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Streaming services: How to cut subscriptions and save money?

Hand on remote pointing at TV with the word Netflix on itTelevision streaming services were many people’s saviour through the pandemic lockdowns. They felt like essentials, as many of us binge watched numerous series and films, subscriptions rose by more than 50% to a total 30 million subscribers across the UK.

However, with the current cost of living crisis and many subscription prices rising, some people are now cancelling, or considering cancelling, their subscriptions. But before you do it, check out these ways that could help you reduce the cost.

10 Top ways to save on streaming service subscriptions

  • Rotate streaming services

If you have more than one service, look at rotating them. Plan your viewing. If there’s something that you definitely want to see on Netflix, for example, subscribe for a month, then the following month subscribe to a different service.

  • Check the free streaming  services

Look at how often you watch something on one of the streaming services out of habit.. ITV Hub, BBC iPlayer, and all the catch up terrestrial channels often have programmes that can also be found on the streaming sites.

  • Threaten to leave!

Just like broadband providers, some pay TV companies will give you a more favourable offer if you suggest you are going to leave. About a month before your subscription runs out, start the process for leaving. And don’t accept the first offer!

  • Cashback sites

Checkout cashback sites, such as Topcashback* and Quidco* may give you special deals. For example, at the point of publishing (26 July 2022) Topcashback will give you £10.00 for taking out a Disney+ subscription.

  • Pay annually

Like most things, paying annually rather than monthly will save you money. For example, an annual subscription on Amazon will save you about £15 over the year. This is not a huge amount but it is the equivalent of getting two months free.

  • Remember to cancel!

It’s easy to forget to cancel a subscription. Make a note of the renewal date and keep a record of just how much you used the service, so you can work out whether you want to renew, threaten to leave or actually leave.

  • Use apps

Apps such as JustWatch, Reelgood and WatchPlayStream tell you on which platform you can watch programmes (legally!) and for how much. Keep a record of this as you go along and you’ll see how you can save money which may help you decide which service would be best for you.

  • Downgrade your subscription

A number of the streaming services have different levels, so look at whether you need all the benefits of the higher amount. For example, do you need Amazon Prime for deliveries? You could just use Amazon videos perhaps?  With a Netflix subscription, might you want to downgrade from four devices to just the one?

  • Take an offer

Are you looking to take out a new phone contract? At the point of publishing Vodafone is offering up to two years free streaming with some phone deals. EE offers a Netflix subscription for new and upgrading Smart Plan customers and T Mobile offers customers a free Netflix subscription.

  • Get a free subscription trial

Always be on the look-out for a free trial. If you know there’s one series or programme coming up that you would really like to see, then plan when to take out the free trial. And again, don’t forget to make a note of when to cancel!

BBC Breakfast 26/07/22 saving on streaming services

Further help with subscriptions and terms and conditions

top 10 tips for savings on subscriptions with picture of contract


See Think before you sign – top 10 tips to save on subscriptions for how to save money on subscriptions, how to avoid the traps and details of your rights if you want to cancel regardless of terms and conditions.


*Refer a friend links


By Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist
Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

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