The cord cutting trend doesn’t appear to be showing any signs of slowing down. Every day more consumers are ditching traditional cable and satellite providers, instead opting for a “cordless lifestyle.”
But is cord cutting approaching a tipping point? When it takes 10 apps to achieve what a single cable provider does, is cord cutting really that efficient? What about the cost savings? Multiple apps add up fast.
Let’s explore if cutting the cord is still worth it.
Streaming Conflicts Are Increasing
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to fulfill your TV, movie, and sports needs with just one or two streaming apps. The problem: streaming conflicts.
Hulu Can’t Air CW Network Shows. Let’s say you use Hulu and your favorite show is “Jane the Virgin,” which airs on the CW Network. The CW Network requires viewers to use their app, meaning it’s the only way to watch the show.
Disney Is Leaving Netflix. When you think movies you think Netflix, right? Well, a huge chunk of their movie selection will be leaving in 2019 when Disney bids adieu.
Thousands of Netflix/Disney hearts broke when Disney announced they were leaving Netflix for BAMTech. Hmm wonder what that means for ESPN, who Disney also owns. Should be interesting.
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Sony Vue Lost Viacom. If you’re a fan of MTV, Spike, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, etc. you will not be able to stream those shows or any other programs owned by Viacom.
All of these streaming conflicts mean you’ll need more apps. Aargh!
Live TV Isn’t That Simple Either
Watching live TV isn’t a cakewalk either. Your options will depend on where you live. For instance, Sony Vue not only can’t stream Viacom programs, but they also have a complicated relationship with CBS, ABC, Fox, and NBC, too. Where your home is will determine which networks you’ll be able to stream through Vue.
And Vue isn’t the only one with live TV limitations. YouTube TV is limited to Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Sorry about your luck, everywhere else.
Plus, if you’re looking to eliminate commercials from your live TV streaming, choose carefully because not all streaming devices are ad free. (Better read the fine print.) And replicating live streaming TV services is more expensive. Hulu with Live TV will set you back $39.99, while YouTube TV starts at $35 per month.
When you realize you need multiple apps to essentially build an a la carte streaming package, the cost for those apps add up fast.
Will Cord Cutting Soon Be As Expensive As Cable?
Well, it depends. If you can still get away with skinny bundles, you’ll be fine. But if you’re requiring multiple streaming services, you could be looking at rising costs that rival your old cable bill.
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The average cable bill is estimated to be around $100 a month. Now take into consideration that you need internet before anything else so that’s $50+ right off the bat. And if you’re streaming multiple devices, you may have to upgrade your internet speed to a more expensive package to alleviate buffering issues, which are a whole other problem with cord cutting.
Then throw in Netflix ($9.99) and YouTube TV ($35), and you’re already facing a $95+ bill. Wasn’t the whole point of this to save money?
Wait, you haven’t even rolled in Amazon Prime Video ($8.25), or what Disney’s BAMTech will potentially cost, both which will push you over the $100 threshold. And if you have a sports fan in the house, you’ll need CBS All Access, too. Yikes.
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Cord cutting has always been about the appeal of unplugging, which was intended to offer a simpler, more affordable option. If those two factors start fading, we may see some cord cutters ready to plug back in.
However, with Apple’s recent game-changing announcement of the New Apple TV 4K, which also offers live sports and news, maybe they will stay cut after all.