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Streaming has become a part of daily life for many young people and college students. Most of us consider our Netflix and/or Hulu subscriptions to be part of our regular bills at this point. However, with the increased number of other streaming services emerging almost monthly and major players like Disney+ and HBO Max entering the game in 2020, the decision of which streaming services are actually worth it for our individual tastes and budgets is becoming exponentially more of a prevalent topic. If you already have a subscription to certain streaming services, it can be a difficult decision to switch. Especially if there are original shows that you’re a fan of, but sometimes changing is a necessary evil in order to find a streaming service that you get the most value from. Don’t panic though! Use this three-step guide to help you discover which streaming services best fit your tastes, budget, and lifestyle. 

Step One: Make a List. 

With the announcement of each new streaming service and the specialized content they provide, you are given a lot of options to choose from. First things first, you need to make a list of all of the streaming services that interest you and in the order you prefer them. If you have an interest in general streaming content, consider Netflix with its wide library of shows, movies, comedy specials, etc. Perhaps your tastes are more niche? In that case, look at services like DC Universe, Crunchyroll Premium, or Youtube Premium. Make a list of all the services that appeal to you and their respective prices. While you are checking out prices, be sure to indicate if there are any price promotions like student discounts or multiplatform packages. For example, the student premium bundle from Spotify includes the basic Hulu and Showtime services students for one price. Try your best to keep the list to about five to six options to keep from overwhelming yourself with options. 

Step Two: Determine a Budget. 

Now, set your list from the previous step aside and think about how much money you are willing/able to pay in total for streaming. If you spend more time on streaming services, it may be worth it for you to put more towards your streaming budget. About a $20 starting amount and $30 maximum budget would probably work best. Don’t use streaming services all that much? Stick to a smaller range, perhaps $10 or $15 would be optimal for you. Keep in mind almost all streaming services allow for you to cancel at any time, so take comfort knowing that if you have a rough patch financially, you aren’t stuck in a contract. 

Step Three: Try and Decide!

Now you have which streaming services you would want and how much you want to spend on those services. All that is left is to do is make the final decisions on what to subscribe to using the information that you have collected. Still not sure about how much you would enjoy a certain service? Try the free trial! Any streaming service even remotely worth paying for has one, and worst case, you decide it’s not for you and can mark it off your list. No harm done. The same goes for new streaming services that come out later. The best part about this three-step process is that even as these new streaming services launch, you can easily repeat the process to account for the additional options.

You are the consumer! This gives you more deciding power than you might think. With the intense competition entering the streaming market, the services, prices, and benefits of each one become more and more important. Many services will be looking for what qualities consumers want from them in order to improve their services. That said, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion about and/or feedback to your favorite (or least favorite) streaming services. 


Kelsey Blaylock

Louisiana Tech '21

Hi! I'm Kels (They/Them). It's nice to meet you!
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