Streaming services ditched as Aussies cut spending

Australians are axing streaming subscriptions as the cost of living bites households, with one in five Australians cancelling to save money.

The national average is $30 per month for two streaming services, according to a Compare the Market survey conducted in April.

Netflix was the streaming service people would look to cancel first, followed by Optus Sport and Disney+.

The findings come after Netflix debuted an ad-supported subscription plan in 2022 with a cheaper monthly cost of $6.99, and before the streamer’s controversial plan to reduce password sharing in a bid to push up subscriber numbers and profits.

The password-sharing crackdown is set to launch in Australia by the end of June, and Netflix is expecting a rise in subscription cancellations.

The streamer reported a “cancel reaction” in each market where the news of its ‘paid sharing’ initiative has been announced, including New Zealand and Canada.

But this won’t be a strong deterrent for Netflix, which claims the move will eventually lead to more subscribers and revenue.

The streamer is also copping flak from audiences for its habit of cancelling shows after just one or two seasons, while it is simultaneously forced to rely on more original programming after production companies like Disney and HBO pulled content for their own streaming platforms.

Optus Sport, which focuses on international football coverage and home fitness content, is one of the most expensive streaming services with a monthly cost of $24.99.

The Disney+ platform is also among the more expensive options available in Australia at $13.99 per month, and only offers Disney and affiliate productions.

Audiences switch off

With the average annual spend on streaming platforms totalling $360, audiences are switching off their home entertainment as they look to save on other expenses, such as groceries and eating out.

Compare the Market general manager of media and communications Chris Ford said the savings from cutting streaming could be put towards an extra trip to the grocery store, utility bills, or even more fun expenses like birthday gifts.

“We know that many Australians are looking to make their household budgets stretch to the max and are reducing their spending on small luxuries such as takeout and weekend trips,” he said.

“Ditching in-home entertainment is another easy way households are keeping costs down.”

The research found Gen Z is the most likely to ditch streaming services, with 27.7 per cent of the cohort saying goodbye to online streaming to save on spending, followed by 24 per cent of Millennials and 21.9 per cent of Gen X.

Baby Boomers were the least likely to give up their bingeing habit at 12.5 per cent, but they were also the cohort to pay the least for their streaming services.

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