Now that everyone from Apple to Lionsgate wants in on that sweet, sweet subscription revenue, consumers are forced to make a choice. Either you pay big bucks for several services, or you just go without exclusives like “The Last of Us” and “Severance.” But there is a third option: rotate your subscriptions. Here’s what that means.
To “churn” or “rotate” your streaming services, you’ll want to be strategic. Let’s say, for example, that you’re dying to watch “The Last of Us.” Instead of subscribing to HBOMax and watching the series weekly, wait until the entire season is out, then cancel your other services and sign up for HBOMax. Once you’ve finished “The Last of Us” and exhausted HBO’s catalog, cancel it and move on to another streaming service that has the entirety of one (or several) shows that you want to watch.
Not only does this strategy let you take advantage of occasional promotions, but it also reduces your monthly streaming bill from, say, $50 to $16. If this sounds like too much trouble, know that plenty of budget-conscious folks do this, including the penny pinchers on Reddit’s r/Frugal subreddit.
A lot of folks complaining about “another” streaming service to pay for but like, you don’t have to pay for all of them at once? We sub and unsub to them all the time and rotate which ones we watch the most monthly. It’s quite easy! That’s how you get the most out of streaming!— Anna Curtis (@annafcurtis) February 8, 2021
“I generally only sign up when they have a discount going and set a calendar alert to cancel before renewal,” one Redditor shares.
Another Redditor also suggests checking out Kourtnee Jackson’s “Streaming Services You Can Cancel” column on CNET. Every month, the journalist writes a short piece noting which streaming services you should keep and cancel — not to mention a list of series recommendations. (She even includes a helpful infographic to make rotating easy).
If you do decide to rotate your streaming services, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Opt for monthly subscriptions so you can cancel
Pause your subscriptions if you can
Cancel your subscriptions before you’re charged
Set reminders on your phone so that you remember to cancel and subscribe
Gallery: Which Streaming Service Gives You the Most Bang for Your Buck?