So, you thought by cutting the cable-TV cord you’d avoid exorbitant monthly fees and those dreaded commercial interruptions. Now, you’ve subscribed to so many streaming services that your monthly tab is higher than before, and it turns out that’s the least of your problems.
Lately you’ve noticed ads pouring into streaming. This week, subscribers to Amazon Prime were confronted with the news: “Movies and TV shows included with Prime now have limited ads. You can upgrade to be ad free for $2.99 a month.”
All of this relates to a fundamental truth in the media business that many consumers can’t seem to understand or accept: Television programmers and producers like to money, and advertisers have a longstanding willingness to spend it.
Disney+ now charges $7.99 per month for shows with commercials and almost double, $13.99, to skip the ads. Max also adds a $6 bump for its ad-free version. Netflix, the largest streamer, costs $15.49 per month, but if you’re willing to endure the ads you’ll pay only $6.99.
Hulu, the first major streamer to peddle ads, charges an additional $10 a month for its no-ad version — bringing the fee to an uncomfortably high $17.99. Paramount+ has an ad version, and Apple TV+ is expected to add commercials soon.
The beauty of streaming — for providers, not consumers — is that its commercials are difficult to bypass. Workarounds like TiVo made it doable for broadcast and cable, but not with streaming.
Copyright 2024 Peter Funt distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.