A survey of 4,400 households by Leichtman Research Group (LRG) found that not all streaming services are paid for directly by those who use them.
According to LRG, 33% of Netflix services are used in more than one household. 15% of Netflix services are used and paid for by those that also share them with someone outside the household. 15% are used in one household but are borrowed from another household that is paying for the service, and 3% of services are used by multiple households that share costs.
In fact, nearly 30% of all direct-to-consumer services are shared with others outside the household. About a third of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 use at least one service that’s fully paid for by someone else, dropping to 14% for ages 35 and up.
Five percent of all households had Netflix in the past year, but currently do not – similar to 6% for Hulu, 5% for Amazon Prime, and 5% for live pay-TV services; implying that churn for direct-to-consumer services may be comparable to that for pay TV.
Read LRG’s full press release (PDF)
Download the Table of Contents (PDF) for Internet-Delivered Pay TV Services 2022 by Leichtman Research Group Inc.
Why it matters
This study measured credential sharing among video consumers, but does not discriminate between the legal use (since some services encourage sharing) and infringing use.
Instead was undertaken to measure the awareness level of virtual pay TV services among non-subscribers, better understand subscriber perceptions and relationships with traditional pay TV providers, and to better understand consumer decisions to subscribe to a pay TV service or switch providers.
Still, it provides useful data points toward why consumers move from traditional to online sources for their entertainment.
“Sharing helps to expand the user base and retain customers,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “But it also creates a gap between the number of households that have a service and actual paying subscribers.
“For example,” he said, “about two-thirds of U.S. households report having Netflix, but this includes about 10% of U.S. households that don’t pay for the service because it is borrowed from someone else’s subscription.”