13 Apps to Help You Become a Cord Cutter

February 27, 2017

12:50 pm

In a cable dominated world, more and more consumers have begun cutting the cord to reduce their bills and virtual waste. Accordingly to a slightly out-of-date Nielson report, back in 2013, American TV watchers had an average of 189.1 channels at their disposal, yet only watched about 17 of them. Sure, not every channel is priced the same, but either way you’re throwing away a lot of money on content you’ll never watch. Being a cord cutter is one way to stick it to the likes of Comcast, but for others, multi-device streaming is simply becoming the norm and consumers just don’t need all the extra fluff.

If you want to break things down even further to save money, and only watch one or two shows across a few networks, there is always the season pass on iTunes or Google Play Store, or a few other alternatives.

Last week, we dug into some of the more popular gadgets and hardware you’ll need to cut the cord, but what good is that without the software? While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, here are some of the more popular services, apps, and content providers to help you become a cord cutter:

Amazon Prime ($100/year)

What started as an offering for free two-day shipping, has become a monstrosity for additional perks over the years. Sure, Amazon Prime video is no Netflix, especially with original content, but the company continues to invest more into their library and new offerings.

Hulu ($8+/month)

Early out of the gate, Hulu has been a huge innovator when it comes to bringing TV to the web. Through a joint venture with some of the biggest content producers – Disney, Fox, Comcast, etc. – their service has evolved to bring on-demand style TV across a platitude of devices. They currently offer free, paid, and commercial-free paid subscriptions.

Netflix ($8+/month)

If we have to tell you what Netflix is, you’re probably not cutting the cord anytime soon. Snarkiness aside, it’s currently one of the most popular on-demand video providers, which has recently begun allowing offline access to their content. They also produce some of the best in-house content like Stranger Things and House of Cards.

Sling TV ($20+/month)

For cord cutters that still want to access their shows when they air live, Sling TV is one of the providers to make it happen. Unlike Hulu (likely to change in the next few months), Sling TV lets you watch your favorite shows just like you would with a cable subscription.

Playstation Vue ($30+/month)

Much like Sling TV, Playstation Vue offers live TV viewing and on-demand content. And yes, it even has access to AMC so you can still watch Walking Dead.

HBO Now ($15/month)

Most likely due in part to the excessive amounts of illegal streams of Game of Thrones, in 2014 HBO expanded from their HBO GO app to HBO Now. HBO Go was the first premium movie channel provider to begin offering their content without a cable subscription. Like Netflix, HBO has produced some of the best original content in the world for years.

Showtime ($11/month)

Like HBO Now, Showtime followed suit to begin offering their content through both apps and streaming on the web, giving premium cable fans a few options when it comes to cutting the cord.

Plex (Free+)

Having the right hardware is one thing, but what if you have a huge library of content at home? Plex allows you to create your own media server, opening up your content to be accessible on the most popular devices.

Kodi (Free)

Formerly XMBC, Kodi is an open-source media player that allows you to better organize and access your content.

YouTube Red ($10/month)

YouTube Red is for those of you who consume a great deal of content on YouTube and want to ditch the ads. There are, of course, additional features like access to original, exclusive content, but the biggest plus is uninterrupted media.

MLB.TV ($113/year)

If you like baseball, but don’t feel like hitting the local bar, MLB TV gets you access for the season. In the future, they plan to test out a new $10 per month offering that allows you to just watch your team instead of all of them.

NBA League Pass ($100/year)

Like MLB TV, NBA League pass gets you access to all the best NBA basketball games across the country for the entire season, the perfect solution for the cord cutter sports fan.

Popcorn Time (How Much Are FCC Fines?)

Popcorn time is the Napster of today. While we won’t link it, and it’s not the same solution that it once was, this platform allowed you to easily download and stream movies and TV shows. However, it’s not exactly what we would call legal.

Your Favorite Network

Keep in mind that as being a cord cutter has begun to catch on, networks are all starting to develop their own apps. Many still require some sort of cable subscription to access them, but others make content freely available. Also, if you want to watch NFL games, apps like Fox Sports Go, CBS Sports, and even Twitter will stream games live, but it’s pretty hit or miss.

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Elliot is an award winning journalist deeply ingrained in the startup world and is often digging into emerging technology and data. When not writing, he's likely either running or training for a triathlon. You can contact him by email at elliot(@)elliotvolkman.com or follow him on Twitter @thejournalizer.