Under-pressure UK consumers look to cut streaming spend

UK consumers are looking to cut the costs of their digital services including streaming as the cost-of-living crisis afflicting the country begins to bite, according to a study by EY.

According to EY’s Decoding the Digital Home study, which involved interviews with 2,500 households, some 61% of households are concerned that their broadband provider will increase their monthly subscription fee, with 49% fearing the same of their TV provider, while almost half (43%) believe they pay too much for content they don’t consume.

EY’s study also found that digital usage is returning to pre-pandemic levels due to users looking to reduce digital exposure and manage costs. According to the study, some 35% of households plan to spend less time online and 24% are open to reducing the number of connected devices in their homes.

Meanwhile, as the UK economy continues to underperform among advanced countries, over one in four households, or 27%, want to cut the number of streaming platforms they use.

Consumers are often confused by payment terms for services. While half of consumer respondents say introductory offers play a role in their supplier choices, 54% indicate that they make it difficult to determine who offers the best value.

EY also found that consumers are concerned about the negative impacts of digital, with two thirds of UK households believing that government and regulators should do more to combat harmful online content, well above the average 59% score across surveyed markets.

“With UK economic growth under threat as inflation rises, concerns around price rises for digital services – from broadband to streaming platforms – are pushing consumers to cut back on the digital services they use. One potential implication is that while for the past few years investing in the UK’s digital infrastructure has been a priority for the UK government and service providers alike, slowing demand will naturally impact investment,” said Praveen Shankar, EY UK and Ireland managing partner for technology, media and telecoms.

“This could have the potential knock-on effect of putting efforts to break the digital divide into a stalemate, further impacting people’s ability to play a role in our increasingly digital-led society. It’s essential now that service providers reframe their strategies to build long-term value for UK consumers and offer compelling propositions that are flexible and reflective of the financial pressures people are facing.”

Tags: EY, UK

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