The Golden Age of Free Entertainment


Staying subscribed to major modern entertainment systems can be expensive. Movies, television, music, audiobooks, and more, all of these individual offerings can quickly add up to a significant monthly fee. These aren’t the only avenues available, however, where taking a different tack can open a world of free experiences. Come at it from the right angle, and you might be surprised at how much entertainment you could find while never opening your wallet.

Tournament Play

One of the more interesting developments in the recent age comes from the interactive entertainment landscape. For an example of this, consider modern online slot tournaments. Though slots are already flexible and thus cheap if players want to engage that way, free tournaments take this idea to an entirely new level. With winnings like monthly prizes for players with the best spins, it’s perhaps no surprise that such opportunities have been continual hits.

Similar concepts apply to the video gaming world in what is called F2P, or free-to-play titles. Some of these games like League of Legends and DOTA 2 are among the most popular games in the world and don’t cost a thing to start playing. Get good enough, and you might even have the opportunity to win a part of some of the biggest prize pools in eSports history, with some offering upwards of a million dollars.

Movies and Television

While many of us already love free systems like YouTube, there’s a common idea that getting the most out of video streaming requires a paid service like Hulu or Amazon Prime. This doesn’t have to be the case though, with free services like Peacock and Crackle having a huge range of shows available online. This is accomplished through ad support, just like how traditional broadcast television operates. Completely legal, checking these services out is a must even for those with active paid subscriptions to other services.


Music operates much the same as movies and television, in that there are some easily available substitutes for the massively popular options like Spotify. Unlike movies and television, however, YouTube can prove a viable replacement in this case. Simply load a playlist of YouTube music, ignore the video component, and you’ll have an effective way to listen to music from anywhere with an internet connection. Otherwise, online radio station systems like Jango or iHeartRadio can be worthwhile alternatives.

Spotify cards” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by magerleagues

Considering the Savings

Exactly how much you save using free options depends on how many streaming services you use, but doing the calculations, these numbers can quickly add up. According to recent research from Deloitte, the average consumer in America runs three concurrent subscriptions. Assuming a basic combination like Hulu, Disney Plus, and Spotify, this would work out to around $28 a month, depending on subscription plans. Per year, this would cost $336.

This is not an insignificant amount of cash, and it raises the question of where users draw the line. Ultimately this is a personal question, but it’s one many of us have overlooked. Is it worth trying free alternatives for a while, or changing your plans to better save for something you really need? Your answer doesn’t have to be yes, but it is worth considering all the same.