I know you’re waiting for Netflix to hit you with those password-sharing fees. The extra charges are due any day now. But if you’re a fan of Bridgerton, Ultraman or To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, you may want to wait. And Star Wars fans, May the 4th be with you as you stream Disney Plus this month too.
Don’t forget, HBO Max relaunches as Max on May 23. Some titles will release on HBO Max’s schedule by May 22, but parent-company Warner Bros. Discovery will share its new Max lineup later this month with more to watch from Discovery Plus.
Though live sports like Major League Baseball, hockey and basketball take center stage this season, streaming TV has much to offer in May. Every month, I advise you on which streaming services to cancel or keep based on price and current releases. My strategy: churn like ice cream.
Essentially, you’ll rotate services in and out. Subscribe for a time, cancel the service(s), stream on a different platform and then resubscribe, keeping a stable of favorites. Pick one or two must-haves for the year and treat additional streamers like seasonal add-ons. This helps save money on Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max and others when they don’t have the content you want to watch at a given time. Just remember to shut off autorenewal for monthly subscriptions. This may not work if you’re sharing accounts with anyone outside your household, but if you can work out an agreement with your streaming partners, try it.
Here are my recommendations for which streamers to keep or cancel for May, based on new TV shows and movies (I didn’t consider live TV streaming services) arriving on 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 may think.
Streaming Service Rotation for May 2023 KeepCancelNetflix XStarz XHulu XApple TV Plus XDisney Plus XHBO Max/Max XParamount Plus X Prime Video XPeacock X
Star Wars Vision returns with volume 2 this month on Disney Plus.
DisneyKeep Netflix and these others in May
Netflix: Queen Charlotte’s Bridgerton spinoff is here and so is Kitty Covey’s spinoff. For action lovers, Jennifer Lopez hits the screen and K-drama, Black Knight, is the dystopian series that could tide you over until Squid Game returns. Here’s a snapshot of Netflix’s May lineup:
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story: May 4Queen Cleopatra: May 10Ultraman, final season (anime): May 11The Mother (J.Lo’s new movie): May 12Queer Eye, season 7: May 12Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me: May 16XO, Kitty (To All the Boys spinoff): May 18Selling Sunset, season 6: May 19All American, season 5: May 23FUBAR with Arnold Schwarzenegger: May 25
HBO Max: Succession ends this month on May 28, and Titans wraps for good on May 11. Keep streaming Barry and Love & Death if you want. Here are new arrivals coming to HBO Max by May 22: White House Plumbers (May 1), Spy/Master (May 19) and Love to Love You, Donna Summer (May 20). Shazam! Fury of the Gods lands on Max launch day (May 23), but keep an eye on the streamer’s catalog afterward.
Disney Plus: Besides Star Wars shows, American Born Chinese and Marvel’s Ant-Man drop on Disney Plus this month. Releases include:
Star Wars: Visions, volume 2, fittingly premieres: May 4Charles: In His Own Words (for Royals watchers): May 5Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All: May 3Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures: May 4Jeopardy! Masters: May 9 The Muppets Mayhem: May 10Crater (Disney Plus original film): May 12Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania: May 17American Born Chinese starring Michelle Yeoh: May 24
Apple TV Plus: Ted Lasso airs its series finale on May 31, so if you’re watching, you’ll need the service all month. Otherwise, Silo premieres on May 5.
Starz: Starz will air season finales for Power Book II: Ghost and Blindspotting on May 26. It’s the same day Run the World season 2 premieres. Therefore, you can either cancel Starz after Power ends or binge everything during Memorial Day weekend.
Prime Video: Citadel premiered with two episodes on April 28, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 5 will continue its final run. If you have a standalone Prime Video subscription and aren’t a fan or prefer to skip Citadel or another Prime show, The Power, then cancel this month.
Cancel these after watching what you want
Peacock: Bel-Air dropped its season finale on April 27, so unless you want to binge it in May or you watch Mrs. Davis, sports or a reality show, you can give Peacock a break. Those of you still using that Black Friday $1-for-12-months deal on Peacock should stick it out.
Paramount Plus: Binge Rabbit Hole (which ends this month) or keep streaming Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies. You can also watch Scream 6 now and then cancel the service when you’re finished.
Hulu: Jeopardy! Masters premieres (May 9) along with FX’s Class of ’09 TV series (May 10) and The Great season 3 (May 12). A remake of White Men Can’t Jump starring Jack Harlow, Sinqua Walls, Lance Reddick and Teyana Taylor debuts on May 19. The Kardashians season 3 hits on May 25. Why cancel? All episodes of The Great are available this month and you can wait to binge the other shows this summer.
Catch Catherine the Great’s latest exploits in May when all of season 3 drops, then cancel Hulu.
Christopher Raphael/HuluBe patient to save the most money
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 six- to 12-week run of a show, you can catch up on everything by subscribing for one month. And then repeat the cycle again.
For example, if you feel compelled to watch The Kardashians, season 3, it has at least 10 episodes that start streaming on May 25. The series will run through July, with all episodes available in August. Why pay for three months of Hulu when you can wait to stream it in full anytime in August? The same is true for the eight episodes of Class of ’09 on the platform, and May is prime time to binge all of Succession season 4 on Max if you haven’t already been watching.
Decided whether the Kardashians are must-see TV for you for several months.
Add up how much you’re paying per month for each streaming service. Apple TV Plus is $7. Netflix is $7 to $20 (until account-sharing fees kick in), Disney Plus is anywhere from $3 to $11 depending on bundles, HBO Max costs $10 or $16, Hulu starts at $8, and Starz runs $9. The others have a base rate of $5 per month. To avoid paying the most, you can check out deals for streaming services here: Best Streaming Service Deals From Verizon, T-Mobile and More and Best Streaming Service Deals on Hulu, Peacock, Disney Plus and More.
Should you decide to churn, set yourself a calendar reminder to alert you when it’s time to resubscribe or cancel. I’ll be back in June with more streaming advice.