Streaming TV in August 2023 Is Light, So You Can Skip These Services to Save Money
There are a few shows and movies worth streaming this month, but don't fret about missing out.
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.
To be honest, streaming is a little dry this month unless you love anime or want to catch a one-off movie release. Hulu and Netflix are your best bets in August though if you want to be entertained, as shows such as Reservation Dogs, Only Murders in the Building and The Lincoln Lawyer are back. I'll admit that I'll be streaming Max for Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake because Jake, PB and other OGs are supposed to make an appearance. Otherwise, August is a wise time to keep your money and get ready for what's coming in September and October (like Loki's return).
You probably spend time each month deciding whether to cancel a streaming service because of the cost and content selection. I'd like to offer one budget-friendly strategy: Churn like ice cream.
Here are my suggestions for which streamers to keep or cancel in August, based on new shows and movies (I didn't consider sports and live TV streaming services) coming to each platform. Your tastes may be different, but if nothing else, I urge you to at least consider the concept of rotating for savings. It's easier than you might think.
Hulu: Anime fans can continue with Zom 100 or Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War. Lollapalooza will livestream Aug. 3-6. There are several big premieres happening this month too: Breeders season 4 (Aug. 1), Reservation Dogs season 3 (Aug. 2), and Only Murders season 3 (Aug. 8). A new K-drama called Moving will be released on Aug. 9, and FX's A Murder at the End of the World premieres on Aug. 29.
Disney Plus: Two new debuts that you'll probably want to stream include Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (Aug. 2) and Star Wars: Ahsoka (Aug. 23). Otherwise, you can cancel after watching GotG or skip Disney Plus altogether if you're not into Star Wars. Secret Invasion's full first season is also now available to binge.
Prime Video: If you haven't streamed Good Omens season 2 yet, binge it this month. And three book adaptations are coming to your TV screen in August:The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart (Aug. 4), Red, White & Royal Blue (Aug. 11) and Harlan Coben's Shelter (Aug. 18).
Paramount Plus: Keep this only if you love watching Big Brother, Special Ops: Lioness or Billions. Streaming customers can watch the Billions season 7 debut on Aug. 11.
You can cancel these services this month
Starz: Outlander's mid-season finale airs Aug. 11. Other than that, Minx and Heels are still airing. I still recommend subscribing in September for Starz to binge these titles and to watch Power Book IV: Force.
Max: You can actually cancel Max unless you want to watch one of these shows: Winning Time season 2 (Aug. 6), Rap Sh!t season 2 (Aug. 10) or Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake season 1 (Aug. 31). For Sex and the City fans, note that Kim Cattrall will appear in the season 2 finale of And Just Like That on Aug. 24.
Apple TV Plus: Hijack's season finale and Physical's final season premiere on Aug. 2. If you like aliens, Invasion returns on Aug. 23 and runs through October. I suggest waiting until September or October to subscribe to Apple TV Plus for The Morning Show season 3, The Changeling or Killers of the Flower Moon.
Peacock: The Super Mario Bros. Movie lands here on Aug. 3. Remember the service now starts at $6 per month for a premium subscription, so decide if Peacock is worth it in August for this film, Love Island or any of Bravo's reality shows.
Save money if you wait a bit
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 arrive on a platform. That way, rather than pay for a service for two or three months to cover the six- to 10-week run of a show, you can catch up on everything by subscribing for one month. And then repeat the cycle.
For example, there will be eight episodes of Star Wars: Ahsoka. The finale drops Oct. 4, so all episodes of the show will be available to stream at that time. Though it premieres on Aug. 23 and runs into October, save yourself three months of fees by waiting to stream it in full anytime in October. Likewise, Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake has 10 episodes that stream into September, while Only Murders in the Building airs weekly into October with 10 episodes. Hold off and binge it all and save some money too.
Note how much you're paying per month for each streaming service and do the math. Paramount Plus starts at $6. Apple TV Plus is $7. Netflix is $7 to $20 (plus fees for extra members), Disney Plus is anywhere from $2 to $11 depending on bundles, Max costs $10 to $20, Hulu starts at $8 and Starz runs $9. Peacock has a base rate of $6 a month. Should you decide to churn, set yourself a calendar reminder to alert you when it's time to resubscribe or cancel. We'll see you in September for another streaming breakdown.