Is Netflix Worth The Cost? - Refresh Financial

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Is Netflix Worth The Cost?


It’s finally Friday and I know many of you are looking forward to sitting down, kicking back and catching up on some of your favourite shows and movies. Some of you might grab an On-Demand flick, while others may fire up their DVR and play back some episodes they’ve recorded throughout the week. Many of you will likely login to Netflix and binge. It’s okay, you’ll get no judgment here. I binged on Stranger Things last weekend so hard that I almost believed I was back in 1983 when it ended. But back to the point: a lot of you will find yourselves on Netflix tonight and some you might even be wondering if paying for the service is worth it.

Well, thanks to Stephen Lovely over at Allflicks, we now know the answer. Stephen whisked together some handy dandy, easy-to-understand math to figure out whether Cable television subscriptions or Netflix is cheaper. He says,

We know from Netflix’s own numbers that Netflix’s more than 75 million users stream 125 million hours of content every day. So that’s (roughly) 100 minutes per user, per day. Using the price of Netflix’s most popular plan ($9.99) and a 30-day month, we can say that the average user is paying about 0.33 cents per minute of content, or 20 cents an hour. Not bad!

But what about cable? Well, Nielsen tells us that the average American adult cable subscriber watches 2,260 minutes of TV per week (including timeshifted TV). That’s equivalent to 5.38 hours per day, or 161.43 hours per 30-day month. Thanks to Leichtman Research, we know that the average American pays $99.10 per month for cable TV. That means that subscribers are paying a whopping 61.4 cents per hour to watch cable TV – more than three times as much as users pay per hour of Netflix!

Now, of course this applies to American prices and averages, but being as our entertainment related habits are similar to those of our friendly neighbours to the south, this isn’t a far off estimation of the difference between cable television and Netflix for Canadians.

No matter which way you slice your pizza tonight, Netflix is the cheapest way to consume paid content.

So, go ahead and kick back tonight with your ice cold Canadian brew and your Netflix, knowing that the can of perfectly chilled hops is far more expensive than your binge watching will ever be.

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