The start of a new year is a great time to take stock of your streaming portfolio and decide which to keep and which to cancel. Not to mention, it’s also the ideal time to resubscribe to any service you may have previously left.
Last year I canceled my Apple TV Plus subscription, but as 2023 gets underway I’m feeling the urge to return to the low-cost streamer thanks to a small backlog of built-up content and a surprisingly strong line up this month. However, while Apple looks set to receive my monthly fee once again, Netflix could be on the chopping block.
Why I’m returning to Apple TV Plus
In the wake of last October’s Apple TV Plus price hike, I opted to let my annual subscription lapse in mid-November. I’ve championed the service in the past, and would argue it’s most definitely one of the best streaming services out there, but I was looking to cut costs as the holiday season approached and this felt like an easy place to save.
Fast forward to now, and my decision to return has been made primarily because I’m pretty impressed with the service’s January line up. I’m a huge soccer fan, so unsurprisingly Super League: The War for Football has grabbed my attention. This new four-party docuseries is dropping on January 13 and focuses on the proposed European Super League that was initially announced in April 2021. Just 72 hours later the whole thing had fallen apart in dramatic fashion.
Anybody who follows the sport closely will attest to the fact this Super League had the potential to break footy as we know it. And as a supporter of a club that wasn’t involved in the breakaway project watching the whole thing crash and burn in less than a working week was hugely satisfying. I’m definitely on board to watch a documentary that explains just what happened, and frankly, my interest is high enough that this documentary alone will justify the $7 monthly fee.
Jan. 13 will also see the return of M. Night Shyamalan’s psychological thriller Servant for its fourth season. A week later, Apple's Truth Be Told (Jan. 20), starring the always-excellent Octavia Spencer, begins its latest season. Neither influenced my decision, though, as I'm not currently caught up on either of them.
However, upcoming new series Shrinking (Jan. 27) definitely does interest me. It comes from the same minds behind Ted Lasso (Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein) and stars Jason Segel, an actor I’ve always felt very is underrated for his ability to nail both comedy and drama in a single performance.
Even better in my time away from Apple TV Plus a small backlog of content has built up that I’d like to pick back up. Primarily I’m talking about Mythic Quest season 3. I loved the first two seasons of this show, and its third season has been dropping weekly since November 11. I caught the first episode before my subscription ended and the third installment looks to be of the same high quality as what came before it.
And so I might cancel Netflix
While Apple TV Plus is looking to have recaptured my subscription fee (for at least a month or two), Netflix’s position in my streaming collection is looking a little precarious. Especially with all of the above to watch.
As always, there’s plenty to watch that's new on Netflix, some of it original and some of it licensed content from third-party partners, but none of it is really speaking to me. Ginny & Georgia season 2 isn’t for me, and new Netflix movie The Pale Blue Eye piqued my curiosity prior to release but its middling reviews have seriously dampened my enthusiasm.
In the short term, I think my limited watching hours will be dedicated to the likes of Apple TV Plus and HBO Max (technically, Now, as I'm in the UK) because The Last of Us especially looks unmissable. Plus, I may even have to consider subscribing to Peacock this month as it's set to premier a U.S. version of my favorite new reality show.
Of course, if I do ultimately unsubscribe from Netflix in January, it surely won’t be very long before I return. While the big red streaming service may be under fire again for its premature cancelation of 1899 this week, there’s no denying that it’s the streaming service most capable of churning out content that captures that water cooler.
Subscribe, cancel and repeat
The important lesson I’m taking into 2023 is that it’s a smart move to subscribe, cancel and repeat. It's called 'churn,' and while services hate it, it's what's best for your budget. Don’t feel like you have to stay subscribed to a streaming service in perpetuity or permanently cancel. Instead, you should jump on and off the bandwagon as you see fit.
If a streaming service has a particularly strong line up one month followed by a couple of barren ones, you can always join for a single month then cancel with plans to return at a later date. It’s all too easy to get stuck in the cycle of continually paying for a streaming service you don’t consistently use because you plan to eventually again in the future at some point.
Having a flexible approach to streaming is the best way to save money, and it’ll let you access more services than if you opted to permanently subscribe to just two or three. So, while I’m rejoining Apple TV Plus this month, it surely won’t be long before I cancel again. Of course, when Ted Lasso season 3 finally drops, I’ll instantly return once more. But we still don’t know exactly when that’ll be, and the wait is rapidly become torturous.
Next: Still have a Netflix subscription? Check out the 7 best new Netflix movies that are 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes. Plus, read about how my colleague bought the best TV of the year, the LG C2 OLED — and how it has this one major flaw.