Poll: Americans want to pay $21 a month for all streaming services combined

Streaming services on Apple TV

Updated on December 10, 2021

The Hollywood Reporter (in conjunction with Morning Consult) recently ran a poll of 2200 American adults about their streaming video subscription habits.

As it turns out, the average American is paying for three streaming services adding up to $37 a month. That does fit with my usual advice to not pay for more than three or four video subscription services. That said, respondents say the ideal amount they’d like to pay is $21 a month (or a range of $17 to $27).

On another note, most of the respondents haven’t heard much about Disney, NBC Universal, and WarnerMedia‘s streaming service plans. However, the above suggests that people are wary about paying for even more services on top of the ones they already have. It also doesn’t spell good news for HBO Max, projected to cost $17/month (and with no more “Game of Thrones” to draw viewers in).

Which services add up to around $21 a month?

Hulu logo made of Legos
Flickr photo by Garrett Heath (CC BY)

Here’s what some of the current major and secondary US on-demand streaming services charge per month:

  • Boomerang: $3.33 ($40 annual rate) / $5 (monthly rate)
  • Acorn TV: $5 ($60 annual rate) / $6 (monthly rate)
  • Hulu: $6 (with ads) / $12 (no ads)
  • CBS All Access: $6 (with ads) / $10 (no ads)
  • FunimationNow: free (limited service) / $5 ($60 annual rate) / $6 (monthly rate)
  • DC Universe: $6.25 ($75 annual rate) / $8 (monthly rate)
  • Crunchyroll: $8
  • Showtime: $11
  • Netflix: $9 (SD only) / $13 (base-level HD plan) / $16 (Ultra-HD)
  • Amazon Prime Video (included with Amazon Prime): $10 ($119 annual rate) / $13 (monthly rate)
  • HBO Now: $15

As the above shows, most of the more popular services are already near the top end cost-wise. Just going by the “Big 3” (Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video):

  • Netflix (HD level) + Amazon Prime (annual rate) + Hulu (with ads) = $29

That’s a bit above the ideal $21/month goal. The only way to meet this price point would be to choose only a single over-$10/month streaming service. Which means Amazon Prime subscribers sticking with Prime Video, plus one or two cheap services, and skipping Netflix. For example:

  • Amazon Prime (annual rate) + Boomerang (annual rate) + CBS All Access (with ads) = $19

HBO Max subscribers would pretty much need to stick with just that service to meet a $21/month budget. (HBO Now subscribers could squeeze in another cheap service.) Meanwhile, Disney+ seems better posed to meet the desire for a cheaper service, even if it’s possibly being priced as a loss-leader.

What streaming video services do you use?

“HBO Now Apple TV” by Harrison Weber is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Flickr / cropped from original)


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Anthony Dean

Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.

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