“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, entertainment industry analyst for NPD. “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.”
As of August 2009, 81 percent 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 percent) paid for Internet subscriptions. Seventeen percent subscribed to an online music service or satellite radio; and 14 percent 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 2 percentage points to reach 29 percent in August 2009. Forty-one percent of consumers subscribed to magazines this year, compared to 43 percent 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 percent of U.S. consumers had mobile data subscriptions this year, versus just 6 percent last year. Fourteen percent of consumers subscribed to a home-video subscription service, like Netflix, this year, which is 2 percentage points higher than last year.
Data note: Information in this press release was derived from The NPD Group’s “Entertainment Trends in America” consumer survey update. The survey was fielded to members of NPD’s online consumer panel from Tuesday, August 11th through Monday, August 24, 2009. The final report is based on 10,281 completed responses from U.S. consumers. Final survey data was weighted to represent US population of individuals (age 13 and older). All data was tested for statistical significance at 95 percent confidence level. [November 18, 2009]
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