Disney recently announced a price hike for its streaming services, which include Disney+, Hulu and ESPN. As Art Raymond reported for the Deseret News, the price of the premium ad-free version of Disney+ will increase to $13.99 and the same version of Hulu will rise to $17.99.

These streaming services aren’t the only ones to raise prices this summer. NBCUniversal’s Peacock had its first price hike since 2020 — the year the platform was rolled out, per CNET.

Price hikes may have some customers wondering how they can save money on streaming while still having access to a wide library of content. Here’s a guide on how to save money as you stream the shows and movies you want to see.

Why are streaming services getting more expensive?

Streaming services like Max, Netflix and YouTube Premium have raised their prices since launch, according to Axios.

Profitability may be the reason behind the increasing prices. “Every major subscription streaming company has increased its prices in the past year in an effort to address Wall Street’s push for profits,” Sara Fischer wrote for Axios.

Is it better to use cable or streaming?

It’ll depend on what you want to watch and how you want to watch it.

Cable has the advantage of local news, regional sports and purchasing a variety of premium channels, per The Sacramento Bee. Since it’s not dependent on an internet connection, the service can sometimes be more reliable.

On the other hand, streaming services also have exclusive content and can be more affordable than cable, according to The Sacramento Bee. If your internet connection is slow, your shows and movies will take a while to load.

Are streaming services more affordable than cable?

It depends. At this point, slightly more people use streaming than cable, per CNN. There’s still a share of households that have cable.

Streaming services do have the edge on prices — only if you don’t subscribe to all of them.

Even as prices hike, a handful of streaming services can be a more budget-friendly option than cable. The average cost of cable in the U.S. (when purchased alone — not part of a bundle) is around $78, according to USA Today.

The average American household has around 2.8 streaming subscriptions, Forbes reported. In total, two or three subscriptions would generally cost less than cable. But it’s also important to keep in mind your internet bill. You may need to upgrade your internet from the basic option to stream shows and that can make the cost of using streaming services higher.

Which streaming service is the best one?

It depends on what you want to watch.

Here’s an analogy. If you knew you wanted a hamburger, you could probably rattle off five or six different places you would like to eat a burger. At each of these places, you may like the bun more at one or the fries at the other, but there’s probably a place that’s the best overall value for you.

Given how streaming services have such a wide variety of content, it can be hard to know which ones to subscribe to and which ones to pass on — especially when you like content on all of them.

Here are some tips on how to pick which streaming services to purchase subscriptions for.

  1. Take inventory of the services you already have. Track for a month or so what you watch and what you watch it on. You may find you have a subscription or two you don’t use.
  2. Set a budget or max number of subscriptions. Determining ahead of time how much money you’re willing to spend can help you narrow down services to best value. Say you would rather have four subscriptions than two but want to keep the costs low — you can purchase the ad-supported plans on the ones where that’s an option. Or if you want to avoid ads, you can purchase fewer subscriptions.
  3. Peruse the content on each platform. Websites like Just Watch can show you what’s being added to the platforms and where your favorite shows and movies are streaming.
  4. Keep your viewing patterns in mind when purchasing. If there’s one platform you use all the time, you can get the annual subscription which will save you some money. Then, you can have a monthly subscription or two that you cycle through.
  5. Bundle: There are bundle deals for streaming services, like the nine deals Rebecca Isaacs and Tobey Grumet Segal at Decider highlighted. Sometimes when you purchase internet service, you might be offered a bundle deal as well.