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US Households Spend $47/Month on Streaming Services In 2021 as Prices Increase

US Households Spend $47/Month on Streaming Services In 2021 as Prices Increase

According to a new report by JD Power, the average household subscribes to four services for a total of $47/month, up from 3 and $38/month.

According to a new report by JD Power, the average household subscribes to four services for a total of $47/month, up from 3 and $38/month.

Credit | GQ

A new report, by JD Power, the team behind the thousands of JD Power Car Safety Awards on TV, went over streaming services’ change from the beginning of the pandemic up until December of last year, leading into this year. This report was incredibly interesting for the streaming community, as it helped show how the accelerated trends towards streaming changed the entertainment industry.

There’s a couple of major points addressed by this report, mostly focusing on the number of streaming services, and monthly prices. According to JD Power, streaming service viewers increased their average number of streaming subscriptions to four providers, up from three, just a few months ago.

That also meant a major increase in price, from $38/month on average, to over $47/month, marking a $9 increase per month. For reference, that’s a 24% jump both monthly and annually, from $456 per year to $564 per year.

Netflix is still king… but for how much longer?

Thanks to the introduction of COVID-19 to the world, dozens of linear TV and media providers decided to rush entries into the streaming service industry, resulting in a massive spike in Netflix’s competitor count. This would include some billion dollar competitors such as NBCUniversal’s Peacock or WarnerMedia’s HBO Max. Both of those launched just within six months before this year’s report.

Due to these massive increases in the competitor base for streaming services, JD Power decided to interview 1745 US adults on their streaming preferences, finding out that Netflix was still in fact #1 when it comes to streaming. The company holds a full 85% market share, usually a position that would constitute a monopoly.

That’s not how it goes when multiple services can all have massive market shares, as shown below (April figures vs December figures on right):

  1. Netflix | 89% –> 85%
  2. Amazon Prime Video | 66% –> 65%
  3. Hulu | 48% –> 56%
  4. Disney+ | 37% –> 47%
  5. YouTube TV | 17% –> 20%
  6. HBO Max | 13% –> 22%
  7. Apple TV | 10% –> 14%

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video were the only two top services to show a decline in market share, even with Netflix building up growing subscriber growth. The slack was picked up by new arrivals, notably Disney+’s 10 percentage point growth, and HBO Max’s 9% growth. That doesn’t even take into account the smaller services, such as ESPN+, which in some cases doubled over the 6 month period.

Mo’ people, mo’ problems

Another result of this mass exodus from cable, was a big increase in streaming problems for the growing number of services. Growing subscriber bases mean more strain on existing systems, leading to outages, login issues, and content collection problems. This was more noticeable this upcoming 6 months, with some top services experiencing more problems.

Netflix stays back at #1 when it comes to uptime, with 0.1 problems per hour, although that’s a ~50% increase from its previous 0.07 issues. Disney+ and YouTube TV also showed increasing issues, with new kid on the block, Peacock taking the #1 worst problems/hour ratio, at 0.19.

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More changes

This has been a weird year for not only every living being, but also streaming services. Netflix’s original and licensed content was overtaken by another provider for the first time ever, with Disney+’s The Mandalorian, the breakaway show by the company. The show ran away with an estimated 7.3% of JD Power’s audience having seen it, compared to Grey’s Anatomy at #2 with 4.4%.

Every single other top 13 show was on Netflix, excluding the Walking Dead, which I’m still pretty sure is on Netflix. Besides that, Netflix is losing watch time share to YouTube TV, of all services.

YouTube TV, a growing cable replacement, grew weekly hours from 8.5 to 10 hours per week, besting Netflix’s decline from 10.2 hours to 9.5. That puts it in #1, yet again, marking a first for streaming services not named Netflix. Even with Netflix’s incredible growth, even expanding over the previous year’s incredible growth, it seems as though they’re losing some titles to some of the smaller ‘start-up’ services. I guess we’ll have to wait 6 months to find out.


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