RIP Cable? Does Cord Cutting Actually Save People Money?

RIP Cable? Does Cord Cutting Actually Save People Money?

Why wait when you can binge instead? For some Americans, the answer may be in their monthly bills.

For many years, but especially during the pandemic, Americans have been getting rid of traditional pay-TV in favor of other options, especially streaming services. But it’s gotten to the point now in which there are so many streaming services, that many who subscribe to them aren’t actually saving most or even any money by doing so.

The website Versus Reviews recently looked at the question of whether consumers are actually saving money by switching to streaming and broke it down by state. It turns out, based on that survey, that some streamers are saving more money than others.

“So, why wait when you can binge instead? For some Americans, the answer may be in their monthly bills. With so many streaming services available, viewers may have trouble finding all the content they want through one streaming platform. And with multiple streaming subscriptions and rising monthly prices, cutting the cord may no longer be the more affordable option. This led us to the question: is anyone actually saving money by streaming, and where?”

The site asked people in all fifty states how many streaming services to which they subscribe, and how much they save. The results were that streamers in New York saved the most (an average of $4.60 a month), while those in West Virginia saved the least, actually paying $26.42 more, with the average number compared to the average cable bill. Other states, such as Missouri, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Nebraska, are saving less than a dollar a month, on average.

The survey specifically mentioned the streaming services Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney+, and Apple TV+.

“Trading a cable package for an individual subscription would allow for big monthly savings,” the site said. “But across the country, respondents reported subscriptions to more than one streaming platform. Ultimately, we found that only thirteen states are saving through streaming—and not by much. Dollar differences from the average cable bill range from average monthly savings of $4.60 in New York to significant monthly spending in West Virginia, at $26.42. There are no distinct regional differences uncovered in this study.”  

“For many of us, the ability to binge-watch our favorite shows, as well as buzzworthy new productions, was a key part of enduring the last year of social distancing and quarantine. Streaming platforms offered an escape from COVID-19 commercials and allowed us to connect from afar with friends and family through Zoom movie nights or conversations about a new release on Netflix,” the Versus Reviews blog post concluded. "But for most of the country, streaming didn’t come with savings, and for some Americans, streaming bills were significantly higher than the average cable bill.”

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.