More than 3 in 10 (31%) U.S. adults added a streaming service subscription during the height of the coronavirus quarantine in March, April or May, according to a new CreditCards.com report. This includes 43% of millennials (ages 24-39), 33% of Gen Xers (ages 40-55) and 18% of boomers (ages 56-74). Additionally, 54% of those who use streaming services upped their usage during that time, compared to January and February.
Overall, 81% of U.S. adults use streaming services, and 52% of them shared an account with someone they don’t live with in March, April or May. Roughly two-thirds (63%) of millennial streamers admitted to sharing at least one account, compared to 51% of Gen Xers and 36% of baby boomers.
Netflix was the most commonly shared streaming service during the coronavirus quarantine in March, April and May. Over one-third (35%) of those who use streaming services shared Netflix with someone outside their household, more than Hulu (18%), Amazon Prime Video (17%) or Disney+ (14%).
People who borrow streaming subscriptions believe it saves them an average of $513 annually, according to a March survey commissioned by CreditCards.com’s sister site Bankrate.com. “These subscriptions may feel like $10 here or $20 there, but they can add up quickly,” said CreditCards.com industry analyst Ted Rossman.
Some 23% of streamers acknowledged a significant uptick in streaming in March, April and May compared to the first two months of the year.
Another 31% said their usage was somewhat higher, and 41% estimated their usage to be about the same. Just 5% indicated a drop in streaming consumption from the first two months of the year. When it comes to paying for streaming services, 28% of paid subscribers pay little or no attention to what method they use.
“Streaming is a rare category where spending is rising,” Rossman added. “Unfortunately, more than a quarter of streaming subscribers pay little or no attention to how they pay for these services. That’s a missed rewards opportunity, especially as more credit cards add bonus streaming rewards categories. Setting and forgetting your streaming payments can also lead to overspending.”
CreditCards.com commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct the survey. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,520 adults, including 2,042 who use streaming services. Fieldwork was undertaken on May 22-26, 2020. The survey was carried out online and meets rigorous quality standards. It employed a non-probability-based sample using both quotas upfront during collection and then a weighting scheme on the back end designed and proven to provide nationally representative results.