A large proportion of North American Netflix subs would not pay more than US$15 for the streaming service, limiting its ability to raise prices as well as to drive subscription growth, according to new research.
TiVo-owned TV technology firm Digitalsmiths conduct a quarterly survey, asking consumers about content trends and SVOD and pay TV usage.
The 3,114 survey respondents said that Netflix’s most appealing current features were, in order, price, the ability to create different profiles within one subscription, and the search function. Within that list, the relative importance of profiles has increased since the same question was asked last year.
In terms of pricing, 29.3% said they would not pay any more for Netflix, while 39.1% said they would pay between US$12-15. Should prices rise beyond that level, the number of people who said they would pay got gradually smaller.
If a monthly sub was in the US$16-19 range 8.4% said they would pay, that proportion falls to 6.5% if the price was between US$20-23, and 3% if it was hiked to between US$24-27. Less than 2% said they would pay if prices went beyond US$28.
Netflix has been introducing price hikes in the US, including for long-term users who had been insulated from increases, and internationally and the Digitalsmiths research provides an insight into how far they can push subscription costs in the current environment.
In its most recent results, the US-based streaming service missed its subs guidance, but a slew of new programming is set to roll out through the rest of this year as it ramps up spend on original series and films.
Overall, 63% of respondents in the Digitalsmiths survey said they use SVOD services and within that group Netflix was the most popular in Q2, with a 53.7% share, ahead of Amazon with 24%, and Hulu with 11.8%.
Netflix’s share has gradually increased in recent quarters and stood at 49.4% at the same point last year. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have now been the top three US SVOD services for six quarters.