Is Prepaid Television the Wave of the Future?

In an effort to provide an even more flexible and customized experience to consumers and combat the rise of over-the-top (OTT) content, many television providers are offering prepaid television services. Recent research indicates that the pay TV market is witnessing a deceleration in the growth of its subscriber base as more and more customers are turning toward services like Netflix and Hulu to get their entertainment.

With those trends in mind, Comcast decided to offer a pay-as-you-go service last year. Customers could opt for a $15 package that lasted a week or shell out $45 for an entire month of service. (Those prices don’t include the $69.95 customers need to pay for the first month of service which includes hardware and activation fees.)

It remains to be seen whether prepaid television services will be a boon on the industry, but one could look to mobile devices for the potential the market might have. In 2012, prepaid mobile subscriptions shot past 100 million users, a 12 percent increase from the previous year. Experts estimate that as many as one out of every three mobile users opts for a phone of the prepaid variety.

Take the case of Philip Hsiang and his wife. After shelling out nearly $1,000 for the two of them to have phones for a year, Hsiang switched to a prepaid service and saved $800. As an electrical engineer, he could have afforded the more expensive bill, but who doesn’t want to save money?

It remains to be seen whether prepaid television services will offer consumers comparable cost savings. But if such savings were available, would you switch to a prepaid service? Tell us in the comments below!