Hulu, Spotify and 6 More Subscriptions That Are Always Worth the Money
In today’s digital age, it seems like there’s a subscription service for just about everything. From streaming music and TV shows to getting regular deliveries of snacks and beauty products, the options can be overwhelming. However, some subscriptions are more worth the investment than others.
Let’s take a look at eight subscription services that are always worth the money, including popular options like Hulu and Spotify, as well as lesser-known but still valuable services. Whether you’re looking to be entertained, to stay informed or simply to make your life a little easier, these subscriptions are sure to deliver.
With a large selection of original content, as well as current and classic TV shows and movies, you’ll always be able to find something to watch here. One of the best features of Hulu is that it allows viewers to watch current episodes of many popular TV shows the day after they air on live TV.
The basic plan includes ads and costs $7.99 per month, while the ad-free plan costs $14.99 per month. Hulu also offers a live TV plan that starts at $69.99 per month, which gives you access to live TV channels in addition to the streaming library.
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“If you’re looking for a TV service that gives you more than most, Hulu is probably the best way to go,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com. “It’s pretty much the only service that offers originals as well as live TV options and the ability to watch current seasons of shows airing without having to use outside channels or equipment.”
With access to everything from the Disney vault, Disney+ is a great family-friendly option. This includes all of the Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar movies and TV shows, such as the popular series “The Mandalorian” and “WandaVision.”
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The standard plan costs $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year. For more savings, you can bundle this with Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99 a month with ads or $19.99 a month without ads.
Spotify offers a vast library of music from a wide range of genres. One of Spotify’s standout features is its fantastic recommendation algorithm, which uses data from your listening habits to generate personalized playlists like Discover Weekly and Release Radar. This makes it easy to discover new music that you’re sure to like.
“It might be known mainly for music, but Spotify has branched out into podcasts and even audiobooks now,” Ramhold said. “The fact that Spotify Premium plans offer ad-free listening, offline listening, personalized recs and more in the app make the regular Spotify well worth the fees. Plus, Spotify often runs special promotions for extended free trial periods. Even without the special promotions you can get a whole month to test it out and see if the perks are worth the fee in your situation.”
Spotify offers several subscription plans, including a free plan with ads, the Individual Premium plan for $9.99 per month with no ads and a Premium Family plan for up to six people for $15.99 per month. Spotify also offers a student discount.
Apple Music is a great alternative to Spotify if you’re invested in the Apple ecosystem. Unlike Spotify, Apple Music includes high-quality lossless audio and Spatial Audio, at no additional cost.
Plans start at $4.99 a month. You also might consider the Apple One plan, which allows you to bundle Apple Music with services such as Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and Apple News, for a lower combined cost. Plans for Apple One start at $16.95 a month.
Amazon Prime is a great deal for those who shop frequently on Amazon. In addition to free two-day shipping, Prime members also have access to Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Music.
“At $14.99 per month or $139 per year, it’s a remarkable service,” said Chelsea Ashbrook, founder of TheFlexibleWorker.com. “It offers fast shipping options and a vast library of movies, TV shows and original content through Prime Video. Additionally, Amazon Music provides over 100 million songs, and Prime Reading offers thousands of books, magazines and comics. It’s essentially a one-stop shop for all my entertainment and shopping needs, and it’s genuinely worth the investment.”
Amazon also offers a Prime Video-only plan for $8.99 per month for those who want access only to the streaming video content.
Audible is another Amazon service dedicated to audiobooks. At only $14.95 per month, Audible provides one credit each month that can be used on any title in its extensive library, regardless of price. There are also a number of “Audible Originals” — exclusive titles created for the platform — that are included for free with your subscription.
“Personally, I find Audible ideal for adding variety to traditional media consumption and making daily commutes or workouts more enjoyable,” Ashbrook said.
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Headspace is for anyone who’s interested in meditation and mindfulness. The app is easy to use and offers a personalized meditation experience based on the user’s needs and goals. One of the standout features of Headspace is its focus on mental health, with guided meditations, mindfulness exercises and sleep sounds designed to help users manage stress, anxiety and other mental health concerns.
Headspace has a range of subscription plans to fit different needs and budgets. The basic plan is free and includes a limited selection of guided meditations, while the premium plan costs $12.99 per month or $69.99 per year and includes access to the full library of meditations, as well as additional features like guided courses and personalized progress tracking. Headspace also offers a family plan and a student discount.
MasterClass is a great deal for those who are interested in learning from the best in their field. The courses are high quality and offer in-depth instruction on a wide range of topics, making it a great resource for both personal and professional development.
“With instructors like Margaret Atwood, Gordon Ramsay and Annie Leibovitz, MasterClass offers a unique opportunity to learn from the best in their respective fields,” Ashbrook said.
MasterClass offers a few different subscription plans. The standard plan costs $180 per year and includes unlimited access to all courses. There is also the Duo plan, for two people, at $240 per year, and the Family plan, for $276 per year.
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