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SVoD Continues to Entice Consumers Despite cost of Living Concerns

Consumers are changing their entertainment content behaviours, as post-pandemic attitudes take hold and cost of living concerns come to the fore. Yet existing SVoD subscribers still say they plan to take out more services, although they will cancel and restart their subscriptions more often. That’s according to the latest international Living With Digital consumer research from Futuresource Consulting.

Now in its fifteenth year, this latest wave of research covers the USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Australia, Japan and Sweden. 2,000 people were surveyed in each country, using a nationally representative sample.

SVoD still Strong, Subscription Management is Key

“Content behaviours are being reshaped,” says David Sidebottom, Principal Analyst, Futuresource Consulting. “With stay-at-home measures now a distant memory, people are spending less time on the couch, but there’s still a clear thirst for SVoD services. And as purse strings begin to tighten, people will take a more intelligent approach to SVoD subscription management, extracting more value from services while they have them. Plus, current financial uncertainties could prove to be a helpful platform from which to encourage the take up of ad-supported services.”

Futuresource research shows that the maximum number of SVoD services consumers are prepared to take simultaneously varies from country to country, from 2.6 in France to 3.8 in the USA. This suggests that there is still some headroom for increased multiple service uptake.

There is also a compelling case for lower-cost ad-funded services. In the study, around half of SVoD subscribers said they would consider subscribing, or would include ad-funded services within a larger portfolio of paid-for services.

Many Netflix Subscribers to Welcome Ad-Funded Service

When focusing in on Netflix subscribers, there was a relatively even split in attitudes towards taking an ad-supported Netflix service or an ad-free Netflix service in the UK and USA. Around a third of non-subscribers also said they would consider the lower cost plan, which demonstrates a potentially encouraging level of demand for the ad tier when launched.

Box Office Shows Signs of Strength

There is also optimism around the box office, with nearly 60% of respondents saying they have visited the cinema in the last 12 months or are going in the coming months. However, older consumers are more sceptical about returning.

“Covid has faded into the background and is no longer considered as a reason to avoid the cinema,” says Sidebottom. “However, this has been replaced by precautionary spending cutbacks due to the cost of living, which is now considered the key reason not to return.

“We’re still seeing a correlation between buying and renting new movies digitally, through PVoD and PEST, and attending the cinema. PVoD and PEST are not considered a key obstacle to return and we’ll see a continuing beneficial co-existence.”

The uptake of AVoD services such as Roku Channel and Pluto TV has also increased over the last year. In the USA, 50% of respondents used at least one service in the month prior to the survey, In Europe, that figure was one in four. However, the usage of different services is fragmented, with the leading service varying significantly by country.

The latest Living With Digital report from Futuresource Consulting surveys more than 2,000 respondents in each of the countries covered, namely the USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Australia, Japan and Sweden. A separate study was also carried out in Mexico and Brazil. For further information or to purchase the report, please contact

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David Sidebottom

About the author

David Sidebottom

David is a Principal Analyst – Media and Entertainment. David has over 20 years’ experience in a research and consultancy environment and is closely involved in researching, analysing and consulting on key content industry and consumer technology developments worldwide, with a particular focus on the evolution of digital business models in the TV, video and music industry. David works with a wide variety of high profile Futuresource clients across the content ecosystem including studios, broadcasters, technology companies, hardware vendors, service providers and industry associations. He also directs Futuresource’s long-running global consumer panel ‘Living with Digital’.

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