The proliferation of high-profile subscription streaming services is straining household budgets, according to a new consumer survey from Antennas Direct — prompting an overwhelming majority of subscribers to say that once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, they will likely cut back on the number of services.
The survey found that 50% of respondents signed up for one to two new SVOD services in 2020, bringing their monthly subscription costs above $100. Another 25% acquired three or more new services, bringing their monthly costs above $130.
As a result, about 40% respondents said they had to limit spending elsewhere to afford TV subscriptions; 82% said they’ll cut back on TV services post-pandemic to pay bills; 33% are already planning to cut TV services post-COVID; and 39% plan to cut more than one type of service.
To cut costs, the report found that 60% of respondents currently share their streaming services with friends and family; 73% share subscriptions to make streaming more affordable for friends and family; and 65% share subscriptions to reduce costs in their own budget.
“While Americans have tolerated the financial strain that has come with
subscribing and sharing services, this simply isn’t feasible in the post-COVID world,” the report said. “The research shows that many plan to cut services and lower costs to fund household expenses or experiences outside of the home. This doesn’t just hurt providers, it hurts consumers who are forced to choose between paying their electric billing and having access to their local news to stay informed.”
Antennas Direct surveyed 1,200 consumers who regularly use cable or streaming service on subscription preferences, costs and viewing expectations.
The report echoed other studies that found the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a significant uptick in TV viewership across the country. With the majority of Americans confined to their homes, 5.4 trillion minutes of streaming and cable television was consumed in 2020, according to the Antennas Direct study.