What’s on your streaming watchlist this month? October might get you into Halloween-themed TV shows and movies for the season, but you don’t have to watch horror movies to be entertained.
Netflix brings arrivals like The Watcher and two disturbing Jeffrey Dahmer series this fall, but that may not entice you to stick with the streamer this month. However, Hellraiser, Michael Myers and Werewolf by Night could have you paying for rival platforms.
Every month I share advice on which streaming services to cancel or keep, based on their new releases, price and current lineup. At a time where we’re all more careful about spending, you may be thinking about dropping a few streaming subscriptions. I’d like to offer my strategy: Churn like ice cream.
What is that, exactly? Subscribe for a period, cancel, choose a different service, then resubscribe, keeping your favorites in a rotation. Feel free to pick one or two must-haves for the year and treat additional streaming providers like seasonal add-ons. The upside is that you get to save money when Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max and others don’t have the movies and shows you want to watch at a given time. Just remember to shut off auto-renewal for your monthly subscriptions. Rotating may not work if you’re sharing your accounts with people outside your household, but if you can work out a system with your streaming clique, go for it.
Here are my recommendations for which streamers to keep or cancel for October based on new TV shows and movies arriving on each platform. There’s a selection of nonspooky titles airing on various streaming services. But beware the Oct. 10 price hike for Hulu, which will drive your monthly bill up to $8 for the ad-supported plan, and from $13 to $15 for the ad-free version. Your tastes may be different, but if nothing else, I encourage you to at least consider the concept of rotating for savings. It’s easier than you might think.
Streaming service rotation
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Yeah, keep HBO Max and possibly these other streaming services
HBO Max: In a perfect sync-up, House of the Dragon wraps on Oct. 23 and The White Lotus season 2 premieres on Oct. 30. That should be worth your money this month, but basketball fans may want to check out the Jeremy Lin documentary At the Garden on Oct. 11. For the kids, Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo! lands on Oct. 15.
Hulu: Aside from The Handmaid’s Tale, the only reason to keep Hulu after Oct. 7 is for network shows and anime. The lineup includes My Hero Academia season 6 (Oct. 1), all seasons of Schitt’s Creek (Oct. 3), a Hellraiser reboot movie (Oct. 7), The Good Doctor season 6 (Oct. 4) and Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 have new season premieres (Oct. 7). Chainsaw Man lands on Oct. 11, and Rosaline, the Hulu Original about Romeo’s ex, hits on Oct. 14. Note that you can watch anime on Crunchyroll for the same price — $8 per month.
Netflix: I put Netflix in the keep column this month, but it might be worth dropping to save the $15 or so. Here’s what’s new: Stephen King movie adaptation Mr. Harrigan’s Phone drops Oct. 5, followed by Mila Kunis’ Luckiest Girl Alive on Oct. 7. The Midnight Club TV series arrives on Oct. 8 and The Watcher (not The Witcher) on Oct. 13. The highly anticipated film The School for Good and Evil lands on Oct. 19 and so does Love is Blind season 3. It’s up to you if you want to stick around for: Guillermo del Toro’s four-part Cabinet of Curiosities (Oct. 25), The Good Nurse (Oct. 26) with Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne, Wendell & Wild (Oct. 28) or Big Mouth season 6 (Oct. 28).
Prime Video: Thursday Night Football continues, and The Rings of Power ends its first season on Oct. 14. You probably already have this subscription included in your Prime membership.
Disney Plus: Are you still watching Andor, or will you wait and binge in November? Season 33 of The Simpsons debuts Oct. 5, and Werewolf by Night, Marvel’s horror movie arrives Oct. 7. She-Hulk ends Oct. 13, New Mutants drops on Oct. 14 and Dancing With the Stars continues. Cancel Disney Plus after She-Hulk or wait until Andor wraps in November. But if you like Hocus Pocus 2, there’s a chance your family will rewatch it the entire month of October.
Cancel these streaming services during October
Starz: Unless you’re watching The Serpent Queen, cancel Starz after Raising Kanan ends on Oct. 23.
Paramount Plus: Some fans may want to stream NFL games or CBS shows like Blue Bloods, S.W.A.T., The Equalizer or NCIS: Los Angeles. Star Trek: Prodigy drops Oct. 27. For horror geeks, a large crop of scary movies arrive here including Scream 1-3, The Grudge, The Devil Inside and more. And we know the trailer disappointed a lot of fans, but Monster High: The Movie drops on Oct. 6. Binge the cartoons on this service if you’d prefer — otherwise skip your Paramount Plus subscription this month.
Peacock: The only thing you might want to see here is Chucky season 2 (Oct. 5) or Halloween Ends on Oct. 14. Hopefully, you snagged that $2 deal to get Peacock Premium. If the NFL, Michael Myers or Chucky aren’t hitting it for you, cancel Peacock.
Apple TV Plus: There isn’t too much happening besides Shantaram season 1 starring Charlie Hunnam. Things should pick up in November and December for Apple TV Plus, but if you love Charlie Brown, stream It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for Halloween.
Save money by being patient
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 several 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 again.
As an example, there are 12 episodes of Chainsaw Man for season 1. The finale airs in December, so all episodes will be available to stream at that time. Though it premieres on Oct. 11 and runs into winter, why pay for three months of Hulu when you can wait to watch it in full anytime in December? The same principle applies to the 10-episode run of The Handmaid’s Tale. You can binge it all in November. If one of these is the only series you want to watch during this period, it makes sense to be patient to save money.
Calculate what you spend each month on streaming services. It’s probably more than $50. Netflix is $10 to $20, Disney Plus is anywhere from $3 to $8 depending on bundles, HBO Max costs $10-$15, Hulu starts at $8 and Starz runs $9. The others have a base rate of $5 per month. Should you decide to rotate, set a calendar reminder to remind you when it’s time to resubscribe or cancel. We’ll see you in November for another streaming breakdown, and be sure to check out our recommendations on the best free VPNs and horror movies on HBO Max.
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