Inflation-busting price hikes fail to dampen Netflix demand

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Above-inflation price rises of up to 33 per cent are failing to curb demand for film and TV streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+, according to research by digital marketing consultancy Priestley.

The study shows that Young Brits are increasingly bouncing between services, using free trials and one-month subscriptions to binge-watch the latest films and TV, without blowing the budget.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Brits under 40 signed up to a new streaming service in the last 24 months, with high profile launches including Disney+, Apple TV+, and Discovery+, while a growing number use streaming services catering to niche interests as diverse as anime, opera, and LGBTQ+ cinema.

As more on-demand outlets become available, Brits are bouncing between services with most under-40s (73%) regularly using 2-3 different services and over half (56%) re-subscribing to services after cancelling.

The majority of subscribers are comfortable spending a total of £11-20 per month (49%) on film and TV streaming services, while just five per cent are spending more than £30 per month. As prices rise, almost three in four (74%) under-40s have cut back on streaming services to save money, while one in two (51%) have used a free trial to binge-watch the latest films and TV, before ending the subscription.   

  • 74% of under-40s have cut back on streaming services to save money
  • 51% have used free trials to binge-watch films and TV, before cancelling 
  • 73% are regularly using 2-3 different streaming services, with the majority (49%) comfortable spending a maximum of £11-20 per month

“Inflation-busting price rises are failing to dampen Brits’ enthusiasm for streaming films and TV,” says Matt Bell-Watson, Founder of Priestley. “Consumers are increasingly bouncing between services, using free trials and one-month subscriptions to binge-watch films and TV, without blowing the budget. Yet, despite watching the pennies, many Brits are willing to splurge on additional perks and VIP benefits. The challenge for streaming services is understanding what audiences value most and are willing to pay for, while competing for consumer attention in an increasingly crowded and competitive market.”

The research reveals 28 per cent of under-40s would pay extra to watch new and original films and TV that aren’t available elsewhere. A similar number would pay to watch offline (27%) or in high-definition formats like UHD or 4K (27%), while 23 per cent would pay to watch new releases before anyone else. But what matters to audiences with niche interests can vary significantly from the general public.

Priestley polled 500 consumers aged between 18 – 39 in the UK, who use one or more streaming services. The survey was carried out online in December 2020. 

Chris Price
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