Interactive: How much are those streaming services really costing you?

Nov 17, 2019
Interactive, Budgeting

With the. proliferation of streaming services many consumers are starting to wonder, "Am I really better off cutting the cable cord and signing up for a few streaming services?" This interactive from MarketWatch doesn't answer that question but it does provide some eye-popping numbers about both the lifetime cost and the opportunity cost of signing up for these services. 

Step 1: Students first select the streaming services they currently have (or plan to have):


Step 2: After selecting the streaming subscriptions, few cost figures are calculated based on their inputs:

  • Lifetime cost (adjusted for inflation)
  • Lifetime "true" cost if you invested money spent on subscriptions


  • Let's start with the assumptions
    • What are the assumptions regarding the cost of the streaming services in the future?
    • What are the assumptions for the investment return if you had invested rather than spent the money on subscriptions? 
  • What was the lifetime cost of the streaming services that you selected?
  • How much would you have earned if you had invested that money? 
  • Does this analysis impact how you think about what streaming services you will sign up for in the future? 


Supplement this interactive with the recent FinCap Friday, The Endless Stream. 




About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.