I can confidently assume (based on my own arduous lifestyle) that there are only two occasions when those of us who are financially insecure and generally rubbish with money will look willingly at our bank statements. 1) On payday, to check we have indeed been paid as promised. 2) At the highest point of pre-payday desperation, to check where all our money has gone and whether the bank has added it up wrong.
On occasion number two, we like to look painfully closely at the numbers. Rent? I guess that’s expected. Phone bill? Really need to find a better contract. Tesco? Girl’s gotta eat. Topshop? Those boots were an investment. £7.99? Didn’t I end that free trial? £7.99? Shit, I didn’t end that free trial.
Those subscription services will get you like that. You’re years deep into your relationship with Netflix but didn’t realise quite how long you’d also been hanging out with Now TV. Even Amazon Prime, the one you hoped would fulfil multiple needs at once, still takes that penny shy of a round £8 even though it’s been months since you spent a really good night together.
You’d love to break it off with at least one of them, but you know you can’t. It’s disorienting, going from one to the other and, frankly, you can’t afford it. But you’re also used to getting what you want, when you want it, and so you like to have options at your fingertips. Our heads have all been turned by the promise of shiny new Apple TV+ and hey, sure, Disney+ looks like some good old-fashioned fun.
The internet is swarming with places to get our entertainment kicks. The fact that there are so many film and TV subscription services says a lot about where we’re at as a culture right now (consume more, hope something good sticks, repeat the process and pray no one notices how tired and unfulfilling it becomes). But what does where we choose to binge watch and frustratedly scroll through 'similar titles' say about us? Could there be any correlation between where we stream and what we’re like as people? We’ve decided yes (although, probably not). Here’s what can be deduced about you based on where your £Something.99 is going each month.
You’re a real people pleaser and you’re not mad about it. Sure, you tend to follow the crowd in quite a big way – not out of want but rather an innate obligation – but you’ve been pretty pleased by where it’s gotten you so far. You’ve got a judgmental streak in you, though, and enjoy mocking the friend you invited over for a hangover TV day for watching so many episodes of shit hangover TV, even though you’re the one who encouraged her to waste her day on your sofa in the first place. But your friend doesn’t mind. Deep down you know something’s going to have to give eventually. You should probably be a bit nicer, a bit easier to read. But you’re loyal and know that counts for more than people realise.
Thirty-day free trial, then from £5.99 per month
Trendy with supposedly 'nerdy' interests in actually interesting subjects. You love shiny new things and get bored easily. You know that the thrill of having the hot new thing will only last until the next hot new thing comes along but, boy, what a rush those first few months/weeks/hours are. One of your favourite things in the world is peeling off the protective plastic seal from new electronics and you have fallen out with a friend or family member who has robbed you of the opportunity. You pretend to like drinking scalding tea out of handle-less glass mugs.
Seven-day free trial, then £4.99 per month
Amazon Prime Video
You like convenience and are always hopeful for the best in any and all situations. Sure, there have been times when you should have learned from the mistaken assumptions you’ve made about people, programmes and delivery dates, but when your gut is right about something it’s very rewarding. You might find yourself in committed relationships when all you were looking for was to take advantage of a few weeks of freedom, but the end result is fulfilling in the most unexpected ways.
As nostalgic as you are, you don’t miss things like Blockbuster Video at all. The only time you used the VCR as a kid was whenever your mum asked you to record that night’s episode of Coronation Street over your baby video/dance recital/last week’s Coronation Street, and there’s a strange yearning in your heart for choppily edited soap opera-style telly intermittently interrupted by animal documentaries and glossy period dramas with a surprise A-list name attached to them.
Thirty-day free trial, then £5.99 per month
You once went on a date with someone who you were wildly attracted to and happened to be super into films that you’d never heard of. They looked down their nose at you when you half-jokingly brought up the fact that Netflix is releasing a sequel to A Christmas Prince and so subscribed to Mubi to try and better educate yourself in the world of cool-person cinema. You used it once and never saw that pretentious fun sponge again.
Seven-day free trial, then £9.99
Your parents pay for nice things and you enjoy receiving them almost as much as your housemates do. The coffee machine, the new sofa, the runner for your barren corridor – all welcome (and expected) gifts. OR your parents happen to have Sky and you wisely stole their log-in details to watch Game Of Thrones a few years ago and they never noticed.
Packages from £25 per month
Your parents found out about you using their Sky subscription and cut you off. So then you had to do the seven-day free trial on Now TV to continue watching Game Of Thrones. You were prepared to cancel because that £7.99 could be spent on one and a half pints on a Thursday night after work but then people started getting excited about Succession and you’ve had to keep paying for it. You’re really quite annoyed about the whole thing but won’t be doing anything about it any time soon because you're actually very excited about revisiting Sharp Objects.
Seven-day free trial, then from £8.99 per month