What’s the Average Cost of Video Streaming Services?

Four young people sitting on the floor watch a streaming show on middle man's phone in his hand.
Learn the average cost of video streaming services. Photo:

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If you’re thinking of cutting the cord on your cable subscription, you’re not alone. Recent data shows that the number of U.S. consumers using online streaming services soared from 45% in 2013 to a whopping 82% in 2020. 

But with the explosion of video streaming services available on the market today, you may not know which is the best option for you—or whether you should opt for more than one.

Key Takeaways

While subscribing to the right streaming service for you could be confusing, here’s what we found—the most cost-effective option offering the widest swath of viewing choices is probably Hulu, though if you’re looking to replace your cable altogether, Sling TV is a good bet. For options for kids, you won’t beat Disney+, and for adults, Netflix or Apple TV+ are also solid choices, without breaking the bank.

Netflix

Cost: After a free trial month, it costs $9.99/month for the basic plan, $15.49/month for standard, and $19.99/month for the premium subscription.

The Basics: Netflix has been the king of streaming services in recent years with more than 167 million subscribers around the world, and with good reason. This platform offers something for everyone, from sci-fi thrillers to period dramas and political documentaries to binge-worthy classic sitcoms. While this platform offers one of the wider varieties of shows to watch, it’s fully aware of its popularity. Price hikes are expected, and often. They also tend to pull shows and movies occasionally: Think “Friends,” “Black Panther,” and “The L Word.” 

Note

In this story, we break down the cost, basics of each, and how pricing has changed for some of the most popular video streaming services.

Hulu

Cost: Prices range from $6.99/month for the basic plan to $12.99/month for no ads, to $69.99/month for Hulu + Live TV, and $75.99/month for Hulu + Live TV with no ads.

The Basics: At just $6.99/month for its basic package, Hulu is definitely one of the more affordable video streaming options. But that comes with a price, so to speak—you’ll have to watch ads during your binge sessions. It offers a good mix of new and old shows for streaming, plus some options for kids.

Disney+

Cost: $7.99/month for Disney+, $14/month for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN bundle.

The Basics: Disney+ made its grand entrance into the video streaming market in the U.S. and a few other countries on Nov. 12, 2019, and has made a splash since, accumulating 28.6 million subscribers since its launch. Access content from not just Disney, but also Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic.

fuboTV

Cost: $64.99/month for the fubo Starter package, $69.99/month for the Pro package, $79.99/month for the Elite package, and $33/month for the Latino Quarterly package. There is an additional charge for add-on packages, such as Showtime at $10.99/month.

The Basics: This video streaming service is ideal for sports lovers, or perhaps those who think they can’t go without traditional cable TV. That’s because it offers more than 100 local channels, sports, entertainment, news, and even a Cloud-based DVR. While fuboTV started out as a soccer-specific streaming service, it’s now expanded to support all kinds of viewers, from those who need their nightly news fix to others who can’t live without their HGTV shows.

Sling TV

Cost: Choose between the Sling Orange package or the Sling Blue package for $35/month, or $50/month for both (with the first three months free). There are additional charges for ad-ons, as well.

The Basics: Sling TV is one of the most affordable live video streaming services available. It’s also a popular choice among cord-cutters because it offers many of the live TV channels you’ll miss without cable, including HGTV, AMC, CNN, A&E, and the History Channel on Sling Orange, and Bravo, TLC, E!, Comedy Central, and National Geographic via Sling Blue. 

HBO MAX

Cost: HBO Max is priced at $9.99/month with ads, and $14.99/moth without ads. There are additional discounts for annual pre-payment.  

The Basics: HBO’s streaming service is the one-stop-shop for viewers who can’t get enough of HBO’s insightful series, documentaries, and of course, movies. This streaming service has around 8 million subscribers. Keep in mind that this service is the standalone version of HBO GO, which comes in addition to your television package when you subscribe to HBO. 

Amazon Prime Video 

Cost: This video streaming service is included with an Amazon Prime membership, currently $119/annually or $59/annually for students. Effective February 3, 2022, Amazon announced that these prices would increase to $139 and $69 respectively.

The Basics: Like more than 100 million others in the U.S., you probably already have an Amazon Prime membership. But are you getting the most for your money? If you’re not taking advantage of the online marketplace’s video streaming offerings, then likely not. Like competitor Netflix, Amazon Prime video offers a wide variety of content, from original series to HBO series, even popular movies and shows for kids. It also offers some live sports, another draw.

Apple TV+

Cost: $4.99/month, after a seven-day free trial. Free streaming for 3 months is available for those who purchase a qualifying Apple device.

The Basics: Apple TV+ is Apple’s answer to the live streaming trend; This video streaming service came out Nov. 1, 2019, and since its launch, had amassed more than 33 million subscribers. It’s different from other services because its content is all original. This streaming service is compatible with all Apple devices.

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Sources
The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Deloitte. "Digital Media Trends, 15th Edition."

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