Streaming services get booted as inflation squeezes Americans’ entertainment budgets

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A quarter of US adults recently cut their spending on video streaming subscriptions due to inflation, per a Morning Consult survey. Slightly less cut back on music streaming subscriptions (24%) and cable or satellite TV (23%). Across all entertainment categories studied, more adults either didn’t pull back or didn’t pay for the product or service in the first place.

Beyond the chart: To cater to inflation-squeezed consumers (and boost revenues), streaming platforms like Disney+ and Netflix have introduced cheaper, ad-supported tiers. And it seems to be working, at least for Netflix. At the upfronts last week, Netflix said a quarter of new subscribers were signing up for the ad-supported tier in areas where it’s available.

Meanwhile, Disney+ reported a subscriber loss for the second quarter in a row in its Q2 2023, and it hasn’t given a recent update on its ad-supported subscription numbers. Even so, CEO Bob Iger said in the earnings call that Disney hopes the offering will help the streaming business reach profitability.

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Methodology: Data is from the April 2023 Morning Consult survey. 2,200 US adults ages 18+ were surveyed online during March 24-26, 2023. The data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, gender, race, educational attainment, region, gender by age, and race by educational attainment. Results have a margin of error of +/-2 percentage points.

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