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New Study Finds 57 Percent of Young Consumers Would Pay $50 to Stream Newly Released Movies

Stephanie Sengwe

Since the uptick of the streaming industry, movie studios have been engaged in a tussle with theaters about the logistics of releasing movies onto streaming services at the same time they go into theaters. The argument recently reached a boiling point when AMC theaters refused to screen NBCUniversal films after NBCU’s CEO Jeff Shell said they planned on simultaneously releasing films on both formats in the future.

Now, it seems the consumer is getting somewhat of a voice in the argument. According to Hub Entertainment Research’s annual “Monetizing Video” study, young consumers are willing to pay to stream a just-released movie. The study found that six out 10 users between the ages of 18-34 said they’d definitely or would probably pay to stream a just-released movie. In comparison, among consumers 35 and older, only 12 percent said they’d probably pay, and only two percent said they’d definitely pay.

The study also found that young consumers aren’t worried about pricing when it came to streaming first-run movies. Sixty-seven percent of young consumers said they’d pay $15 to stream. At $25, the number remained relatively the same with 65 percent saying they’d be willing to pay. However, Hub also found that 57 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds would go as far as paying $50 to stream first-run films.

“At a time of tremendous economic uncertainty, streaming services with deep catalogs of content fill a critical emotional need for consumers: the need to satisfy their at-home entertainment needs at a manageable cost,” said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study.

“What’s more, for younger movie fans, access to first-run films via streaming would allow them to satisfy their movie fix for less than the price of a trip to the theater. The strong preference for streaming, for TV and first-run movies, has the potential to fundamentally shift the entertainment distribution dynamic, assuming the industry is ready to accept the collateral damage — to the pay television and theater industries — such a move would leave in its wake.”