Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine what’s new and old in entertainment.

With Apple’s recent announcement that the company will launch a new streaming service called Apple TV+ this fall, we all have another subscription to consider paying for. Of course, this will be in addition to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, the leading streaming providers already up and running. And joining the fray soon will be Disney’s streaming option, Disney+, which is scheduled to include the company’s library of animated classics. If that wasn’t enough, Criterion recently launched a streaming channel of its own which aims to fill the hole left in the marketplace to watch Indie and foreign films. Sounds like a lot, right?

Well, we haven’t even mentioned CBS All Access which will exclusively air the new Twilight Zone, and none of this includes cable. For that, you’d have to subscribe to a traditional cable provider or an internet provider like Sling, PlayStation Vue, or Hulu + Live TV. Premium channels, like HBO, Showtime, and Starz cost even more.

Of course, this is just streaming movies and TV at home. If you want to see a new movie, you’ll still have to go buy a ticket at your local theater. And if you want to listen to music, well, there are other monthly fees for Spotify and Apple Music.

Sounds expensive, doesn’t it? A few years ago, cutting the cord and eliminating your cable package in favor of Netflix or Hulu was supposed to be a cost-saving move. Now, streaming is getting to be just as expensive as that cable package was in the first place. And if you rely on streaming, then you already know you’re dependent on the ever-evolving libraries these services provide and a reliable internet connection, which, you know, costs even more money.

In our digital world, there are more entertainment options than ever before. But the days where you could just subscribe to everything may be drawing to a close. Now, many of us will be forced to decide if we’re Netflix people or Apple TV+ people. And you’ll have to get used to ignoring all the chatter about the great new show on whichever option you simply can’t afford anymore.

I’m Evan Rook. 

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