Consumers Want to Keep Their Streaming Services Separate

Those in favor of bundling their services open to spending about $20 per month
A smart TV remote

With a growing number of streaming services coming on the scene, one might think consumers may want an easier way to manage all of their entertainment options. However, a new survey suggests the answer is no.

For the past few years, consumers have gotten their binge-watching needs met through services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Most recently, the launches of Apple TV+ and Disney+ have given consumers even more choices for fulfilling their entertainment needs. Streaming news and comparison site Soda surveyed 1,000 consumers to see how they perceived all of their streaming options and find out whether they would prefer a more simplified way to buy their services. They learned that consumers are taking their wealth of choices in stride.

A majority of consumers — 67% — use at least one streaming service each week, the survey found. Nearly half — 44% — said they juggle between at least two services, and 6% said they use six or more in a given week. While variety can be a good thing, the potential downside is that consumers must manage multiple entertainment-related bills. In its survey, Soda asked consumers if they would prefer having the option of bundling their streaming services to make their lives easier and the largest percentage of respondents — 30% — said “no.”

Saving money the biggest motivator for bundling

Those who thought bundling their services would be a good idea gave a variety of reasons for that preference, but money turned out to be a bigger motivating factor than the content itself.

  • 34% thought having a bundling option would save them money
  • 12% valued the idea of paying only one bill
  • 11% liked the idea of having access to everything on one platform

Only 2% would choose a bundling option in order to get access to premium networks, suggesting that content was the least of consumers’ concerns.

In terms of what they’d be willing to spend, 32% said they would pay $20 or more per month for a bundled service, while 14% would be open to spending $10 per month.

Still, the survey suggests that despite the popularity of streaming services, cable isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. One reason for that is the apparent reluctance to embrace streaming services by older consumers. Among survey respondents 65 and over, more than a third — 37% — said they don’t currently use any streaming services. In addition, a lot of sports programming requires a cable subscription, and some cable subscriptions include premium channels that consumers can’t get through a streaming option.

As more and more streaming options become available, it’s likely that a larger number of people will begin to wonder if they still need to pay that cable bill each month. If you’re thinking about cutting the cord to cable this year, take the time to research how the different services compare to one another and how much money you can ultimately save. If you do find that you’re able to save on entertainment, use the extra funds to help yourself achieve another financial goal, such as stashing aside extra money or getting out of debt.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.

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