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The streaming services most friendly to financially stressed households are Amazon Prime, Spotify, Youtube and CBC Gem.

All have done something you rarely see in today’s world – they have kept cost increases in recent years below the rate of inflation. Apple TV has exceeded inflation the most, followed by Crave and Disney+. Netflix lies right in the middle, according to data put together by Charles St-Arnaud, chief economist for Credit Union Central Alberta.

The high cost of living these days means more households will be rationalizing the collection of streaming services acquired in recent years. By all means keep the services you use a lot and ditch those that rarely offer anything worth watching. But you might also want to consider whether a streaming service has a history of price increases.

Mr. St-Arnaud started with a Globe and Mail infographic that compared the cost of 10 different services today versus the original price. He then computed the annualized price increases for each since launch with changes in the inflation rate. “On average, the cost of the main video streaming platform is rising at about 3.5 times faster than inflation,” he said in an e-mail. “The consolation for consumers is that music streaming services have seen price increases below inflation.”

Apple TV started at a low cost of $5.99 in 2019 and since then has increased to $12.99, according to the Globe data. Mr. St-Arnaud calculated the annualized increase at 21.3 per cent, top among the 10 streaming services examined. The streaming services that held off inflation the best were Spotify Premium, which has gone from $10 in 2014 to $10.99, and Youtube Music Premium, which has stayed at $9.99.

One lesson from this data is that there’s enough demand for streaming services to support steady price increases. Mr. St-Arnaud calculated that the cost of video streaming is rising about 3.5 times faster than inflation. Let’s see how this plays out if a recession hits.

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