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Hopping around Premium Channels: Max Choice & Savings
Old 07-12-2020, 10:20 AM   #1
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Hopping around Premium Channels: Max Choice & Savings

I subscribe to Netflix and Prime, and use my cable provider for a $50/month high-speed internet connection to stream movies. Like most people, I am prepared to swear on a stack of bibles that Netflix and Prime's thousands of programming choices are inadequate.

So lately, rather than add on an array of financially crushing monthly subscriptions (like Hulu, Showtime, HBO, etc.), I have simply been taking advantage of free trials, and often subscribe to the premium channel for a month beyond the free trial. For example, I subscribed to HBO (available on Prime via subscription). I got a free week's trial, and then let the HBO subscription run for an additional month, at a cost of $16 including fees and taxes. During that five weeks, I have watched the very best of HBO's current catalog. Maybe 50 movies/series episodes. Then I cancelled.

Now, I'm subscribing to Hulu (the commercial-free premium version); I got a one-MONTH free trial, and may or may not subscribe for an additional month for a modest (~$12) fee. Hulu has lots of great programming.

Showtime and many other premium channels are available directly on your smart tv, or via Prime. You can cancel and re-start at any time.

In short, I am paying $12-15 for a month's programming from premium movie channels, but I also am getting a trial period (at least the first time around). AND I am getting a plethora of programming choices.

Anyone else doing this? Anybody have a way of improving this strategy?
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:39 AM   #2
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We dumped Netflix over a year ago. The quality of the majority of the content was simply terrible. HBO is much better and less expensive ($14.99 per month vs 15.99 per month). Hulu has much better programming.

For paid programming we have:

Locast (all local broadcast channels): $60 donation annually or $5 per month
Hulu: $6 per month
CBS All Access: $60 per year or $5 per month
HBO Now/Max: 14.99 per month
Philo (Viacom cable channels): $20 per month

Total: $51 per month (for both our Southern California and South Florida residences)

Free channels:

PBS
The CW
CW Seed
Pluto
Sky News
Vevo
YouTube
Sony Crackle
Tubi
Fawsome
Xumo
NewsOn
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:52 AM   #3
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We have HBO with our cable, and I would agree they are reliably good, especially for movies, and some of their own series.

Amazon Prime is pretty good too, especially since we'd be Prime without it so I look at it as free.

Netflix, eh, depends. If you like their original content, great, (ozark, the crown) but I can go long periods where I don't view much there.

Hulu I don't watch much, but I have a few things there.

I doubt many others here have need for Crunchy Roll for anime, but we have that from time to time.

PS, Amex platinum now gives $20 monthly streaming credit which covers a lot of services.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:56 AM   #4
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Do you have a family member who is a student? If so, Spotify still has their student deal, $4.99/month includes Spotify Premium subscription + Hulu subscription + Showtime subscription = unbeatable.

https://www.spotify.com/us/student
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Old 07-12-2020, 12:35 PM   #5
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We tried CBS free for a month, and viewed all we could find on it worth of watching.

I certainly consider it overpriced for what is available, even at $5.00

OP - if you are watching a bunch of free trial channels, you could cancel your Netflix and restart it a month or so later, it will keep all your settings, so you save a month or so of payments.
There is a small issue, that they cancel it effective your payment date, so there is a timing issue, meaning it's easier if you have numerous free channels planned to bing upon.
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