When Netflix and other streaming services started catching on with audiences at the start of the ‘10s, there was a lot of talk about cord-cutting, and the idea that we can finally be rid of the scourge of cable companies and pay a relatively small amount for our entertainment needs.
That did not turn out to be the case.
Large companies, especially entertainment ones, are generally are not in the business of having consumers pay less for things.
After the cord-cutting fervor died down a bit, it became very apparent that if you were a sports or cable news junkie, or you wanted to check out what was on FX or Comedy Central, you still needed a package from your local cable provider.
Plus, it’s much easier to earn a PHD in Quantum Physics than it is to get a representative from a cable company to cancel your account over the phone.
Thanks to the streaming wars, there’s more options for entertainment lovers than ever before, but also more things to pay for.
Many people still stick to one service, or they’ll hop around month to month, signing up for, say, Hulu (DIS) – Get Walt Disney Company Report for a month to catch-up on buzzed about shows, only to cancel (or churn) when they are done.
But not only is there more to pay for if you want to feel like you’re on top of the latest in pop culture, we’re all also paying more than we were a decade ago.
Both Streaming And Cable Packages Have Risen In Price In A Decade
A new report from CableTV.com sheds light on just how much more we are paying for both cable and streaming services these days, compared to a decade ago.
- Since 2012, streaming service prices rose by 48.90% from 2012 to 2022.
- Cable and satellite prices also rose by 33.84% from a decade ago.
- The average monthly price of a streaming service rose from $7.55 to $11.24 over the past decade.
- Since 2012, the average monthly cable and satellite TV price rose from $395.64 to an all-time high of $529.52.
- The average price for streaming services (including cheaper services like Apple+ (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. Report and more expensive ones such as HBO Max (T) – Get AT&T Inc. Report) in 2022 is $11.24. In 2012, when there were far fewer services, that price was $10.22
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- Cable prices have risen yearly since 2012, sometimes by as little as $6 a year, but there was a whopping $24 increase between 2016 and 2017, a bump that may have correlated with the election of President Donald Trump.
- In 2012, Netflix (NFLX) – Get Netflix, Inc. Report cost $16 a month if you still wanted to get DVDs or Blu-Rays in the mail or $8 if you only wanted streaming. A year later, Netflix would introduce the Netflix Premium plan, which included the ability to watch four different screens at the same time through a single account for $12 a month, now called Netflix Platinum. The basic plan, which includes High Definition streaming and only allows one account to stream at a time, now costs $9.99. The Platinum plan, which includes 4k streaming, now costs $19.99, one of the highest price points for a streaming service.
- Netflix had the greatest increase in cost since 2012, rising by 89%. Hulu increased by 25.03% and Prime increased by 34.87%.
How Much Have Movie Tickets Increased In A Decade?
While the streaming boom has eaten into movie ticket sales, people still like to go to the theater, usually for franchises and blockbusters.
The average movie ticket tends to cost about the same as a monthly streaming service, so the fact that the theater industry is at all competitive is testament to how ingrained the theatrical experience is in our society.
In 2012, the cost of an average movie ticket rose to a record high of $8.12, which was considered newsworthy and borderline alarming at the time. Today, the average cost of a movie ticket is $9.17, though AMC (AMCX) – Get AMC Networks Inc. Class A Report might charge you more if it’s a really popular film like “The Batman.”
Why Are They So Much More Expensive?
So why are streaming services and cable packages more expensive? In a word: Inflation.
It takes money to make money, as they say, and streaming companies and the networks that prop up cable companies have to keep investing in films and television shows to lure in new subscribers and keep existing costumers in the fold.
Plus, cable companies have maintenance costs and the rising price of infrastructure to deal with.
The ongoing recession we’re currently experiencing won’t last forever. Even when it passes, the cost of streaming and cable will only increase over the years, though maybe not always dramatically, given the year.
But there’s still ways to save, as every consumer can figure out what services need to be part of their lives, and which they can check in for a month at a time.