Do you know off the top of your head just how many subscription services you’re signed up for? Everyone has a favorite platform they rely on for entertainment or news, but if you check your bank statement, you might be surprised at how much they all add up. And they probably aren’t all worth the money.
What started as a small industry with only a handful of platforms is now a crowded marketplace of flat monthly fees. Sign up for enough of them and you’re right back to square one — a hole in your wallet the size of your old cable bill. Tap or click here to find out how to clean up your excess subscriptions.
Not every subscription is worth the monthly bill, and too many of these services can weigh heavily on your bank account. You need to cut it down to just the cream of the crop. Here are some subscription services worth every penny.
1. A secure, ad-free alternative to Facebook and social media
Kim has been telling her audience for years to break up with Facebook, and for good reason. Over the past few years, the company has been plagued with several high-profile privacy scandals. Meanwhile, Twitter, Instagram and all the other major social platforms have experienced privacy and data-related controversies of their own.
That’s why Kim has made it her mission to deliver a unique social media experience for her viewers and listeners. The Komando Community ditches all the privacy gotchas and data tactics used by other platforms in exchange for a fun, safe social environment. Plus, members get exclusive access to The Kim Komando Show as it streams live and as a podcast you can download any time.
The Komando Community will never sell your data, and only members can see and share information with one another. You can ask tech questions in the forum and get trusted advice from Komando staff, other members and even Kim.
Best of all, the entire platform is ad-free, so you won’t have to deal with annoying tracking and popups like you’d see in other places on the internet.
You can try it for free! Just use promo code Kim for your 7-day, no-obligation trial. Tap or click here to explore the Komando Community and join today.
2. A VPN subscription will keep your connection safe
Your home internet connection may not be as safe as you think it is. If you haven’t properly configured your router’s security settings, snoops and cybercriminals might already be watching your online activities. Tap or click here to see the router settings you need to change to keep hackers out.
An easy way to secure your internet connection is with a VPN, or virtual private network. VPNs make anonymous browsing safe and easy, and they can prevent any unauthorized traffic from piggybacking on your connection.
Once it’s configured, a VPN encrypts your traffic and protects your connection from cybercriminals.
If you’re looking for a fast, reliable VPN, ExpressVPN is the perfect choice for any platform. It will keep you safe and doesn’t slow down your speeds like so many other options on the market. Get an extra three months free when you sign up at ExpressVPN.com/Kim.
3. A music subscription to fill in the silence
Streaming music subscriptions are one of the most popular forms of entertainment today. Spotify alone boasts more than 120 million subscribers. And with new artists and albums added all the time, that number will only continue to grow.
Here’s how it works: You pay a monthly fee for access to your streaming service’s massive music library. Pick and choose songs to build a personal library of only the content you want that you can listen to anytime you want, anywhere you want.
When it comes to music-streaming platforms, you have a few choices to pick from. Spotify is still the leader of the pack, with one of the largest digital libraries on the market. It also offers a free version of its service with ads, as well as an ad-free premium subscription for $9.99 a month. If you have several users under one roof, go with Premium Family. This subscription includes six accounts for $14.99 per month.
Apple Music is newer to the streaming scene. It comes standard with all Apple devices and includes unique, curated playlists and radio stations assembled by real people.
This gives Apple Music a much stronger edge when it comes to content recommendations. With Apple Music, you’re not just receiving the results of an algorithm when you’re trying to discover new music. Cost is on par with Spotify, at $9.99 a month for individuals, $14.99 for up to six users and $4.99 for students.
Another honorable mention for music lovers is Amazon Music, which comes free with your Amazon Prime account. Users get access to more than 2 million songs free of charge, with no ads to boot. More than 50 million songs are unlocked when you subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited for $9.99.
Prime members can also get digital copies of physical albums they purchase from Amazon through Amazon Music. Just look for the AutoRip logo when purchasing a physical album and you’ll have access to your tunes within 24 to 48 hours. Tap or click to learn more about AutoRip and other Prime member benefits.
4. Stay informed with a news subscription
Keeping up with current events is easier than ever these days, but the sheer amount of noise and misinformation on social media can drown out reliable sources. That’s why it’s worth subscribing to digital newspapers and magazines to get the latest news straight to your inbox.
Many traditional news outlets like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post have limits to the amount of articles you can read for free each month, and most include tons of ads. A news subscription will allow you unlimited access, while some sources even remove ads as an additional benefit.
If you’re an iOS user, you can get even more news right on your device with Apple News. For $9.99 per month, you can access highlights from more than 300 different publications in an ad-free app optimized for easy reading.
5. Protect your data with a cloud backup service
Nobody can predict when disaster will strike and digital disasters are no exception. There isn’t much recourse if your system breaks or is attacked by ransomware, but if you have a secure backup of your most critical files, you’ll be in a lot better shape.
Apple users get access to cloud storage right out of the box, thanks to iCloud. By default, you’re given a free subscription that includes 5GB of storage. An avid photographer or gamer will want more space. You can upgrade to 50GB for just 99 cents a month. If you need it, larger storage plans are available as well.
As for Windows users, check out Dropbox, which gives you 2TB of storage for $9.99 per month, or our sponsor IDrive. IDrive backs up all your devices — PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones — into one account.
6. Amazon Prime: The gift that keeps on giving
It’s no surprise Amazon Prime memberships continues to increase each year. It’s one of the most popular subscriptions in the country, and the number of benefits you receive with it can fill an entire article. As of December, there were 112 million Prime members in the U.S. alone.
It’s a lot more than just free shipping. Tap or click here to see some of the unique benefits Amazon Prime members get.
But between speedy, free, two-day delivery and instant movie streaming, it’s a top choice for a monthly subscription. At $12.99 per month, it won’t break the bank, especially if you take advantage of all it has to offer.
7. Imagine YouTube … without ads
Ads are the bane of every YouTube user. Sure, they generate revenue for content creators, but who wants to watch unskippable ads every few minutes?
YouTube Premium takes a different approach to streaming videos. You pay $11.99 per month for unlimited access to uninterrupted videos. You can also download videos to watch when there’s no Wi-Fi access.
As a bonus, subscribers also get YouTube music at no extra charge. This allows you to listen to millions of ad-free songs and you get an additional feature everyone wishes they could access: You can play YouTube in the background on your phone.
Who hasn’t wanted to minimize YouTube so they can listen to a track while using other apps? Of all the streaming content subscriptions, this one is really worth the money.
8. Unlimited gaming for less
If you, your kids or your grandkids are gamers, you already know the cost of new games can add up. One of the cheapest consoles, the Nintendo Switch, plays physical game cartridges that start at $60 each. If you don’t want to invest that kind of money into a single game, a gaming subscription might be the better choice.
Right now, the two most popular gaming subscription services are Apple Arcade and Google Stadia. Apple Arcade charges a $4.99 monthly fee that grants you access to thousands of the latest gaming apps at no additional cost. You also can challenge friends and share your achievements while using the service.
Google Stadia is a bit more ambitious. Designed to tango with gaming console giants like XBox and Playstation, Stadia runs high-end games over an internet connection right inside of YouTube. The service costs $10 a month, but you’ll need the additional $70 Stadia controller to play.
9. Last but not least: Choose your favorite streaming service
It’s worth mentioning you don’t need to buy every single streaming service you want. Doing so will be like resurrecting your gargantuan cable bill of yesteryear, and who wants to do that? If you still have cable and add in streaming, that will run you even more.
Remember some services will give you access to streaming platforms for free. T-Mobile offers free Netflix for qualifying family plans, including subscribers using two lines of Magenta Plus Unlimited 55. Tap or click here to learn more about how you can save money with T-Mobile.
When picking a streaming service, it’s all about choosing what you know you’ll use frequently. If you don’t think you’ll use a platform very often, it’s not worth subscribing to. Tap or click here to see how to choose between streaming services.
As the streaming wars continue to heat up, we’ll likely see even more platforms burst onto the scene. Whether they’re worth the monthly bill depends on your tastes, but with so many services to choose from, we can guarantee there’s a platform out there for everyone. Which ones will you choose?