Streaming in June: Which Services to Love or Leave
An approach to rotating Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu and other subscriptions to help save you money.
Kourtnee covers TV streaming services and home entertainment news and reviews at CNET. She previously worked as an entertainment reporter at Showbiz Cheat Sheet where she wrote about film, television, music, celebrities, and streaming platforms.
ExpertiseKourtnee is a longtime cord-cutter who's subscribed to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Crunchyroll, Sling, Spotify and more. As a real-life user of these services, she tracks the latest developments in streaming, the newest reCredentials
Though Kourtnee hasn't won any journalism awards yet, she's been a Netflix streaming subscriber since 2012 and knows the magic of its hidden codes.
What does that mean, exactly? Subscribe, cancel, switch to a different service, then resubscribe, keeping your favorite services in a rotation. The upside is that you get to save money when Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max and others don't have the content you want to watch at a given time. Just remember to shut off auto-renewal for your monthly subscriptions. Churning may not be doable for those of you sharing your accounts with people outside your household, but if you can work out an arrangement with your streaming co-op buddies, go for it.
To give you a head start this summer, here are my recommendations for which streamers to keep or drop for the month of June, based on new TV shows and movies (I didn't consider sports and live TV streaming services). Of course your tastes might be different, but if nothing else, I urge you to at least consider the concept of churning for savings. It's easier than you might think.
Netflix: Fresh binge-worthy releases include Stranger Things, Floor Is Lava, The Umbrella Academy, Peaky Blinders Season 6, Netflix is a Joke episodes, Spriggan anime debut and the latest seasons of CW shows.
Hulu: Glee arrives here in June, along with The Orville: New Horizons (June 2), Only Murders in the Building Season 2 (June 28), Love, Victor's final season (June 15) and new premieres for networks such as NBC, ABC and Fox's summer lineups. Shows including America's Got Talent return.
Starz: Right now, you can get Starz super-cheap at $3 per month for six months if you're a new or returning customer. If you already have it, keep it because P-Valley debuts its season 2 on June 3, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife dropped here in May. Sign up before Spider-Man: No Way Home lands in July.
Prime Video: You're probably already paying for this one as a Prime member. But even if you're shelling out $9 for a standalone subscription, it's worth noting The Boys are back on June 3 with three new episodes, followed by a weekly release schedule. And if you loved Jenny Han's The Summer I Turned Pretty book series, the TV adaptation drops on June 17.
Put these platforms on ice this June
Disney Plus: Unless you have kids or love Star Wars (ahem, Obi-Wan), let it go this month. Ms. Marvel debuts on June 8, but you can wait and catch all eight episodes next month. Some of you may find Disney Plus is worth the cost to watch Doctor Strange 2 on June 22, but otherwise, follow these instructions to cancel.
HBO Max: This one is controversial because I consider HBO Max generally excellent, but there aren't too many hot new releases in June that would justify the $10 to $15 monthly price. There's a Father of the Bride reboot film arriving on June 16 and Westworld Season 4 premieres on June 26, but honestly, you could just wait until July to start streaming it (or not). The season will clock in with a total of eight episodes. To learn how to cancel this service, check out HBO Max's help page.
Apple TV Plus: Ted Lasso isn't coming back this month. Freshman series Loot debuts June 24, and though Apple TV Plus makes high-quality productions, there isn't much else going on here for June.
Peacock: The only notable new releases this month are Real Housewives of Dubai, Real Housewives Girls' Trip Season 2 and the Queer as Folk reboot. If you're not into these series, we suggest canceling Peacock or at least downgrading to a free account for June.
Paramount Plus: South Park: The Streaming Wars film hit on June 1, so if you're a fan who's in the middle of your billing cycle, enjoy.Evil returns with season 2 on June 12. But with a total of 13 episodes and a weekly release schedule, this too can be binged if you wait until later in the season. Feel free to cancel Paramount Plus for now.
Be extra frugal and wait until July
If you're not someone who routinely gets FOMO, then a smart method is to wait until the bulk or all episodes of your favorite series land on a platform. That way, rather than pay for a service for two or three months to cover the 6- to 10-week run of a show, you can catch up on everything by subscribing for one month. And then repeat the cycle again. I did that for Moon Knight.
As an example, there are six episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi Season 1 on Disney Plus. The finale airs at the end of June, so all episodes will be available to stream in July. Though it premiered on May 27 and runs through June, why pay for both months when you can wait to watch it in full anytime in July?
Think about how much you're paying per month for each streaming service you have, and do the math. Netflix is $10 to $20, Disney Plus is anywhere from $3 to $8 depending on bundles, HBO Max costs $10 or $15, Hulu starts at $7 and Starz runs $9. The others have a base rate of $5 per month. Should you decide to churn, set yourself a calendar reminder to ping you when it's time to re-subscribe or cancel. Take a breather for your wallet's sake, and then reevaluate things next month or in August. We'll see you in July for another streaming breakdown.