How to save money on streaming services, during COVID-19

Streaming service apps. (Frank Rocha/Lariat)

During this difficult time people are making sacrifices during the pandemic and many want to know a way to save money for streaming movies, music, television channels, or online gaming. A few streaming services are providing free limited access to their catalog or have lowered their cost of service, making it affordable for subscribers in such times.

Here is a little guide to save you some money through family plans, bundle deals, free limited service and affordable streaming services.

Through Spotify’s Premium family plan, costs $15 month, up to six family members. With Spotify Premium, there are no ads, have ability to download songs or podcasts, play any song on there catalog and unlimited skips. A single account for Spotify Premium is $10. If the majority of the family, young or old, enjoy listening to music or want to have access to limitless amount of music, this is necessary. There is nothing like the escape music can provide when we are confined in our homes. Music can bring up a nostalgic memory or unforgettable time in our lives just by listening to a few songs.

YouTube Premium monthly family plan, costs $18 and up to five people. Ad free backgrounds, YouTube Originals, ability to download any video, a subscription to YouTube Music Premium and Google Play Music access. If somebody who spends most of their time on YouTube and follow many YouTube personalities on the service, this is for you. If you want swat away the gnats of internet, advertisements, I suggest grouping up with your family to smash ad breaks or speed bumps trying to watch a video on America’s cuttest dogs.

Unfortunately, the Apple Music Family plan costs $15 a month, up to six people. But this the last service you would want to subscribe to get your music. The library of music has less than Spotify and the apps accessibility doesn’t provide a unique and tailored service that will keep the music aficionado happy. Compared to Spotify’s user playlists and organized portfolio, It doesn’t match up.

When Disney+ was launched in 2019, It had the option to bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ app. For all three streaming services it costs $13 a month, with a free seven-day trial. If your family loves to watch sports, sport documentaries, or esports, ESPN+ has you covered. Hulu has over 1,600 television shows, 2,500 movies and yes Netflix has over 100,000 units of content, but who’s counting. Sure, the Hulu streaming service doesn’t have quantity, but it sure does have quality. It provides recently released films, current seasons of television shows and provide Emmy Award winning content like the “The Handmaids Tale.” And lastly the Disney+ app is crucially beneficial if you have little ones in your family or want enjoy some Disney nostalgia, while blocked off from the happiest place on Earth for some time. From Disney B movies of the 60s to the Academy Award winning titles like Toy Story and Coco, the app contains most of its television, movies and documentaries from the Disney vault.

As of right now HBO website or the HBO Now app are providing free streaming of seven of top shows on the service, including Game of Thrones, Chernobyl, True Detective, The Wire and The Sopranos. There are nineteen movies are free to watch right now. Including thirteen original HBO documentaries available without a subscription. But if you want access to new shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm or West World, an HBO subscription is needed. It costs $15 a month, up to three devices and has a seven-day free trial for HBO Now. If you don’t have money to pay for your streaming services today, use HBO as your flotation device to escape the sea of boredom during the quarantine. Have the pleasure to binge watch a few shows that are known to be the greatest thing TV has to offer, while saving some money during this pandemic.

The average price for a video game today is $60, then comes in the so-called Netflix of gaming for a monthly pass that costs $10 on a console and $5 for PC. The Xbox game pass is the first fully available video game library subscription service, eliminating the need to go into a game store, deal with discs and paying are large amount for a single game. Every original Xbox title will be available on game pass a week early than its general release. But for five dollars more, get upgraded to the Xbox game pass ultimate, where you have the choice to game from your PC or your Xbox console. Including a subscription to Xbox Live Gold, which includes online play and two free games a month. If you have a PC or Xbox console there is no better price in gaming. There are over a hundred games with pass including Kingdom Hearts 3, NBA 2K20 and Grand Theft Auto 5. And recently Xbox announced that Red Dead Redemption 2 will come to game pass. There are more titles in the near future that will make this game pass even sweeter and save you some cash while you enjoy your video games. It only costs a $1 for the first month, I recommend trying the service, even if you somewhat enjoy video games.

Some may argue, that PlayStation Now subscription that costs $10 a month is the better deal, because of the quantity of the games. The service offers over 800 games from the PS2-PS4 library. PlayStation Now is a good deal, but doesn’t compare to the Xbox game pass, which has newly released games and most day one releases available on its service. So would you rather go to an old dusty shelf of the past games or get a game so new, it hasn’t even been released at your nearest game store.

The best way to save money on TV and movie streaming, HBO is your best option to binge the best TV shows for free. The best family bundle for music is Spotify, the library and accessibility tops YouTube Music, Apple Music and Google Play Music. The best TV/movie bundle is the Disney+ bundle, which provide multiple streaming services together which has tremendous value and view ability in the content of its movies, television shows, and sport documentaries rolled into an affordable price point. And the best service for gaming is the Xbox game pass that has almost 200 games, have new titles released every other week on the service. Sony asks for the consumer to pay the full game price for a new game, Xbox just adds it to their library a week before general release.