Voting on the 2013 season of X-Factor Australia has kicked off, and once again the producers look set to make a small fortune from enthused fans voting to try and keep their favourites in. Sadly there's no free way to vote, but there are tactics you can adopt to minimise the cost.
Obviously, the ultimate money-saving strategy is simply to watch the show and not vote at all, but that isn't what dedicated fans will want to do. If you do intend to vote, you have two main options:
- Voting by phone (either call or SMS), which costs $0.55 each and every time you do it. This is, unquestionably, the most expensive approach.
- Voting via the X-Factor Australia iOS or Android apps. The apps themselves are free to download, but voting isn't; you have to purchase bundles of votes via your chosen app store.
The cheapest bundle on offer is two votes for $0.99, which already works out cheaper than phoning. Admittedly there's a small data cost associated with that, but if you vote at home using a Wi-Fi connection, that won't really be a consideration, and even on a mobile signal that only matters if you have an exceptionally mean plan.
Here are the bundles on offer and the effective per-vote cost:
For anyone not in a dazed state of fandom but occasionally wanting to vote, a sensible middle ground would be the $5.49 bundle of 14 votes. That gives you a vote every week for your favourite, with a few spare as the competition gets tighter towards the end.
If you're a truly tragic fan and can see money going down the drain fast, here's one extra strategy to consider: hunt down iTunes cards on sale. Until September 1, for instance, you can score 20 per cent off cards at Myer. That's effectively 20 per cent off the cost of your vote.
While we haven't previously seen Android gift cards offered on special, that might also be possible in the near future. Ausdroid reports that Woolworths will begin selling Google Play gift cards this week, with an Australian exclusive via Woolworths and Big W holding the exclusive. A single retailer strategy makes it less likely that we'll see specials for a while, but it's not totally outside the realms of possibility.