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Survey: U.S. Customers’ Ideal Streaming Price Below Netflix, HBOMax

Matt Tamanini

If the recent price hikes from Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and other streaming services feel excessive to you, then you aren’t alone. According to new information released by data firm Morning Consult, despite these increases, consumers’ view of what they are willing to pay for streaming has not changed in recent years.

The ideal price for a streaming service, according to U.S consumers, stands pat at $12 per month for unlimited, ad-free content; the type of service offered by Netflix. The survey, which took place in late January 2022, remains unchanged since the question was asked in 2019.

When it comes to ad-supported platforms, customers would prefer a price point around $10.

While the average acceptable price for U.S. consumers held steady, there was some movement in terms of the ranges which they were willing to pay. Since 2019, the low-end of the range for ad-free platforms increased from $10 to $11, while the high-side remained at $16.

With Netflix announcing that it would be raising its monthly rates from $14 to $15.50, the streamer will now be pushing the upper limits of what customers say that they are willing to pay. It is yet to be seen if this price adjustment will lead to increased customer churn, although it certainly seems to have spooked investors.

The bottom of the acceptable price range for ad-supported services remained the same at $8 per month, but the upper end jumped $2 from $12 to $14.

One of the concerns that worried investors following Netflix’s earnings call last month was that subscriber growth might have hit a saturation point with 75 million consumers already subscribed in the United States and Canada alone, and 221.8 million subscribed worldwide. If the streamer continues to push the boundaries of what consumers are willing to spend on a service, they could end up seeing a regression in terms of subscriber numbers.

Conversely, both Disney+ ($8/month) and Apple TV+ ($4.99/month) are still well below even the lower-end of customers’ acceptable price ranges, indicating that as the fairly new services continue to acquire subscribers, they will have room to increase their prices without having to worry about defections nearly as much as Netflix currently does.