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Disney, Spotify, Stan: Loopholes millions of Aussies can use to save $200 as streaming giants up prices again

Aussie households could be paying up to $200 more for streaming services, but there are ways to reduce 'streamflation'.

When Disney+ whacked up its prices by 28 per cent, that was the 9th time in the past year that streaming has become more expensive. And when Spotify goes up by 7-14 per cent in May, that will be price hike number 10.

Each increase might only be $1-$5/month, but the average household now has 3.4 subscriptions so the overall impact in the past year could be over $200. And that could be the norm from now on.

Welcome to the era of ‘streamflation’, where there are more and more streaming services sharing the best content and they’re all going up steeply in price.

Here are 10 increases in just the past 12 months:

Platform

Date of increase

Old price per month

New price per month

Amazon Prime

May 2, 2023

$6.99

$7.99

Paramount Plus

August 2, 2023

$8.99

$9.99

Spotify

September 1, 2023

(Individual) $11.99

$12.99

Netflix

October 23, 2023

(Basic) $10.99

(Standard) $16.99

Binge

October 24, 2023

(Standard) $16

$18

Apple TV Plus

October 26, 2023

$9.99

$12.99

Kayo

January 16, 2024

$30

$35

Stan

March 1, 2024

(Basic) $10

$12

Disney+

March 5, 2024

(Standard) $13.99

(Premium) $17.99

Spotify

May, 2024

(Individual) $12.99

$13.99

Source: reviews.org 

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Some increases have been a straight price rise.

Some have been a re-organisation of plans so that you have to move up if you don’t want ads or you’re automatically upgraded to 4K picture quality at a higher price.

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But all were unavoidable.

With Netflix and soon Disney+ cracking down on password sharing, that too could soon be a thing of the past as others follow suit.

Streaming giants like Spotify, Disney and Stan are all getting more expensive, and that's not going to slow down.
Streaming giants like Spotify, Disney and Stan are all getting more expensive, and that's not going to slow down. (Yahoo Finance)

So what can you do to stop this bill getting out of control?

Here are my favourite money-saving strategies:

Turn them on and off like a TV

Imagine each service as being like a TV in your house. Don't have them all on at once. Subscribe to Netflix and watch a season, then cancel it for a month or three while you watch something on Binge, and so on. Turn Kayo off when the footy season ends.

In the US, 1 in 5 customers are now called ‘serial churners’ because they’ve adopted this tactic.

It can be hard to find the off button on a TV or mobile - log in on a laptop for easier access to your account.

Pick a winner

We’ve adopted this rule in our household: each family member can pick one service at any given time. If they want to sign up to another one, they need to turn their current service off.

It just prevents us from signing up to multiple subscriptions and losing track of how many people have their hands in our pockets.

Downgrade

Netflix now has a $7 per month tier with ads and Binge has a $10 per month tier with ads.

Similarly, some price hikes such as Kayo and Disney+ have been accompanied by an upgrade to 4K picture quality, but if you’re happy with HD, you can spend less on a lower tier.

Freebies

Don’t forget how many fantastic FREE services there are: ABC iView, SBS On Demand, 9Now, 7Plus, 10Play. You can also binge a lot during the free trial period of paid services, which is up to one month.

Annual discounts

This is only a saving if it’s a service you can’t turn on and off Amazon charges less if you pay annually, Disney+ gives you a 17 per cent discount and Britbox a 16 per cent discount.

Look for loopholes

A lot of energy plans and telco plans and AFL club subscriptions now include streaming subs. At GWS Giants, for example, a digital membership costs $250 and includes a $300 Kayo sub.