Many people come to us looking to cut the cord on cable because they feel they're paying far too much for so many channels they rarely flip to. But for those relying on streaming platforms for their entertainment, similar problems can still arise.
It has become increasingly popular for streaming platforms to offer subscription "bundles" where customers can access content from multiple networks for one combined price. While a standalone Disney+ subscription costs $7.99/month, the platform also offers a package where subscribers can also access Hulu and ESPN+ for either $13.99/month (for Hulu with ads) or $19.99/month (for Hulu without ads). Paramount+ typically costs $4.99/month, but also offers a bundle package with Showtime for $11.99/month. By adding the $7/month "AMC+ extra" bundle to either Sling TV's Orange or Blue subscriptions (normally $35/month each), customers get access to AMC+, Shudder, Sundance Now, and IFC Films Unlimited.
Some of these deals could be the perfect fit for your watching needs, but if you're not paying close attention or gravitating enough to these extras, the overall costs could leave a sour taste in your mouth when it comes to the benefits of streaming. After all, who would want to cut the cord and end up spending more money in the end?
That's where we come in. By working closely with our customers, we can make sure that the subscriptions that you have really match up with your entertainment needs and make suggestions if better options are available—and when subscription prices fluctuate, we will do our best to keep you in the know. Start the process today by visiting MarshmallowStreaming.com.
Netflix With Ads is Finally Here
Netflix’s newest subscription level officially launches this month. Called Netflix With Ads, the new level will cost $6.99/month—$3 a month less than the Basic plan—and include 4 to 5 minutes of advertisements per hour of content, divided into 15- and 30-second ads. Netflix has also made it clear that they have not accepted political or policy ads.
For TV shows, some ads will play before a title begins, and some during the episode. For newer movies, ads will play before the film begins, but some older films will have ads dispersed throughout viewing. Another difference for this subscription level is that customers will not be able to download titles for offline viewing. With recent subscription price hikes, could this new option be right for you?
YouTube TV: À La Carte
YouTube TV’s base subscription plan currently costs $65 and gets customers access to more than 85 channels, but for those who want some of the perks of the platform, but not the whole price tag, YouTube has rolled out what is being called its most flexible plan yet. Customers now have the option to subscribe to a range of more than 20 standalone channels, mixing and matching options to build your own custom YouTube TV plan. This option still comes with unlimited DVR space, up to six accounts per household, and up to three simultaneous streams, just like the standard Base Plan.
The channels currently available as standalone subscription options include Hallmark Movies Now, Showtime, Starz, NBA League Pass, Epix, Shudder, Sundance Now, ALLBLK, Acorn TV, MLB.tv, HBO Max, Cinemax, IFC Films Unlimited, Curiosity Stream, Dove, CONtv, Docurama, Law & Crime, VSiN, Pantaya, Fox Nation, ScreenPix, Shudder, UP Faith & Family, Fandor, Screambox, Comedy Dynamics, MyOutdoorTV, MovieSphere, The Great Courses, Gaia, RCN Total, ATRESplayer, Dekkoo, Tastemade+, ViX+, Magnolia Selects, Topic, Here TV, and Outside TV Features.
The channels all come at different individual price points. For example, subscribing to HBO Max this way will cost you $14.99/month with a seven-day trial. NBA League Pass will cost you the same, but some options like CuriosityStream are only $2.99/month. You’ll have to do the math to make sure you’re still getting a deal for what you want, but it’s nice to see streaming platforms explore subscriptions with more flexibility for customers.
Broadcast Cornerstones Signal a Shift to Streaming
Last month NBC made the move to have longtime daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives to Peacock. The show, which premiered in 1965, is currently in its 58th season. This move to streaming was a hard pill to swallow for loyal fans, of which there are still many—L.A. Times reported that its typical daily audience totaled around 1.7 million people. While bringing longtime programming to Peacock shows that executives are thinking about the future of shows like Days of Our Lives, it’s more than understandable that longtime viewers would be wary of heading to a subscription service for a show they could watch for free before. Seasons 57 and 58 of the show are currently available as part of Peacock Premium, which costs $4.99/month.
This issue goes beyond soap operas. As streaming executives continue to think about how the next evolution of their entertainment, it will be especially important to see how longtime brands and flagship programming are treated (and the audiences that come with that). It’s hard to get everyone on board with the shift to streaming if you’re leaving a big chunk of those viewers behind. Regardless of the overall pitch for streaming content, some things remain broadcasting strongholds, at least in the minds of the networks—NBC now has a live news broadcast in the time slot formerly occupied by Days of Our Lives.
What to Watch: Where to Stream Holiday Classics
Once the Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, it’s prime time to cozy up and tune into some of our favorite seasonal shows and films, both new and old. Here is where you can stream some of them.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving - Apple TV+
You won’t be able to catch this 1973 classic on cable this year. Apple TV+ is currently the only platform with distribution rights for the three most popular Peanuts holiday specials, including both A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Don’t subscribe to Apple TV+? No problem! Non-subscribers can stream the Thanksgiving special November 23-27 and the Christmas special December 22-25 for free.
You know this classic Dickens tale of redemption, but what if crotchety miser Ebenezer Scrooge was played by Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine and Bob Cratchit was played by…Kermit the Frog. For whatever reason, if you’ve skipped this adaptation thinking it was too childlike, now’s your chance to catch up by streaming it exclusively via Disney+. There are jokes for kids and adults alike, and it retains the central—and always essential—lesson that kindness is always the best option.
Watching White Christmas feels like the movie equivalent of curing up with a mug of hot cider. The star power of Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen still radiate through the screen and Irving Berlin’s songs are classics for a reason. The production itself even has some interesting history: White Christmas was the first film to utilize VistaVision, a higher-resolution widescreen film format also featured in movies like Vertigo, the first three Star Wars films, and even some sequences in Inception. While the Christmas elements of White Christmas revolve more around the setting than the plot itself, the general coziness of the film makes it ideal for viewing as soon as the snow starts falling. For those without Netflix, White Christmas will be broadcast on AMC throughout the holiday season.
This film was actually a bit of a box office flop when it was released in 1946, but when its copyright lapsed and it went into the public domain, it was able to be broadcast without licensing fees. It then shot up in popularity as it became a perennial fixture of holiday programming for movie theaters and television networks across the country. It’s now recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made. This year, you'll be able to catch the movie when it's broadcast on NBC or you can stream it anytime on Amazon Prime. These characters and themes will stick with you long after the credits roll. As the angel Clarence says, “remember, no man is a failure who has friends.”
A Final Word
With Thanksgiving upon us, this is the perfect chance to express our gratitude to our customers and the wider Marshmallow Streaming community. We are grateful for your continued support and for all of the opportunities to answer your questions and offer streaming solutions.
Next month we’re excited to bring back Marshmallow Streaming’s annual favorite product roundup. But if you're in need of recommendations or a consultation in the meantime, remember that you can reach out to us anytime by visiting MarshmallowSteaming.com.
Steven Macy Studios
Award-winning illustrator Steve Macy handcrafts meticulous, photorealistic automotive illustrations in his Des Plaines studio. Trained as an architectural illustrator, he blends his skills with his passion everything automotive to produce truly fine art worthy of any car lover's home. In addition to commission work, originals and prints are available for purchase by visiting StevenMacyStudios.com
Sonos Sound System w/ Marshmallow Streaming
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