Study: Gaming Services Are More Popular Than Gym Subscriptions

A new study from Parks Associates shows that uptake in online subscription services — a segment led by streaming entertainment options — offers variety and has appeal to users when bundled.

The firm conducted a study of 8,000 U.S. internet households. It found that streaming video service led with 89% of respondents subscribing. Nearly a third of respondents (32%) subscribe to streaming audio services and 20% to gaming services. The streaming services are more popular than gym memberships, which are held by 16% of respondents.

The study also tracked retail memberships, technology subscriptions such as Apple iCloud and Google Drive, transportation services, and others such as meal services.

“The evolution of hardware to a service model and demand to drive engagement and loyalty for brands through apps are driving the rise of subscription services,” Jennifer Kent, Parks Associates’ vice president, research, said in a prepared statement. “On the streaming audio side, market leader Spotify’s premium adoption is as high as that of Discovery+, the ninth highest video OTT subscription service.”

The “Subscription Memberships and Bundling: Shopping, Video, Gaming, Mobile” study found that subscriptions other than video, retail and transportation have large jumps when annual household incomes pass $100,000. It also found that many subscription categories drop off after respondents pass 45 years of age.

Customer loyalty is strong among entertainment services such as music and gaming, and convenience such as child/baby and meal service. Most of these categories — even ones with higher price tags — achieved a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of greater than 20. “Internet and traditional pay-TV providers, which traditionally have subpar NPS, can benefit from partnering with — or bundling in — services that garner higher customer satisfaction and loyalty,” Parks Associates said.

Kent added that competitive pressures will force challengers to create stronger ties, such as the deal involving Walmart Plus and Paramount Plus. These bundles should cross the entertainment, productivity and convenience categories, she said.


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