No one can deny that in 2023, all the best shows (classics and exclusives) will be on streaming services. Still, is it really worth paying for them?
The short answer is – Yes!
The service is inexpensive, and you get more hours of content for those several dollars than you can watch in several months.
The problem is that there are so many such services, and it’s hard to figure out whether paying just one or two is worth it.
To help you make up your mind, here are the top seven advantages of paying for streaming services that you should consider.
1. Ad-free experience
It’s not impossible to find a movie or a TV show streaming somewhere online, but chances are that the pages you visit are littered with ads and malware. This is even outside the fact that watching these streams may be illegal and morally dubious (we’ll address that later).
The thing is that these platforms operate on a subscription-based model. This means that the companies are run by the money they get from subscribers, and they have no need to use ads.
Sure, you may argue that an adblocker may solve the problem; however, some platforms won’t even allow you to access the site if they detect an adblocker on your page. Not to mention that this is even more morally dubious since adblockers actively harm the revenue of content creators.
Generally speaking, it’s always a good idea to check but platforms like:
- Amazon Prime
- HBO Max
These don’t have ads and are completely funded through subscriptions (and subsidized by their respective parent companies).
2. Sharing with friends
You see, having a streaming service is also a social decision. After all, you can invite friends and family to watch the movie. Then again, the meme “Netflix and chill” is an idiom that serves as synonymous with a date night.
Keep in mind that you can also share your account with friends. Some accounts allow you to create different viewer profiles or even access the profile from several different devices simultaneously. This is very convenient, especially when they share something back. This way, you can cover it all quite effortlessly.
Just make sure you understand that there are always some risks involved. After all, you’re compromising your account security with each person you share your account with. Some services have a limitation to the number of devices that can watch at the same time. Some may feel it’s unfair for one party to pay and everyone else to watch for free. Also, remember that sometimes, sharing your account with others is against the terms of service.
3. Universal access
Another great thing about these platforms is that you have universal access to them as long as your device is on you. Namely, you can watch a show on a laptop, desktop, tablet, or phone. It makes no difference if you don’t matter the screen size.
You’re good to go as long as you have your password and account name. Still, for security reasons, don’t give random people your password. More importantly, try not to type yourself onto unknown devices.
Here’s the thing, you never know if they have a keylogger. So, even if they can’t see what you’re typing, they’ll still get access to your password.
It gets even worse; some people are lazy and use the same password for everything. Just imagine giving your friend your Netflix password, completely forgetting that it’s the same pass you use for your Instagram. Imagine them not being real friends or stopping being friends – a chilling thought.
4. Convenient watching
If you’ve never used these platforms, you’ll be surprised at just how many quality-of-life features are there. First of all, you’ll be offered to skip the intro. Sure, in some shows, intros are just incredible, but if you’re binging, you’ll hear it every hour for a few days straight. Skipping it with a single click is convenient, and no one forces you to click anything.
Then, the platform will remember the exact second where you left off. You can continue from a different device, and if you’re using the same account, you’ll continue there.
Then, recommendation algorithms are just incredible. The shows you watch will be analyzed to give you a list of shoes you might enjoy. The more you watch, the more accurate these recommendations become.
5. Parental control
Unlike other platforms, all the major streaming services have sophisticated parental control commands. First of all, you can go and set things up on the account levels. That way, specific content will be restricted to all devices using this platform. This is a far superior method to any device-specific means.
Then, you can enter a PIN or password protection to the account. Let’s face it; if your kids are tech-savvy enough to use password-cracking tools and programs, nothing will be able to save you. However, this should be sufficient if they’re just regular kids at risk of stumbling upon content they’re not eligible for.
You can also block specific content. This is great because the platform will otherwise work like everything’s in order. It means the kids won’t even realize they’re being supervised. This approach can help them avoid feeling supervised, which is usually what you aim for.
If you’re worried your kids spend too much time on these streaming services, you can even introduce a time limit.
6. Early access and exclusive content
The main reason why so many people are using streaming platforms is because of early access and exclusive content that’s available there. The number of movies/shows filmed and released on Netflix just during the first week of August 2023 is staggering. Other platforms are not lagging.
This means that when you subscribe (and the subscription is incredibly affordable), you get years and years of quality content to look forward to. The biggest problem is that these shows are spread across many platforms, meaning you’ll have to pay for more than one or migrate occasionally.
Torrent sites are getting torn down (no pun intended) regularly. In some countries, this is already illegal; in others, it’s still in a legal grey zone, but the regulation is moving in this direction and will all be outlawed entirely. This means that the only way to enjoy some of your favorite shows worldwide is to pay for a subscription or have a friend share their account.
7. Legal and ethical usage
Legal and ethical use is not just a phrase tossed around to humble consumers into spending money. It’s a moral category that tells you to pay for what you’re using.
These platforms are cheap, and they have incredibly affordable plans and bundles. The majority of these platforms have basic (minimal) plans that are $4 to $10 each, which is a price that almost anyone can afford.
Then, there’s the issue of supporting the content creator. Previously, we’ve discussed that some original content is being made just for these streaming services. By paying a subscription, you support the art and the artists behind the show.
In the nearest future, it’s not impossible to imagine a scenario where penalties and legal repercussions of piracy are far more draconian. Why wait for this to happen?
Paying for streaming services is easier, more convenient, and more ethical
Paying for something you use is never a wrong idea. This is especially true when it’s inexpensive; you get many perks and support a noble cause. In other words, in 2023, you have no excuse.