U.S. internet households pay an average of $116 per month for their home internet, including both standalone and bundled internet, according to a new report from Parks Associates, “Quantified Consumer: Fixed vs. Wireless — Consumers’ Shifting Broadband Preferences.”
The report also noted consumer savings of $600 to $1,800 annually should consumers cut their home internet service.
According to the research, there are more than 13.9 million home internet cord-cutters in the United States, a missed revenue opportunity of more than $10.5 billion. Cord-cutters exist for a variety of reasons, according to Parks. Cost and preference for mobility are top triggers, but technical issues and lack of availability also impact their decisions.
“Consumers overall are increasingly concerned with quality over price; however, older households are concerned about costs,” Kristen Hanich, director of research at Parks Associates, said in a statement. “Over 80% of those 65-plus cite cost as a factor for cancelling their home internet, and almost two-thirds of this age group say that they prefer using their mobile internet.”
While there is some interest in canceling home internet services, consumers are increasingly upgrading to Gigabit speeds and adding on additional value-added services. A growing percentage of consumers are likely to be more concerned with the quality of their home internet service over the price, according to Parks. The pandemic, work at home, and increases in video consumption and video conferencing have all put pressure on networks, highlighting the importance of quality internet to consumers. Currently, half of home internet households receive at least one additional non-traditional service from their ISP.
“Consumer intention to upgrade their home internet service remains at an all-time high,” Hanich said. “ISPs must elevate their value proposition or risk losing their customers to competitors.”
Parks Associates estimates that almost 114 million U.S. households access the internet at home at speeds faster than dial-up, according to a survey of 10,000 U.S. internet households.
“Over the past decade, high-speed internet adoption in the United States — here defined as an internet subscription adoption to the home or individual, with speeds faster than dial-up — has grown steadily since 2015,” Kristen Hanich, director of research at Parks, said in a statement. “These internet households may have home internet service or may rely on mobile internet, or a combination of the two.”
The research finds that as bundles have become less common, consumer spending on standalone internet service has increased significantly, from an average of $39 per household per month in 2011 to an average of $63 per month in 2021, a 62% growth. Standalone mobile service ARPU has stayed remarkably stable over this time period, with 2021 averages largely reflecting spending levels from 2011 and ARPU actually decreasing since 2016.
“A growing percentage of consumers are relying on fixed wireless or 5G home internet service, which includes services offered by traditional wireless internet service providers or mobile providers such as T-Mobile or U.S. Cellular,” Hanich said. “The wider availability of these services, in addition to further buildouts of traditional fixed networks, will further help to drive home internet adoption over the next few years.”
Hundreds of stolen login details for popular OTT services are available every month on the dark web for an average of only $8.81, according to research from digital platform security firm Irdeto.
Dark web marketplaces offer credentials for a range of pay TV and VOD OTT services, meaning legitimate subscribers could have had their accounts compromised and used illegally for a small one-off fee, according to Irdeto. Consumers should be vigilant of any unusual or unfamiliar activity on their account, changing their password regularly, according the company.
“Content theft by pirates has become a full-fledged criminal enterprise, with some providing illegal subscriptions in an attempt to compete with established pay TV operators,” said Mark Mulready, VP, Cybersecurity Services, Irdeto, in a statement. “Content owners, rights holders, technology and security partners and law enforcement agencies are working hard to combat the threat of piracy. However, consumers must also be vigilant to avoid the risks they may be subject to from illegal content.
“Consumers must think about where they access their content from and ensure that any streaming or downloading is done from legitimate sources. They must also remember that if they use the same password for their OTT services as they do for a number of other online accounts, they could also be opening themselves up to a wider array of exploitative threats.”
The Irdeto Global Consumer Piracy Threat Report looks at pay TV credential availability on the dark web, global piracy hotspots and the market in illicit streaming devices. Other key findings from the report include:
In one month (April 2018), Irdeto discovered 854 listings of OTT credentials from 69 unique sellers across more than 15 dark web marketplaces. These credentials were from 42 different OTT services including Netflix, HBO, DirecTV and Hulu.
Irdeto’s web analytics partner found an average of 74 million global visits per month to the top 10 live streaming sites in Q1 2018. Most traffic came from the United States (2.9 million average monthly visits), the UK (1.7 million average monthly visits) and Germany (1.5 million average monthly visits).
Pirates are using popular ecommerce sites to advertise illicit streaming devices, which are often advertised around major sporting events.