What Percentage of Consumers Pay for Online Subscription Services?
- 59% of consumers have an online subscription service; 40% used to have an online subscription service.
- By far the most popular are video streaming services, where 46% of consumers are subscribed.
- Second most popular are music streaming services, where 23% of consumers are subscribed.
- Software, news, and premium apps each have between 10-13% of consumers subscribed.
- Online subscription services are universally more popular in urban geographies, perhaps because of the concentration of young people there.
- Younger adults universally subscribe to more online subscription services than any other age cohort.
- The contrast is sharpest between young adults who subscribe to music services (38%) vs. older adults (9%).
Mercator Advisory Group’s most recent consumer survey report, Subscription Services and Bill Pay: Card Payments Dominate, from the 2019 Technology Survey of the bi-annual North American PaymentsInsights series, examines U.S. consumers’ current use of subscription services and methods for paying their bills.
The report, which is based on an online panel survey administered to 3,006 U.S. adults in November-December 2019, presents results from questions exploring how adults in the United States use and pay for “box of the month” clubs and online subscription services. It also explores the ways consumers pay their bills and the increasing importance of digital bill payment.
Regarding subscription services in the U.S., consumers are about twice as likely to subscribe to an online subscription service as to subscribe to a “box of the month” service (59% vs 23%). Interestingly, a relatively large portion of American adults (38%) do not subscribe to either type of service.
When it comes to paying bills, the majority of consumers (6 in 10) are currently paying at least some of their bills electronically through either automatic billing or bank account withdrawal. Consumers are paying bills in equal proportion through electronic bill pay via their bank, their biller, or bill pay service.
“This report explores two very important aspects in the payments ecosystem—subscription services and bill payment. Electronic payments play a very large role in both of these areas, and it is important to understand the payments dynamics of both,” stated the author of the report, Peter Reville, director of Primary Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group, which includes the North American PaymentsInsights series.