Hey, I was pondering this the other day. I’m recommending Netflix programming, Spotify features and soon I’ll recommend some titles from Audible but it has dawned on me that I’m recommending you stuff which you may not have access to. Sorry about that. And sitting down today and doing our 2019 budget, yeah, I’m noticing how having all these paid services do start to add up! I.e. Audible is $14.95; Netflix is $9.99 and Spotify is $9.99 per month.
So when you add up all these seemingly small amounts, we’re paying $34.97 per month for discretionary entertainment. Which isn’t much, considering that is how much you’ll pay for lunch these days for two people in Sydney. But add that to your mobile phone bill (x2), Internet, etc etc. then everything starts to add up after a while! Hey?
So I guess the purpose of this post is just my musings on which streaming service has been the most beneficial and value for money, and if I really had to choose one, which one would I choose? So here we go! I’ll put on my Asian miser hat now…..
What are you getting?
The first aspect to break-down is to understand what you’re actually getting for your paid subscriptions.
Audible- You’re essentially getting one audio book per month, and from the three subscription services, Audible is already the most expensive. So on paper it does seem like you’re getting the lease amount of content for your money.
Netflix- Off the top of my head I’m not sure how many movies, TV series or documentaries you have access to on the Australian Netflix library. But let’s just say there is enough content out there that you’ll always find something to watch, and they add new titles daily. So in that respects, for less than 10 bucks a month, it’s a pretty good deal!?
Spotify premium- Put simply, you basically have access to every song in the world dating back to the start of digitalized recordings or re-recordings (at least all the good songs in the world), I think that is enough said.
So after the first go through, it almost looks like a done deal!? Who knew it would be this simple, your decision has been narrowed down to two, either Netflix or Spotify. Now you just have to decide if you’re more of a movie buff? Or are you more of a devout music fan? Is it as simple as that? Or are there other things to consider before we make this decision and cancel a few accounts?
Value for money
Being Asian, miser hat or not, I guess I always think about the dollar $$$. What value am I getting for my hard-earned cash?
As mentioned before, Audible is the most expensive at $14.99 per month, and you basically get one audio book for that price. But if I didn’t have Audible and I still wanted to read/listen to the book, I can always go out and buy the thang? Like what we used to do, say 5 years ago? For example, the book that I’m currently listening to now, if I went to Dymocks today to purchase the paperback book, it will actually cost me $22.99. And alternatively if I wanted the audio version and for this example let’s say that we’re going to avoid streaming services and we’re just going to buy the good old Compact Discs, I can buy it from Amazon for $39.62. All of a sudden, my monthly audible subscription seems pretty good value for money actually!? From this example I’m saving 53% when compared to buying the book, and saving 164% compared to acquiring the CDs! That’s pretty impressive? Yes?
With Netflix, what are my alternatives if say I wanted to watch Suits, but I didn’t want to get into a monthly subscription? I can go and buy the DVD box set from JB HiFi, the box set for season 1 is $15.98 (if I buy 2 box sets I can save a massive $1.96……… It’s unfortunate that you can’t see my ‘Yeah right’ face now). So having a Netflix subscription, I’m already saving 60% and that is only from one title! And I have access to so much more from the Netflix library, so if I tallied up everything I’ve watched this month and placed a dollar value on it……. (I actually do have better things to do with my time than to work it out). But the point that I’m trying to make is that, the dollar amount that you’re saving is almost incalculable!
And lastly let’s do the same with Spotify, let’s fictitiously purchase ‘A Star is born’ considering its No 1 in the ARIA charts, yep paying $19.99 fictitious dollars to JB HiFi (counting out my fictitious bills and coins now). So based on one CD alone, having a Spotify premium subscription I’m already saving 101%! Pretty wild hey? That is $10.01 savings after one Album, and this morning alone I’ve listened to 3 albums in their entirety. So again, the savings are incalculable, if I had to place a dollar value to every song I’ll listen to in a month. Honestly, after this little analysis I’m surprised that anyone still buys CDs in this day and age.
So after this exercise of trying to work out Value for money, I guess it has proven a point that streaming services are saving you truckloads of money! But unfortunately it doesn’t help in our attempts to work-out which subscription to cut back on. D’oh!
Frequency of use
So I guess the next question you might ask yourself, is ’How often do I use these services?’ For us, I only manage to listen to Audible for 15 mins per night (sometimes I can go for weeks without listening because I’ve got so many free podcasts to get through); thus it’s completely normal if I don’t manage to finish a book within a month. Resulting in my Audible credit piling up (and you can only accumulate a max of 10 book credits, so you’ll have to spend them or lose them).
With Netflix, we probably watch an hour a day? Usually when we’re having dinner at home. And with Spotify, it’s probably 30 mins per day during the weekday, but heaps more on the weekends, it can be as high as 3-5 hours a day? So from the frequency of use alone, it’s Spotify, Netflix and lastly Audible. So based on this line of thought, Spotify should be the one which I keep as I use it the most often?
But hold on! There is still one more aspect to consider that is the replace-ability of each (or what my alternatives are?).
What I mean is this, if you didn’t pay for these services, can you still get the same thing you want for free? And if not, can you replace it with something similar?
Audible- If you don’t want to pay for the audio book, you can borrow the actual book from a library (do they still exist?). If it’s a brand new title, the library might not have it straight away, and if they do you might need to wait as someone else might have it out? So if you’re used to instant gratification, sorry there might be a bit of a wait (can you say quarter 3 of 2019?). And if you only want the audio version and you don’t want to pay. Sadly I think you’re out of luck; as libraries rarely have audio versions of popular titles. So from this aspect, Audible is the most difficult to replace.
Netflix- Well there is always free to air TV? And these days with Catch-up TV and on-demand, you too can watch free to air without the majority of ads and at a time which suits you. So let’s say if we didn’t have Netflix, we could always just watch regular old TV? Or not have the TV on while we eat dinner, and just spend that time talking/connecting? Haaha. I’ve heard that it’s marriage enriching? …..Yeah right! The only things you’ll really miss out on not having Netflix, are the Netflix originals. So Netflix is replaceable, but not with exactly the same thing. But something similar enough, besides its all American programming anyway? *Shrug*.
Spotify- And lastly, there is always the free version of Spotify! Which is still pretty good (I put up with it for 2 years before going Premium), if you don’t mind ads every 30 minutes and losing the ability to listen to what you want, when you want it, for as many times as you can take it! But while saying that, there is always Youtube, where you can find anything and everything (and probably more!). So from this point of view, Spotify is the most replaceable (and there is always the radio…..).
So where are we at after a 10,000 word musing? I think it’s going to be a cop-out if I end by saying, it all depends on your interests? Are you a TV/Movie buff? Or are you a massive music fan? Or are you a book worm? Um…… It’s up to you. Oh come on! Don’t boo me! No boos!
Okay, okay, if you want an answer, here goes. For me personally, if I really had to decide (although it’s as difficult as being made to choose one child or the other) I’d actually keep Audible! It’s for the reasons that the alternatives out there aren’t great, and there is just something magical about books! Yeah? Yeah? They can really transport you elsewhere, in a way that TV shows/movies and music just ain’t able to achieve.
Please feel free to comment below and let me know what service you’d keep if you had to choose! I’m interested to hear your thought processes.