Remember when the Internet was supposed to mark the beginning of completely a la carte entertainment choices for cord cutters? It didn't quite work out that way. That's because companies like Dish, Sony and Apple are bringing bundles to the Internet streaming crowd. Internet bundles appear cheaper than their cable counterparts, but are they really saving you money?
The average cable bill costs $106 per month, so many people have decided to cut the cord and use cheaper streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. But, corporations are now bringing streaming bundles to the market that replicate the TV experience over the Internet.
Dish's currently offers the Sling online bundle. It features 22 channels, including ESPN, for just $20 per month. That sounds like a good deal until you take a look at the add-ons. You can add HBO ($15), Sports Extra ($5), Kids Extra ($5) and more. Before you know it, that $20 could balloon out of control.
Sony's Vue offering comes in at $50 per month. It includes 53 channels, including most of the major broadcast networks, Comedy Central and TNT. Once again, you can unlock even more channels for additional cost. Apple is also planning on offering its own streaming television option later this year.
It looks like the bundle isn't going to go down without a fight, and there's a good explanation for why that is. Quite simply, bundles are extremely profitable for content distributors. The content creators don't want to go through the trouble of creating apps and dealing with viewers.
Just why is the neo-bundle model on the rise in Internet TV? For one thing, content companies like ESPN don’t necessarily want the annoyances of dealing, like Comcast or Netflix do, with direct subscribers, who are always threatening to leave and demand that irritant known as “customer service.”
So, distributors bundle channels together to force you to pay for channels you don't want. If they sell you access to channels you want on an a la carte basis, then they can't convince you to pay for all those other channels you don't want.
That being said, you can still save money every month by cutting the cord on cable. But, if you decide to purchase an online bundle from companies like Sony or Dish, remember that all of those extras and add-ons can seriously eat away at your savings.
How much can you save by getting rid of cable? Click here to find out.