HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Streaming services may be quick and easy, but they are can be expensive.
Right now, some estimates indicated that Americans spend about $1 billion dollars a month for streaming content, and those subscription rates are rising. A couple of years ago, we didn't have this as an option. Now there are more streaming services being added all the time and consumers are paying the price.
Streaming TV isn't the only game in town.
Streaming fitness content is also booming. Also music, food, clothing and cloud storage services are gaining popularity. It seems there is a subscription for everything!
The pandemic is the big reason why.
Typically when you have more options, the price goes down. That's not the case with streaming entertainment options. Most big providers have all raised rates over the last year, and the prices will probably keep going up as streaming providers are forced to pay more to offer content.
It may be a while before the costs get under control. A lot depends on getting the COVID-19 pandemic under control.
"We have a captive audience right now. We have more people at home. We have parents that are trying to work that are putting their children in front of these streaming services, but if the world open up a little more, now the audience is not as captive," said tech futurist Crystal Washington.
One benefit from the pandemic: Those home workout streaming costs are typically cheaper than the cost of a gym membership. A lot of Americans are spending around $20 a month on fitness apps, rather than $50 a month on a gym membership.
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To keep from paying too much over time, consider signing up for apps month-to-month. At the end of the month, you can decide if you watch enough content to justify paying for another month of a particular service.
While services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ will cost you money, there are countless free services out there too.
YouTube, Crackle, and Vudu are three popular services that don't cost a dime.
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Disney+ and ABC13 are owned by the Walt Disney Co.
Streaming service subscription prices on the rise