With a snowstorm of external factors shaping the entertainment landscape in recent years, the cost-of-living crisis proves to be the latest and greatest factor driving change in consumer habits. Over half of the respondents in the UK, Germany, and France reported being somewhat or significantly worse off than they were six months ago, according to Futuresource Consulting’s latest study. While some areas like big one-off expenses are seeing dips in spending, consumers remain engaged in the overall video entertainment landscape.
Now in its sixteenth year, Futuresource Consulting’s latest Living with Digital survey targeted 2,000 respondents across seven countries to offer context on the changing face of entertainment consumption.
“It’s evident that many consumers are struggling in the cost-of-living crisis,” says James Duvall, Principal Analyst, Futuresource Consulting. “With the launch of ad-tiers creating hybrid SVOD-AVOD services from the likes of Netflix and Disney+, our research shows that those more likely to engage with ad-tiers are either current non-subscribers or are on basic plans and struggling financially.
“While the cost-of-living crisis is clearly impacting viewing activity, ad-tiers are proving a timely addition for consumers feeling the pinch,” says Duvall.
Of the countries surveyed, subscription growth remains positive at around 5% for the year. The average number of services being taken has also climbed, with the UK now joining the US at around 3 services per household. Cost factors aside, the regular flow of original content remains the biggest magnet for subscribers.
“Certainly on the transactional side of things, content continues to be a key draw for audiences,” says James Duvall. “The past year has brought a steady stream of new release content. Now, we’re seeing a positive knock-on impact on engagement across all individual categories. New releases remain the star of the show in capturing audiences’ attention.”
Of those who have bought a digital movie in the past year, 4 in 10 say they will increase spend during 2023 when buying new release content. “It’s a big testament to consumers’ dedication to entertainment,” says Duvall.
Pure AVoD services are gaining momentum in Europe, with the past six months bringing a rise in the number of monthly active users in the region. UK consumers are proving to hold the largest appetite for AVoD, with over a third of respondents using the services on at least a monthly basis.
While Europe has enjoyed a rise in AVoD activity, the region still falls far short of the more mature US market, where half of audiences regularly use one of the many available services.
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