M+E Daily

Research: Consumers Placing Greater Value In Entertainment Subscriptions

Overall monthly per-capita entertainment-content subscription spending has risen to $115 in 2009, an increase of nearly 7% since last year, according to NPD Group.

As of August 2009, 81% of U.S. households subscribed to a television service (satellite TV, basic/premium cable, or fiber-optic television service). A similar percentage of households (76%) paid for Internet subscriptions. Seventeen percent subscribed to an online music service or satellite radio; and 14% subscribed to online gaming subscription services.

More traditional forms of entertainment subscriptions, however, did not fare so well. The number of people subscribing to newspapers fell by two percentage points to reach 29% in August 2009. Forty-one percent of consumers subscribed to magazines this year, compared to 43% who did so last year.

According to NPD, an influx of new smartphone owners has led to an increase in mobile data-plan subscriptions: 9% of U.S. consumers had mobile data subscriptions this year, versus just 6% last year. Fourteen percent of consumers subscribed to a home-video subscription service, like Netflix, this year, which is two percentage points higher than last year.

“Despite concerns that the recession would cause consumers to reduce spending on entertainment subscription services, most forms of subscription entertainment are doing just fine,” said Russ Crupnick, NPD entertainment industry analyst. “Consumers are clearly looking to the value offered by entertainment subscriptions and like what they get for their money; plus, new technologies and products have helped bolster data plans and other newer kinds of subscription-based services.”