‘re in complete control of what you watch and when.

2. Access a massive content library

The sheer volume and variety of TV shows, movies, and specials available on most streaming services is staggering. For example, industry leader Netflix has nearly 6,000 titles in its US library alone.[^3] No matter your tastes or interests, you‘re sure to find plenty to watch. And with each service investing heavily in original exclusive series and movies you can‘t find anywhere else, there‘s always something new to discover. From classic sitcoms like Seinfeld and The Office to critically acclaimed dramas like The Crown and Breaking Bad to Oscar-winning films like CODA, it‘s all just a click away.

[^3]: "Number of titles available on Netflix in the United States from 2018 to 2022," Statista, May 2022,

3. Watch where you want

With streaming, you‘re not limited to watching solely on your TV set. Nearly all streaming services have apps available on a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and game consoles. This makes it incredibly easy to watch your favorite content just about anywhere – lounging on the couch, lying in bed, sitting on the train to work, or in a hotel room across the country. As long as you have a decent internet connection, your shows and movies can come with you virtually anywhere.

4. Cut costs over cable

For most consumers, opting for streaming over cable can lead to significant cost savings. The average cable package in the US now costs over $200 per month once you factor in all the hidden fees, equipment rentals, and premium add-ons.[^4] By contrast, most streaming services cost between $5 and $20 per month, with no hidden fees or long-term contracts. So even subscribing to multiple services is usually still much cheaper than cable:

Streaming Service Monthly Price
Netflix $9.99-$19.99
Disney+ $7.99
HBO Max $9.99-$14.99
Hulu $6.99-$12.99

Even a "full stack" of the top 5-6 services would run around $60-80 per month – a savings of $120+ compared to the cable bill. And since most services allow easy cancelation at any time, you can churn in and out as needed if your budget or content needs change.

[^4]: Mike Farrell, "It‘s Official: U.S. Cable TV Bills Averaged $211.75 in 2021," Next TV, March 7, 2022,

5. Enjoy uninterrupted, ad-free content

There‘s nothing more annoying than getting engrossed in a TV show only to have your immersion broken every few minutes by loud, repetitive commercial breaks. With traditional cable, nearly a quarter of your viewing time can be taken up by ads.[^5] Streaming services offer a refreshingly ad-free oasis where you can enjoy your content distraction-free for as long as you want. For a few dollars more per month, nearly every major service now offers a completely ad-free viewing experience, making it well worth the modest premium.

[^5]: "US: most popular video streaming services 2023," Statista, March 2023,

6. Discover your next favorite show

As you watch more content on a streaming service, it learns your viewing habits and tastes to highlight other shows and movies you‘re likely to enjoy. Using viewing data and sophisticated machine learning algorithms, services like Netflix and Disney+ can surface personalized recommendations for compelling content that traditional cable simply can‘t match. So instead of aimlessly scrolling through hundreds of channels, you can quickly discover a great new show or classic film you may have otherwise missed.

I‘ve personally discovered some of my all-time favorite series this way that I never would have found on my own, like Dark, The Queen‘s Gambit, and Severance. Streaming has taken the work out of finding your next binge-worthy obsession.

7. Get a great viewing experience

In the early days of streaming, concerns about buffering, low resolution, and glitchy playback made some hesitant to cut the cable cord. But the streaming experience has improved dramatically in recent years thanks to better compression tech, app optimization, and more robust content delivery networks. Today, you can expect reliable HD and 4K quality streams that meet or exceed cable picture quality, even over average home broadband connections (25+ mbps recommended).

Leading SVODs have invested billions in infrastructure and technology over the past decade to make the viewing experience as seamless as possible. For example, Netflix operates its own custom CDN called Open Connect in partnership with ISPs to maximize streaming performance and efficiency.[^6] As a result, stream interruptions and degraded quality are largely a thing of the past for most users.

[^6]: Ken Florance, "How Netflix Works With ISPs Around the Globe to Deliver a Great Viewing Experience," Netflix Tech Blog, March 17, 2016,

8. Simplify your setup

Switching to streaming can significantly declutter and simplify your home entertainment setup. Rather than having to manage multiple cable boxes, remotes, DVRs, and a tangle of wires, you can access all your favorite content through a single streaming device or smart TV. And you can use a single universal remote (or even just your phone) to control everything.

Most streaming services also offer a clean, intuitive interface to easily browse their library and jump right into playback without the confusing menus and slow load times of cable guides. Overall, it‘s a much more user-friendly and hassle-free experience. Spend less time navigating and more time actually watching what you want.

9. Maximize value

On a pure cost-per-hour-of-entertainment basis, it‘s hard to beat the value of streaming services. Even the pricier options typically max out at around $20/month – less than the cost of a single movie ticket in most cities. And that gives you on-demand access to thousands of titles available to watch as much as you want at any time.

Here‘s a comparison of how much it costs per hour to stream versus other entertainment options, based on average US prices and consumption in 2022:[^7]

Activity Cost Per Hour
Streaming service $0.21
Cable TV $0.91
Movie theater $5.25
Concert $19.25
Broadway show $58.67

As you can see, streaming offers by far the most bang for your buck compared to other leisure activities, making it arguably the best entertainment value around today.

[^7]: Calculated based on data from "Average Time Spent Watching TV per Day in the United States from 2014 to 2023," Statista, July 2022, and "Cost of Living in the United States," Numbeo, April 2023,

10. Stay culturally relevant

Finally, it‘s worth noting that streaming services are increasingly becoming the center of gravity for the most relevant, talked-about, and award-winning series and films. In the 2022 Emmy Awards, streaming shows accounted for nearly 50% of wins across all categories, including the first-ever Outstanding Drama Series win for Apple TV+ (Ted Lasso) and multiple wins for Netflix in major categories.[^8] [^8]: Andrew Liptak, "Apple and Netflix Dominate the Streaming Awards," The Verge, September 13, 2022,

If you want to keep up with the cultural conversation around TV and avoid major FOMO, you really need access to at least a few key services. Streaming is where all the buzz and breakout hits are coming from now. Linear networks simply can‘t compete with Silicon Valley‘s content budgets and risk tolerance for greenlighting innovative new shows.

Which services are best?

Of course, with so many streaming options now available, you may be wondering which specific services are most worth your money. While the ideal mix will depend on your specific content tastes and budget, here are my top 5 picks that together offer an unbeatable combination of quality, variety, and value:

1. Netflix – The OG streaming service remains the market leader for good reason. No one can match the breadth and quality of Netflix‘s massive library, especially when it comes to exclusive original series and movies. From global sensations like Squid Game to Oscar darlings like The Power of the Dog, Netflix is still the gold standard and a must-have for any streaming stack.

2. HBO Max – For prestige TV and thoughtful curation, it doesn‘t get any better than HBO. And HBO Max delivers not only all the premium content from the legacy cable channel but also a strong slate of Max Originals and tons of great movies and shows from parent company Warner Bros. If you want an endless supply of sophisticated, acclaimed series, look no further.

3. Disney+ – For family-friendly entertainment, Disney+ is king. It‘s the exclusive home for nearly everything in the vast Disney vault, from classic animated films to Marvel blockbusters to Star Wars sagas. At just $8/month, it‘s an unbeatable value for kids and kids-at-heart alike.

4. Hulu – Hulu offers next-day streaming of new episodes from top networks like ABC, NBC, and Fox, making it a great cable replacement. It‘s also ramped up a strong slate of originals like Only Murders in the Building and The Bear. And you can bundle it with Disney+ and ESPN+ for even more savings.

5. Apple TV+ – One of the newer entrants in the streaming wars, Apple TV+ has quickly made a name for itself with a laser focus on a small-but-mighty lineup of buzzy originals. From Ted Lasso to Severance to CODA, Apple‘s content punches well above its weight. And at just $5/month, it‘s the definition of a valuable add-on.

What‘s the catch?

Streaming is great, but it‘s not perfect. There are a few potential downsides and limitations to be aware of:

  • Content can rotate on and off services as licensing deals begin and end, so your favorite shows may not be permanently available to stream
  • Internet outages or speed/bandwidth issues can disrupt streams, though this is increasingly rare
  • Managing and paying for multiple subscriptions can get cumbersome
  • Some services are starting to introduce ad-supported tiers à la Hulu and Netflix
  • Channel surfing is difficult compared to cable since content is spread across apps

But I‘d argue these are relatively minor tradeoffs in the grand scheme. For most users, the benefits and savings of streaming far outweigh the downsides. And there are usually fairly simple workarounds (e.g. downloading content offline to get around internet issues).

The future of streaming

Looking ahead, all signs point to streaming‘s dominance only accelerating. Global streaming subscriptions are projected to grow over 86% from 1.3 billion in 2022 to 2.4 billion in 2028.[^9] And as younger generations grow up in an on-demand world, linear TV consumption will continue to plummet.

[^9]: "Video Streaming Market Worth $973.46 Billion Global Forecast 2028," Fortune Business Insights, July 2022,

The streaming wars will certainly get more heated though as deep-pocketed tech giants like Apple and Amazon go head-to-head with legacy media companies for subscribers‘ time and money. We‘ll likely see further consolidation, price increases, and experimentation with bundles, live sports and news, and theatrical distribution models. But one thing is sure: streaming services will remain the primary way most of us consume TV and film. The genie is not going back in the cable box.

So if you‘re still on the fence about cutting the cord, consider this your sign. Take the plunge into streaming and start reaping the benefits today. With the flexibility, selection, and value that services offer, you likely won‘t miss cable one bit. Your wallet and your watch list will thank you.