Overwhelmed by streaming? How to choose the right channels for you

With so many options out there, deciding on which service to stream has become confusing for many. Cutting the cord and moving to streaming once sounded pretty easy, but with so many services and options available, it can get confusing very quickly. Twelve dollars here, $8 there, and suddenly – surprise! – You’re overwhelmed by streaming and your streaming bills are now more than what you spent in the old days of cable.

According to a J.D. Powers survey earlier this year, American households subscribe to an average of 4 streaming services. If you find yourself with more streaming than you want, and rising costs that are stressing your bills, here’s a quick guide to help you streamline by getting rid of overlap and still get what you want.

Check for overlap…

Overlapped and Overwhelmed by streaming? If you want to lower your streaming bills, check for overlap. You might be paying for the same service twice. For instance, check with your existing cell phone plans to see what they provide. Many companies offer access to services as part of your contract, depending on the level of service you are paying for. For example, some Verizon customers get Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for free. Some T-Mobile customers can get access to Netflix, and some AT&T customers get access to HBO Max. It’s worth it to ask, you might be paying double and not even knowing it!

Kristy CooperOverwhelmed by streaming? How to choose the right channels for you
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The top streaming services for 2021

It feels like every week a new streaming video service pops up, and after awhile it almost feels impossible to keep track of them, let alone figure out which one is best for you. Last year a number of major players like HBO Max, Peacock and Discover+ made splashy debuts, just in time for people in quarantine desperately looking for entertainment and distraction.

Established streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube remain solid choices for streaming, but if you like the idea of adding something new to your lineup, check out our list below highlighting some of the best options we could find.

Overall streaming service

It’s hard to pick out a “best” when it comes to an overall streaming service that fits almost all your needs, but for now many consider the Disney+ bundle to be at the top. The bundle comes jam-packed with a massive catalog of originals, popular franchises like Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel, as well as National Geographic documentaries, Hulu and all its content, and ESPN+. That’s a lot, so if you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all, this might be worth looking into.

Note: If you subscribe to the Disney+ Bundle, here’s a great guide from Gizmodo for how to get the most out of your subscription.

Kristy CooperThe top streaming services for 2021
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The Best of Softcom in 2020

This year was definitely one for the books. But the bottom line is that we stuck the course, stayed true to our mission of putting our customers first, and continued to provide the best service we can. So as we say goodbye to 2020, we thought we’d take a look back at the best we shared. Miss anything? Here’s your chance to catch up.

Online safety and security

We’re always looking out for our customers and community, so we often share articles that not only give you knowledge to understand what’s going on out there, but information to take action to protect your home, family and business.

Kristy CooperThe Best of Softcom in 2020
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Streaming bundles and special offers give customers more alternatives

If streaming price hikes or problems with unreliable apps are giving you a headache, you’ve always got alternatives. Special bundles offered by companies joining forces to give you better alternatives and more incentives for your dollars means you’ve still got choices – you just have to know where to look.

Because everyone has unique needs when it comes to streaming, there isn’t one solution that fits all. However, to help you explore some alternatives, we’ve outlined a few options that are being offered during this holiday season.

Kristy CooperStreaming bundles and special offers give customers more alternatives
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Disney Plus Streaming App Launch Difficulties

If you’re one of the many people excited for the new Disney Plus streaming app (aka Disney+), but disappointed with slowness or even unable to connect, you’re not alone. The new streaming service officially launched last month, but server issues and security concerns are causing many viewers to call it “Disney minus.”

In a streaming world where Netflix and Hulu still lead the charge with quick, easy streaming service, the launch of a new streaming app backed by a digital powerhouse like Disney has been eagerly anticipated by everyone from Frozen fans to Star Wars devotees. More than 10 million people subscribed to Disney Plus in its first day online, eagerly anticipating access to more than 500 movies and 7,500 TV shows.

Kristy CooperDisney Plus Streaming App Launch Difficulties
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Nielsen’s report: Too many choices can lead to streaming paralysis

We’ve all had that feeling. You turn on your streaming service, a colorful menu with an ocean of options pops up. You pause and stare at the screen. So many great choices. New shows to try out. Old favorites to revisit. Movies, sitcoms, documentaries, concerts, the list goes on and on … and on. Suddenly it’s 20 minutes later and no decisions have been made. It’s called streaming paralysis. And it’s affecting so many Americans that news of this issue is popping up everywhere from broadcast news shows to Nielsen reports.

According to Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report, adults in the United States spend 11 hours and 27 minutes per day connected to media, and more than half of that usage is with digital media. And even though seven in 10 homes now have streaming service, which would indicate a general sense of comfort and proficiency with using the technology, nearly 21% of people indicated frustration with not being able to decide on something to watch and eventually walking away.

Kristy CooperNielsen’s report: Too many choices can lead to streaming paralysis
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The Best Sports Streaming Services for Fans Who Cut the Cord

If you’ve cut the cord but aren’t sure about your options for the best sports streaming servces, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few of the top sports-focused streaming services (as of summer 2019) to choose from.

Streaming for the casual sports fan

For fans who like to catch the game of the week, or watch shows like SportsCenter for an overview of the world of sports, most streaming services like DirectTVNow, Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, will give you access to channels like ESPN or Fox Sports as well as a variety of live sporting events.

Kristy CooperThe Best Sports Streaming Services for Fans Who Cut the Cord
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How the streaming wars will affect your viewing habits

A war started last year that may have escaped your notice. The players: Netflix, Hulu, Disney, Prime, Apple and more. The issue: A full-scale battle for your attention, in what’s being called the “streaming wars.” Options are increasing, pricing and platforms are changing, and some of your favorite shows are bouncing from one service to another. Here’s a quick overview of what’s going on and how it can affect you.

Costly, contentious, and with all the drama of the latest Kardashian scandal, the streaming wars are what you see happening as various studios, media giants and tech companies are trying to position themselves to become long-term essential streaming platforms. Low-cost subscriptions, mega-budget original programing, and non-stop jockeying for who gets licensing rights for popular shows like The Office, Seinfeld, and Friends are just a few of the moves that are being used to try to stay on top. Too many options can equal viewer fatigue, and streaming companies know that they need to rise above the crowd when households decide they want to only deal with a few at a time.

Kristy CooperHow the streaming wars will affect your viewing habits
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Busted! Wireless carriers caught putting the squeeze on streaming speeds. Here’s why Softcom will never do the same

A disturbing report showing a trend among wireless carriers of throttling down on streaming speeds for their customers – just because they can – has stirred up talks about net neutrality again.

A few months ago we shared our thoughts online about the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality rules and what could happen because of it. Net neutrality can be very difficult to understand, that’s why we laid it all out in an article on our blog, along with our official position that can be accessed here:

Our Position on Net Neutrality

Kristy CooperBusted! Wireless carriers caught putting the squeeze on streaming speeds. Here’s why Softcom will never do the same
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New study predicts over 5 million will cut cord in 2018

A recent report that studied the TV watching and cord-cutting behaviors of viewers in the Unites States highlights the acceleration of people choosing to terminate their paid-TV services at such a rate that they predict that by the end of 2018 nearly 5.4 million consumers will have severed all ties to tradition television access.

Consulting firm Cg42 published the “2018 Cord Cutter & Cord Never Study” sharing their in-depth analysis of both US consumers who opted out of subscription-based Paid-TV service in the last several years (aka: Cord Cutters) as well as US consumers who have never subscribed to paid-TV service (aka: Cord Nevers).

Kristy CooperNew study predicts over 5 million will cut cord in 2018
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