How to manage all those streaming platforms you subscribe to? Learn to turn 'em on and off. Here's how.
I have half-heartedly and off-and-on tried to do just this toggling in recent years, but have been thwarted by a couple of things to call to your readers' attention:
First, beware some back door deal between Prime and e.g. Showtime. A long time ago I clicked on something pitched to me on Prime that was in fact a Showtime show, and JUST CLICKING and watching signed me up with no password, sign in, OR ANYTHING for a continuing Showtime subscription! Maybe Prime doesn't do this any more or everyone knows that Prime pushes to viewers tons of stuff not covered by Prime, but just in case....
Second, if you sign up for a "channel" through your Roku account it can be VERY hard to figure out how to get out of it -- they don't all show up on your Roku channels page if they're designated Premium or some such. I once managed to remove the picture of HULU on my TV screen only to discover that I was still subscribed.
Third, myself -- turns out I saved a few bucks by subscribing to HBO for A YEAR, thus no toggle possible. Won't do that again.
This is great. I've been encouraging friends to do this for ages. Thanks for providing a few other mechanics to the process. I do wish you'd pay more attention to MUBI and Kanopy, two essential sites for people who love movies for the riches they can offer.
Thank you! This is a great tool that I will keep.
I don't think I can lose any of them except Starz and that cost something like $5 for six months. I've got about a dozen right now but I'm supporting several users: my wife (Acorn, BritBox, Peacock, Disney+, Paramount+, HBO), my sisters (Netflix, Hulu), my mother (everything), and my daughter (Prime). And I watch most of it all now too. We have to keep Apple+ because we use Apple TV. I kinda want to get Showtime but maybe it's time to stop.
My mom lives with us now and she pays for cable, at least -- she likes watching baseball. We aren't big enough movie fans for Criterion -- I mean, I'd love to be but there's only so much time -- and I can buy or rent them.
Speaking of which, I showed my wife and mother The Court Jester, which was one of your recommendations for that Wondertime article about 13(?) years ago. It was perfect for our then-10-year-old and today it's her all-time favorite movie. Up next, the others that were on that list for her age: Some Like It Hot and North By Northwest. What's not to love.
A brilliant idea -Ty
This is so funny--my wife is often toggling these streaming services, while I seldom cancel them. You perfectly described my situation, when I'm wondering what we actually subscribe to at a given moment.
Super helpful suggestions for how to manage individual services. Also, I need to figure out how to get HBO Max for free through my AT&T plan--I currently paying for HBO Max separately!
Thanks for the valuable tips, Ty. I saved your email for future reference.
Criterion receives about 75% of my viewing time. I was saddened to see they laid off 20% of their employees and I hope they survive.
Incredibly predictable that Apple would make it almost impossible to cancel. They make great products but man is that a shitty company.
I so appreciate you doing this. I am already there in theory, but you’re right, it messes with your head. You keep thinking, “surely there is some reason to stay!” But for months or even a year at a time, there isn’t! If I want to watch the Sopranos again, I have the dvds! Etc. Also it makes it easier to spring for something a little wackier like Starz— which is totally worth it for The Serpent Queen, and then turn it off. I am going to go right now and yank the cord on HBO+ (Released from my hate-watch of that awful Dragons soap) and I don’t care how many times I do it!
I cancelled cable this year and have YouTube TV shared with some family members. It has all the cable channels I cared about and the bonus of NBA TV to watch my beloved Warriors. They also have an 'add-on' feature for many of the premium streaming platforms. It was very easy to 'add-on' to watch a series and then cancel it.
"Why on earth would you want to cancel the Criterion Channel?" LOL, yes, this is the only platform that I subscribe to annually...
I had to learn how to cancel them because my mother got a little loopy and signed up for a bunch of stuff she didn’t need. Two baseball channels for instance. That was long distance.
She lives with me now and we just use all mine. It’s much easier to manage on a computer than on the tv or device.
PS I now use JustWatch and it’s easy peasy. Thanks for that.
SO VALUABLE!! THANK YOU TY!!