Subscribe or Invest

Here’s how much you could have

made from investing vs subscribing.

In recent years, streaming services have transformed how we consume all sorts of content, from TV and movies to music and podcasts. Many people now only use streaming services for their entertainment, having ditched more traditional formats such as regular TV channels or physical media.

This change in consumer behaviour and widespread adoption of streaming technology has led to a scramble among companies wanting to enter the market while it's young and establish themselves as streaming the best places to consume media online. While not all of these sites have been an instant success, others have attracted huge audiences and cemented themselves as core platforms in the streaming landscape.

These more successful platforms have been able to reap the rewards of holding a dominant position in a relatively young market, which in turn has sent some of their stock prices soaring in recent years, making them potentially lucrative investment options.

This made us wonder how much money you could make if, rather than spending your money subscribing to these services, you invested in them instead. To answer this question, we have selected a range of streaming services and other subscriptions that have been around for at least 3 years to see what an investment of 1 month’s subscription fee would be worth today if we invested it in the company 3 years ago.

There are, of course, many factors to consider when investing, such as finding the best stock trading platform, considering overall company strength and looking at how the economy and world events could affect share prices, so we advise you to research your options thoroughly before committing to any investment decisions.

Subscription v investment calculator

Have you ever considered investing in your favourite subscription services? Maybe you’ve wondered how much you could have made if you’d invested in Netflix before it became a household name. Use our calculator to find out how much you could have profited if you’d used your subscription fee as an investment back before these services shot to success.

Simply select the service you have a subscription to and choose when you started your subscription. We can then show you just how much money you could have made from investing your money rather than paying them a subscription fee over the years.

Streaming services ranked by ROI

Below are 12 different subscription services, ranked by the return on investment their stocks have seen in the 3 years since 2019. We’ll reveal which sites have made their investors the happiest, using the cost of a single month’s subscription as an example investment amount.

As Spotify only went public on the New York Stock Exchange in April 2018, we have only looked at three years’ ROI. This means all streaming services can be compared on equal terms.

Platforms with a positiveROI


Apple Music

Company: Apple Inc.


3-Year ROI
More info

Tinder plus

Company: Match Group, Inc.


3-Year ROI
More info

Youtube Premium

Company: Alphabet Inc.


3-Year ROI
More info


Company: Sony Group Corporation


3-Year ROI
More info


Company: Netflix Inc


3-Year ROI
More info

Prime Video

Company: Alphabet Inc.


3-Year ROI
More info

Spotify Premium


Spotify Technologies S.A.


3-Year ROI
More info

Sling TV

Company: Dish

Network Corporation


3-Year ROI
More info


Company: Lionsgate

Entertainment Corp.


3-Year ROI
More info

Platforms with a negativeROI



Company: ITV plc


3-Year ROI
More info


Company: Paramout Global


3-Year ROI
More info


Company: AMC Networks Inc.


3-Year ROI
More info


Subscription Service

Stock Name

Value Change

January 2022 Share Price

January 2019 Share Price

Investment of 1 Month's Subscription Fee

Investment Value after 3 Years

Gains / Losses

View less data

View more data

The cheapest and most expensive subscription services

We also took the time to compare these subscription services by how much their lowest paid membership will cost you per month, annually, and over the same 3-year investment period.

Sling TV


Monthly Subscription

Sling TV has the highest monthly subscription fee of $35, or $420 annually. Over a 3-year period, this would add up to a staggering $1,260. The higher price of sling TV could be tied to its more traditional offering of channels that are available to stream, rather than simply having a catalogue of shows to watch at your convenience.

HIDIVE & Tinder Plus


Monthly Subscription

The two cheapest subscription services are Tinder Plus and HIDIVE, both of which cost $4.99 a month. Tinder Plus offers users unlimited likes, as well as the ability to swipe on people anywhere in the world and even rewind their most recent swipe if they regret their choice.

HIDIVE is an anime streaming service that, while its library isn’t as expansive as Crunchyroll or Funimation’s, offers the most affordable subscription fee to watch anime, as well as having some of its very own anime exclusives.


Subscription Service

Monthly Subscription (USD)

Annual Cost

3 Year Cost


We wanted to find out how much you could make by investing in various streaming platforms rather than paying the subscription fee. To do this, we created a list of streaming platforms which are publicly traded and had been around for at least 3 years.

We used Yahoo Financeto find the opening share price of each streaming platform’s parent company on the first trading day in each month from 2017 to 2022.

This data was used to show which streaming platforms’ parent companies had gained or lost the most value over the last 3 years, tracking the difference in value between January 2019 and January 2022.

Additionally, this data allowed us to create a calculator showing the ROI for an investment in any of these companies for any period over the past 5 years, using each platform’s current lowest membership fee as an example.