Surveying Streaming in 2024: Better Than Ever At Higher Than Ever Prices

Not long ago, streaming services were considered a sigh of relief compared to the tight clutches of greedy cable companies. There was no “cable box” to access them, no contract, no commercials and you could watch whatever you wanted instantly! It felt like the future.

As the streaming landscape has evolved, a troubling shift has occurred for streaming in 2024. Price hikes, aggressive content segmentation, more difficult plan options and even the return of advertisements. These changes have cast a shadow over the once-praised haven that streaming offered.

It does beg the question: Is streaming still worth it? We’re going to dive into all the changes to streaming over the last three years so you can discover which options are best for you.

Note: Amazon Video is omitted from this article since it cannot be purchased standalone like the rest of these streaming services.

Summary of Price Changes 2020 to Present

Pricing has changed quite a bit, especially in the last couple of years. Disney Plus had the largest jump from $6.99 to $13.99. Additionally, their new Ad-only plan is more expensive than their initial no-ads plan at $7.99. Meanwhile, most of the larger streaming companies like Netflix, Apple TV and Hulu have increased their monthly prices by $4-$5. MAX (formerly HBO Max) and Paramount+ had more subtle price increases at $1 and $2 respectively.

Many of these companies provide an annual payment option that includes discounts equal to roughly two months of streaming. Other ways to save include getting their services as a bundle with cellphone carriers. We expect to see more discount opportunities like this from carriers and cable companies throughout 2024.

Streaming in 2024: More Than an Alternative To Cable

Streaming is no longer just an alternative to cable but is now a service to view exclusive content. Some of the best TV shows out there are exclusives to specific streaming services. New shows such as Ted Lasso is exclusive on Apple TV+, or The Mandalorian, which is exclusive to Disney Plus. If you’re looking to re-enjoy the classics from the past, those are generally exclusive as well. The Office is only available on Peacock, and Breaking Bad is an exclusive on Netflix.

In all these instances, the question turns from “Is it better than cable?” to “What content do I want to watch?” It is a shame that streaming prices have seen such drastic rises recently. However, is $20-$60 more a year enough to pull you away from your favorite movies and TV shows? To us here at SoundVision, it feels like a small cost to spend on our leisure time. Compared to cable, streaming allows you to pick streaming services with your favorite movies and TV shows. If you exhaust the content from a streaming provider, you can cancel and re-sign later. However, there are some great alternatives to traditional cable for those who enjoy live TV.

We understand that immersion is crucial when streaming the latest blockbusters. Immersion means that when watching Top Gun, you feel the rumble of the jets in your seat and your belly. It means when the main character is in a dark room and opens the door outside, you feel your eyes adjust to the light. It means the sound is crystal clear so you don’t keep asking yourself, “What did they say? Maybe I should rewind, but it’ll interrupt the flow of the narrative.”

Getting The Best Streaming Experience

For die-hard movie enthusiasts, it may even mean you want your home TV experience to beat the movie theaters. No matter your vision for the perfect movie setup, if you’re ready to transition your home TV experience to be everything you imagine “immersion” should feel like, SoundVision is here to help bring your vision to life. We can cater our solutions to nearly any set of aesthetic goals and budget. If you don’t want to see a single speaker, we have a solution for that. For those who want a value-centric approach to killer sound and video, we have a solution for that too. If you want to see what’s possible for you, give us a call at 415-456-7000.

Lots of Streaming Players Means We All Win

The streaming space is more competitive than ever, which means they are all working around the clock to bring original content so good that you have to subscribe. Although we focused on six streaming companies, there are over 20 streaming services with over 10 million subscribers. Even if they were each $5/mo, that’s over $50 million in monthly revenue. They have too much to lose when you find their content dull, boring or, god forbid, not worthy of subscribing for another month.

This fierce battle has birthed some phenomenal TV, even in 2023 alone. To name a couple, MAX (formerly HBO Max) brought The Last Of Us with 32 awards and over 100 nominations. Meanwhile, Netflix brought us the TV show “BEEF,” which has 16 awards and 52 nominations.

Enjoying Streaming At Its Best

Even with all the changes, you should subscribe to streaming outlets that have content you enjoy. If you want to explore ways to make your movie-watching experience more immersive, call us at 415-456-7000. We have unique solutions to hide your TV in plain sight, or can even completely transform your space from a family room to a private theater at the press of a button.

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