How Much Consumers Will Pay Monthly for Streaming Services

Subscribers OK with ads subsidizing costs under certain conditions
Streaming a movie on a smartphone

While consumers have no shortage of streaming services from which to choose, most are clear about how much they would be willing to spend for them, a new survey shows.

Advertising technology company The Trade Desk surveyed 2,613 adults to find out their thoughts on the growing streaming market. In recent months, Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus have launched, giving consumers alternatives beyond Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services for their entertainment. Despite having more options, consumers are budget-conscious and open to ways to subsidize their plans.

Among respondents, the most popular streaming service was Netflix, which was found in 53% of U.S. households. That was followed by:

  • Amazon Prime Video: 43% of households
  • Hulu: 29% of households

While it’s not uncommon for consumers to subscribe to multiple services, the poll found that subscribers have their limits. According to the survey, 3 in 4 respondents said they wouldn’t spend more than $30 for streaming services, while 59% said they would not spend more than $20 a month.

Streaming service frustrations

Despite the plethora of choices, survey respondents expressed frustrations with the streaming service market. The biggest frustration centered around the way streaming services deliver advertisements.

Nearly half of respondents (46%) were unhappy that their streaming services show the same commercials repeatedly. More than one-third (36%) said they would prefer fewer ad breaks.

Consumers open to commercials, to a degree

Among respondents, 53% said they would be willing to watch ads on every other episode of their favorite programs if it led to a lower monthly bill.

Others were willing to allow streaming services to tailor their commercials to them if it would cut down on the number of ads shown. In fact, 68% said they would be OK with watching ads that pertained to their interests as long as fewer were shown.

Though one of the benefits of streaming services is that they can be used on most mobile devices, more than half of consumers preferred viewing their favorite shows on a television screen. Among respondents, 51% of those who watch shows on their streaming app watch them on connected televisions instead of a computer or mobile device.

As you think about what you’re willing to spend for streaming services, it’s a good idea to find out what others are spending on entertainment and monthly expenses. If you want to reduce your costs, you may find that subscribing to multiple streaming services is less expensive than paying for cable and cut the cord to your cable services. If you do subscribe to streaming services, there may be other ways to save. For example, some credit cards, such as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, offer cash back for using streaming services.

Tamara E. Holmes

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

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