Time to unsubscribe and go outside? The staggering amount we’re paying for streamers

New research shows Australians are spending about $6 billion a year on streaming services, with more than 40 per cent of subscribers claiming subscription-based TV “is not good value for money”.

According to a recent YouGov survey of 1000 people aged over 18, Aussies are frustrated with traditional entertainment options, and how we’re compelled to subscribe to multiple platforms with apparently over-rated monthly subscription fees.

They also say they’re missing out on real-life experiences because they’re spending too much time bingeing on the couch at home.

Down the rabbit hole

Consumer website Canstar Blue shows there are now 14 different streamers to choose from, all spilling out new TV shows and films every month.

Want to watch the third season of Ted Lasso? Well, that’s on Apple TV+ ($9.99).

The Last of Us? That’s on Foxtel/Binge ($10), or are friends suggesting Penn Badgley’s slow-burn psycho thriller You? OK, that’s on Netflix ($10.99 basic plan).

A bit of Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian? That will set you back $13.99 a month.

See where this is heading?

The survey revealed 43 per cent of Australians are frustrated at how many different entertainment platforms they pay for in a month, spending almost $6 billion a year on subscription entertainment.

Two in five Aussies agreed subscription-based TV was not good value for money, with 2.9 million strongly agreeing, while 36 per cent agreed watching subscription-based TV was not a good use of time.

Despite this, the federal government’s latest Media Content Consumption Survey, released on Monday, found we watched more subscription services last year.

To be precise, 66 per cent of Australians reported watching an online subscription service in 2022, up from 62 per cent in 2021.

And it didn’t even need to be on a TV with a fixed antenna in a lounge room, according to its new The Future of Broadcasting: Television Consumer Survey released the same day.

It found mobile phones and smartphones are being used more often than five times a day by 22 per cent of respondents to watch screen content.

So, a family doesn’t even need to be in the same room any more.

Pictured is people playing barefoot bowls

Barefoot bowls is much more fun than sitting in a pub with poker machines and fixed TV screens broadcasting football and boxing. Photo: Getty

How about some real-life entertainment?

There are options.

Back to the YouGov survey. It revealed 5.8 million Aussies say they have missed out on social events because they’ve chosen to watch subscription-based entertainment.

And half (48 per cent) agreed they were sick of going to pubs and restaurants to socialise, wishing there was a sporting activity that everyone of all ages and abilities could enjoy together.

So while we’re slouching on couches, we want to do other things during the week.

One so-called “competitive socialising provider” Funlab, which commissioned the YouGov survey, says 46 per cent of Aussies surveyed said they would prefer socialising with friends by doing activities such as bowling, mini golf and arcading, as opposed to watching subscription-based programs.

Chief executive Michael Schreiber said: “Aussies are calling for a change in midweek entertainment so … we wanted to answer those calls and help Aussies bring the fun back to their weekdays”.

“We are seeing a huge increase in the desire for competitive socialising, as people want to experience something that isn’t just sitting at a bar with friends,” he said.

He said the research showed 55 per cent of people wanted a sporting activity that everyone of all ages and abilities could enjoy together.

“It’s time we bring fun back to weeknights, and get people experiencing real-life fun again,” Mr Schreiber said.

Their advice?

“Unsubscribe from the patronising ‘are you watching?’ prompt and subscribe to real-life fun instead.”

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