Streaming May Become Less Overwhelming (and Less Expensive) Next Year

Streaming services: We’re about to enter the era of bundles, saving money in the process, study says.

Watching Netflix
(Image credit: Courtesy Netflix)

When it comes to streaming options in 2024, less might be more. 

About 70% of new streaming subscribers are likely to get their subscriptions from streaming bundles — or plans that combine a streaming subscription with cable TV, broadband or wireless plans — rather than from streaming services directly, according to a new report from AlixPartners.

The news comes amid a number of major changes at streamers. These include Netflix’s controversial password-sharing crackdown fees, price hikes at several streamers — including AppleDisneyNetflix and Warner Bros. Discovery — as well as Disney’s dispute with Charter, which left nearly 15 million customers without ESPN, FX and other Disney offerings over the summer.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

 A September 11 New York Times report detailing the eventual resolution of the Disney-Charter dispute similarly predicted the possible implications of such fallouts for other streaming services. According to the report, millions of subscribers cancel cable-TV bundles annually, "meaning that a dwindling number of subscribers are paying rising fees for movies and TV shows that are increasingly being moved to streaming." Cable TV is "limping along" but still profitable, the report added.

That is in line with the AlixPartners report, which shows that streaming services and cable TV growth is slowing and that more and more customers are seeking alternatives as programming costs rise. The end result will be that providers are likely to be more inclined to offer bundles to help streamline processes.

Expectations for big savings with bundles

That means increased affordability for consumers, who are likely to save 20% to 50% by bundling versus picking up streaming services a la carte, according to the report. It also means fewer apps to manage, subscriptions to keep track of and separate bills to pay. 

Streaming services have attempted to sway consumers to their platforms without having to go the bundling route. In 2022, for example, HBO Max (now Max) offered 40% off for new and returning customers. Disney+ began offering an ad-supported version of its service at a discounted rate. Netflix, which reportedly lost 1.2 million subscribers in 2022, similarly added a less-expensive, ad option for customers.  

How the services will go about bundling is another conversation entirely, however, according to media reports. It seems predicated on which way it will go for news and sports programming, which tech companies have been encroaching on in recent years.

In a November 9 interview with CNBC, Liberty Media Chairman John Malone said it could also be determined by targeting certain services to different demographics. 

“A Disney+ together with Max might be a pretty decent combination,” Malone said. “You might also see sports-related or focused bundles.”

Regardless of how the streaming bundle wars shake out, there are ways to get ahead and start saving some money on your streaming services now, including canceling unused subscriptions, considering pay-per-view and more.


Jamie Feldman

Jamie Feldman is a journalist, essayist and content creator. After building a byline as a lifestyle editor for HuffPost, her articles and editorials have since appeared in Cosmopolitan, Betches, Nylon, Bustle, Parade, and Well+Good. Her journey out of credit card debt, which she chronicles on TikTok, has amassed a loyal social media following. Her story has been featured in Fortune, Business Insider and on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS News, and NPR. She is currently producing a podcast on the same topic and living in Brooklyn, New York.