MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Apple TV launched its new streaming service, AppleTV+, on November 1 and it joined the long list of options for television viewers.

On that long list are dozens of add-on programs that give customers access to shows and series at a $5-$15 per month rate.

University of Minnesota professor George John warns that when it comes to price, a growing number of people are ditching cable and satellite contracts for “skinny” bundles, which can also easily add up.

“The trap is that when we sign on to one, and then there’s that must-view content on someone else’s [television],” John said. “Before you know it, you’re kind of back where you started.”

Three of the most popular streaming services include Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video. They each cost between $6-$13 a month. Together, it adds up to $28 a month. Add in Showtime and HBOMax, it goes up to $54. AppleTV+ will cost an additional $5. A $59 monthly bill would cost $708 a year, assuming none of those companies raise prices by the year’s end.

“Exercise your self-control,” John said. “Make sure you have only what you want. Having said that, I’m the worst guy in the world.. we keep adding stuff, we’re not dropping stuff, because somebody wants to watch HBO, so you add it on. And this is what they’re hoping. They’re hoping you won’t switch off.”

He adds, by all accounts, streaming is here to stay. Disney plans to launch Disney+ on November 12.

CBS, WCCO’s parent company, has CBS All Access for $6 a month, and also plans to add a free local streaming service, CBSN Minnesota, around early December. CBSN Minnesota will offer local news at all times of the day, so viewers can watch when it’s convenient.

Christiane Cordero

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