As someone who catches up on her weekly shows via a combination of Hulu, Netflix and HBO Now (and pays for none of them — thanks friends and fam!), I'm genuinely surprised by people who still pay for cable. I mean, streaming services give you access to your favorite network shows plus exclusives that cable just doesn't have, like "The Handmaid's Tale" or "13 Reasons Why."
Most importantly, they're a whole lot cheaper than cable (even for people who don't just mooch off their loved ones). So why are people still paying for cable?
Well, it turns out a lot of people have been asking themselves that same question lately — and have ultimately decided there's no good answer.
That could be why the pay-TV industry lost a record 762,000 subscribers this quarter alone, according to a report by media research firm MoffetNathanson. To put this number in perspective, that's more than five times the losses seen last year at the same time.
This figure — while shocking — is just the latest in what's been a pretty steady decline in cable customers.
“For the better part of 15 years, pundits have predicted that cord-cutting was the future. Well, the future has arrived,” said Craig Moffett, of MoffetNathanson, in the report.
Even worse news for cable's plight: the latest announcements of YouTube TV and Hulu Live TV, which offer access to over 40 channels for $35 a month, and 50 channels for about $40 a month, respectively.
Wondering if you should cut the cord as well? Our handy pro-con list can help you decide what's right for you. If you're ready to get on the streaming service bandwagon but aren't sure where to start, we love this comparison piece with a quick rundown of features from the New York Times.
But if you just can't bare to part with cable after all these years, here are some quick tips on how to at least cut your costs:
Downgrade your internet package. If you're a small household, you probably don't need that super-mega-fast download speed that's often touted as a must-have by cable companies. Netflix, for instance, only requires 5 mbps to stream high-definition video.
Ask if you can switch to a promotion. Because customer retention is one of the most-tracked metrics, a cable company would probably rather lower your bill than lose you altogether as a customer.
Cut back on unnecessary add-ons. Do you really need multiple DVRs and that package of 10 premium sports channels you never watch? If you're not willing to cut the cord, at least cut the fat.
Looking for more info on how to negotiate down your cable bill? Check out additional tips here.