Streaming video, music, games, and more isn’t a fad; it’s a whole new business, and the number of options out there can be overwhelming. They can also be very tempting. We’re sure most of you have a streaming service or two that you don’t necessarily need but just happen to enjoy and can’t bear to be without, especially after spending time with it at home in recent months!
Our team is here to help you get the most out of your streaming services of choice while prioritizing value and cost control, as well as safety for all household members who may benefit from not being exposed to certain content. Today, let’s explore the seven common mistakes folks make when using such services.
Plenty of us have a Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Prime Music, Google Play Music, YouTube Music, or even a Tidal account for streaming our favourite tunes. However, the real danger is racking up those credit card bills by paying for multiple variations of the same service type every month. Five or ten dollars a month might not sound like much, but it can sure add up when you’re paying for multiple plans at once! This can also happen to video and gaming streaming services, of which there are a dime a dozen (pun intended). Avoid the collect-a-thon and simplify your streaming habits by focusing on as few services as possible. Take the time to sit down with your household and identify which you want to keep and which you won’t miss too much, compare pricing, and try to whittle down the number of plans you have active. You might be surprised to see considerable savings in the long run – hundreds of dollars a year in most cases!
Paying Too Much for Too Little
Let’s say that a certain streaming service you used to love has upped their pricing, usually to account for operating costs or stream quality. If you really love what you’re getting for the money then it might be understandable to stay on, but what if you’re not finding as much to enjoy, or worse, your favourite go-to movies and shows aren’t available due to the licenses between the studio and streaming platform expiring? Paying too much for too little is a common problem we face in many areas of life nowadays, so it’s not a bad idea to revisit your usage of the plan to see if you’re getting your money’s worth. This is going to vary depending on personal preferences and tastes, so don’t be afraid to say no and cancel – there are plenty of options out there!
Insufficient Download Speeds or Data Caps
Know what’s the worst when it comes to streaming? Getting the family hyped up for that 4K HDR animated movie night, only for you to count the pixels on one hand thanks to buffering or bloated internet connections. Or, what if you run out of data for the month and can’t even enjoy the plans you’re paying for? Make sure you’ve signed up for an internet package that supports optimal download or upload speeds – streaming platforms usually have a page with minimum suggested speeds for certain resolutions, particularly video providers. 4K video is very hard on data allowances, by the way, so be sure to have a solution in place that is either unlimited or close to it.
Not Taking Advantage of Family or “Premium” Plans
People often think that premium or family streaming plans are too expensive or not worth it and go for the cheapest option available. However, if you’re in a household with at least two people using the same service, upgrading might actually help you save more every month! A great example of this is Spotify Premium, which, for five dollars more a month, supports multiple users instead of paying ten dollars a month each. What’s more, continuing with this example, each user can customize and share their own unique playlists, download songs and albums, and use what is basically their own dedicated sub-account. Personalized content is always available on multi-user plans, allowing for more than one person to stream at the same time on different devices, so it’s really a win-win if you’re in a household of audiophiles or serious Downton Abbey binge-watchers (we’re guilty of the latter and proud of it).
Falling for the “Free Trial” and Forgetting to Cancel
Streaming plans aren’t cheap when lumping multiple payments together per month, but what’s worse is signing up for a free trial and forgetting to cancel if you didn’t like what was on offer. It’s very hard to wiggle out of this one and get a refund even if you only get billed for one extra month, though if you accidentally trigger a charge for an annual payment, the streaming provider may be more understanding.
Not Setting Permissions for the Kids
Don’t want your six-year-old watching Kill Bill or discovering an album packed full of curse words? We don’t blame you! Setting permissions with kid-proof passwords and parental restrictions is critical for controlling what your children have access to. This is more important than ever during such times when we all spend more hours per day online, so be proactive and careful about what content is made available to them!
Streaming is a great way to alleviate stress, unwind with family and friends, and let the rest of the world wash away for a bit. However, with the right precautions and smart shopping, you can get even more out of your streaming habits for less. Enjoy, but don’t be afraid to look for value – because it’s definitely there if you choose the right plans!