Americans and streaming prices: how much is enough

Is the price of subscribing to video streaming platforms worth the rising costs? A new study says that America is approaching a breaking point – and streamers need to reinvent for tomorrow.

This year’s Digital Media Trends survey, prepared annually by Deloitte, shows that US households are again spending more on streaming video subscriptions and may be reaching their limits.

Per household, an average of $61 is spent monthly on four streaming services. The price is up 27% from $48 per month from a 2023 survey.

Just over 36% of those surveyed (PDF) said the content available on streaming video services is not worth the price, and 48% of participants said they would cancel their membership of their favorite platform if monthly prices went up by $5 per month.

What’s more, over half of US consumers say they would agree to a year-long streaming subscription if it offered a discounted rate.

To be fair, to help enable more affordable subscription options, streaming platforms are working to unlock advertising revenues with the ad-based tiers. Netflix, Disney, Amazon, and Max already offer plans with ads.

But this might not actually bring more ad revenues, the survey reveals – especially from the younger generation, which consumes content (and ads) in a different way – on social media platforms.

“People aren’t being moved by the kinds of commercial advertising typical to TV and streaming video, especially younger generations,” says Deloitte.

According to the study, 18% of those surveyed under 41 years old say ads on SVOD (Subscription-Video-on-Demand) services influence their purchasing decisions, compared to 54% who say ads on social media influence their purchasing decision the most.

“Ads on streaming services tend to be repetitive and not relevant to specific viewers. Younger generations are also savvier to persuasion and are more inclined to trust creators and influencers on social media than brand advertisements,” explains Deloitte.

In better news, churn decreased a bit even though it's still quite high. 40% of consumers said that they’d canceled a streaming subscription in the previous six months, compared to 44% last year.

The survey also found that 67% of participants are looking for a streaming bundle to search for content across multiple services.

Sixty-three percent want a bundle of services they can customize each month, and 47% of participants said they would spend more time streaming video platforms if content was easier to find. In other words, people want more.

“US consumers may be willing to endure more ads and be corralled into bundles, but they may not be willing to give up the degree of customization they gained from unbundling pay TV or the personalization they enjoy from social media,” says Deloitte.

Another study by All About Cookies recently also found that there’s probably no way back: only 14% of cord-cutters regret the switch from traditional cable.

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