A year in the life of a Canadian cord cutter
One of the most common questions we get here at Kutko from would be cord cutters is ‘how much will I save if I cut the cord?’
More specifically people often ask me how much I pay each month. I don’t keep track of what I pay per month because it really does depend on the month and what TV content we have an interest in at that particular time.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned since becoming a cord cutter 6 years ago is how to be more discerning about what I like to watch. I don’t talk about what channels I like, I talk about specific shows or content. There are very few TV shows that we watch on appointment, meaning we don’t sit down to watch them when they are ‘broadcast’
Instead in our home we watch what we want to watch when we have the time. There are a few HBO shows like Game of Thrones that we watch Sunday nights when they are traditionally broadcast and we do watch the occasional live NHL game, but most of the must watch TV content we like we watch when we have time since they are all available on demand through the various streaming services. Some we watch the next day, others we watch weeks later and catch up on a few episodes at a time.
The biggest change is that there are shows we are happy to wait on. The full season will show up on Netflix or another streaming service 3 to 4 months after they air and you can binge watch it at your own connivence. I do like to look at what I spend per year. I thought I would share a bit about what I ended up spending last year and what I was able to watch for that. We watch most of our content on our TV streaming it via our Apple TV but all of the streaming services we subscribe to and use are also available to watch on our computers and tablets as well.
First off I should say that the amount below is what I pay for my house hold which is just my girlfriend and I but I also share all of the services I pay for with 4 other households (9 other people in total). Two of these other households are in Ontario and two of them are in Quebec. This is one the biggest benefits of streaming, you can share the cost with friends and family.
You can't do that with cable.
The other households are family and friends that cut the cord this year and aren’t big TV watchers. Here are the cost highlights for the year.
Netflix $9.99 x 6 Months ($59.94)
Netflix $11.99 x 6 Months ($71.94)
Hulu $11.99 (US) x 10 Months ($119.90)
CBS All Access $9.99 (US) x 3 Months ($29.97)
HBO Now $14.99 (US) x 7 Months ($104.93)
Amazon Prime $99 (US) x 1 Year ($99.00)
Showtime $8.99 (US) x 2 Months ($17.98)
Sling TV $25.00 (US) x 5 Months ($125.00)
NHL $130 US x 2017/2018 Season ($130.00)
Total $626.78 (US) + $131.88 (CAD)
The above is the content I paid for between January 1st - Dec 31st 2017. The costs above are a lot more than many of our customers typically sign up for. We are probably more avid TV watchers than most and I also do a lot of testing of services for business purposes.
The same content would probably cost between $1500 - $1800 per household with cable. As we are sharing our streaming services with other households that's a savings of over $3000 a year of all the households combined.
All in all this works out to be about $70 per month for the cost of TV for 5 total households. It's also worth noting that with all these services I have access to more content than you would ever get with cable, Full seasons both present and past of a variety of shows on demand all commercial free. It also means I can watch any of this content on any device.
The biggest thing to remember is that all of the above is by choice, I get to come and go from each service when I want without ever having to deal with any cable company. We also used all the below free apps and had free trials from anywhere between 7 to 30 days.
- PBS (FREE)
- BBC (FREE)
- CBC News (FREE)
- CBC TV (FREE)
- CBC Radio (FREE)
- CBC Music (FREE)
- ICI TouTV (FREE)
- City TV (FREE)
- Yes TV (FREE)
- The CW (FREE)
- Crackle (FREE)
- YouTube (FREE)
- NBC News (FREE)
- CBS News (FREE)
- CNBC (FREE)
- ABC News (FREE)
- Sky News (FREE)
- NFB (FREE)
- Vimeo (FREE)
- AlJazeera News (FREE)
- CraveTV (Free Trial)
- Sportsnet (Free Trial)
- FilmStruck (Free Trial)
- DirectTV Now (Free Trial)
- BritBox (Free Trial)
- Epix (Free Trial)
Other apps on my Apple TV we use on occasion are
- NBC Sports
- CBS Sports
- Fox Sports
- MLS NBC
- ABC FOX
- Bravo Now
- FX Now
- PBS Kids
- Tru TV
Here is a top level view of some of the content we went out of our way to watch in 2017:
- Game of Thrones (HBO)
- The Crown (Netflix)
- Bosch (Amazon Prime)
- Billions (Showtime)
- Sherlock (BBC / Netflix)
- Blue Planet (BBC) VEEP (HBO)
- Documentary Now (IFC - SlingTV)
- Silicon Valley (HBO)
- Your’e the Worst (FXX - SlingTV/Hulu)
- The Grand Tour (Amazon Prime)
- WestWorld (HBO) Better Things (FXX - SlingTV/Hulu)
- Master of None (Netflix) Atlanta (FXX - SlingTV/Hulu)
- Daily Show (Comedy Central - SlingTV)
- Episodes (Showtime)
- Broad City (Comedy Central - SlingTV)
- Bob’s Burgers (Fox - Hulu)
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
- Casual (Amazon Prime)
- Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)
- Feud (FX - Sling/BBC)
- Great Canadian Bake Off (CBC)
- Crashing (HBO)
- Shark Tank (ABC - Hulu)
- I’m Sorry (TruTV - SlingTV)
- One Mississippi (Amazon Prime)
- The Walking Dead (AMC - SlingTV)
- Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
- Love (Netflix)
- Quest for the Stanley Cup (Showtime)
- Fixer Upper (HGTV - SlingTV)
- NHL Hockey (NHL)
- Years of Living Dangerously (NatGeo - SlingTV/Amazon)
Again that is just a quick list of some of the specific content sought out and watched. We had access to much more content as each streaming service has an abundant deep library of content that we have access to at any given time.
This is the point of cord cutting, pay for only the content you want to watch when you want to watch it. My experience and cost will be different from yours because I have different taste. In fact the one thing I have learned since starting Kutko is that every one has different tastes in TV which is why cord cutting is great for everyone, you can tailor the experience to your changing specific tastes.
This is what true a la carte TV looks like. If you would like to know more feel free to reach out to us via our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org