Streaming services have been steadily increasing prices over the past year, looking to boost profits, but they’re more frequently encountering a new hurdle. As they announce those moves, a growing number of consumers don’t think they’re worth the money.

Some 36% of the Americans surveyed in the 2024 Digital Media Trends report from Deloitte say subscription video-on-demand isn’t worth the price they’re paying. And even with the multiple options services offer, including bundles and ad-supported discounts, viewer opinions aren’t changing.

On average, Deloitte says, American households spend $61 per month on streaming services. That’s a 27% increase over last year’s average of $48 per month. And streaming services might want to think twice before increasing prices further, as nearly half (48%) of the people Deloitte spoke with said they would cancel their streaming service—even their favorite one—if prices went up by $5 per month or more.

Last year saw plenty of price increases. Netflix raised the cost of its basic streaming plan by $2 per month to $11.99 and hiked its premium plan by $3 per month to $22.99. In addition, Warner Bros. Discovery said the cost of Discovery+ would jump from $6.99 to $8.99 per month for ad-free subscribers. Apple TV+ went from $6.99 to $9.99. And in the past four years, Disney+ has seen its price increase 100%, Hulu with Live TV 93%, and YouTube TV 108%.

Cancellations are already a problem for the industry. Deloitte reports 40% of consumers have canceled a streaming service in the past six months (although that’s a bit lower than last year’s 44%). Streaming services can lock in customers, though, by offering discounts on long-term subscriptions. Over half of the consumers surveyed said they would stay with a service for a longer period if it meant an overall lower monthly cost.

Part of the problem is people have limited time. And more and more, hours that used to be spent watching television are being consumed by social media sites and video games. And that’s not just a Gen Z issue.

“The value that consumers expect from digital media and entertainment is being increasingly shaped by their experiences with social media and gaming,” Deloitte said. “This is a generational shift, as shown by our study.” With some eldest millennials in their 40s, “it’s no longer merely ‘younger generations’ who are giving their time equally to TV and movies, social media and user-generated content, and immersive and social gaming,” the report stated.

While streamers such as Netflix have introduced cheaper ad-supported tiers, the commercials that run on many streaming services can be repetitive or irrelevant to viewers, causing subscribers to tune them out. Younger viewers, meanwhile, put more of their trust in influencers and social media creators than they do television ads. If streaming services are unable to make commercials relevant and engaging, advertisers could become frustrated with the lack of response.

There is some hope. Nearly 40% of consumers under 41 years of age said they would like the ability to click on the advertisements they watch.

“This points to yet another likely revolution ahead for digital and streaming TV: getting the right content and products in front of the right eyes, with an interface that makes it simple to quickly identify and purchase embedded content and products,” Deloitte said. “Streaming providers—and all media and entertainment companies—could learn from social media and content creators.”

Content discovery is another stumbling block for the industry. Just under half (47%) of the people Deloitte spoke with said they would spend more time on streaming services if content was easier to find. The majority of Gen Z viewers say they get better content recommendations from social media than from streaming services. Some 49% of Gen Z viewers watch TV shows and movies after hearing about them from creators.

“People want more choice over what they see, better content recommendations from services, and innovations in advertising,” the report stated.


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