Significant increase in streaming services subscriptions among over-65s, report finds

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Significant Increase In Streaming Services Subscriptions Among Over-65S, Report Finds Significant Increase In Streaming Services Subscriptions Among Over-65S, Report Finds
There has been a significant increase in Irish over 65s who subscribe to streaming services.
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James Cox

There was a significant increase in access to online subscription services among Irish consumers over 65 in 2020, according to Deloitte Ireland’s Digital Consumer Trends report.

The report found that 43 per cent of over-65s reported having access to at least one video on demand subscription-based service in 2020, up from 27 per cent in 2019.

Commenting on the report, John Kehoe, audit partner at Deloitte, said: “While mobile devices continue to increase in popularity as a way for consumers to enjoy various forms of entertainment, advertisers should not underestimate the continuing power of the TV, especially since stay-at-home restrictions have put paid to the on-the-go-lifestyle of most consumers. The nine per cent rise observed in ownership of smart TVs is further evidence of this.

“Of particular interest is the rise in online subscription services among over-65s. While this group traditionally had low engagement with such services, the pandemic restrictions seem to have gone some way to bridge that gap as consumers in this demographic have come to rely more on technology over the last 12 months.”

Devices

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Participants in the survey were asked to indicate their preferred device for a number of activities.

For watching live TV, streaming films and TV series and watching TV programmes via catch-up services, TV was the preferred device across all age categories. Mobile phones were the preferred device for reading the news, also across all age groups.

When it came to watching short videos, mobile phones were the preferred device across all age groups except 55-64s, who preferred laptops, and over-65s, who preferred tablets.

For playing games, all age groups preferred to use a mobile phone except for 18-24s, who preferred to use a gaming console, and over-65s, who preferred to use a tablet.

The survey also found that the use of smartphones for watching video was significantly higher among the 18-24 age group. 36 per cent of all participants said that they use their mobile phone to watch short videos, live posts and stories; this rose to 63 per cent for 18-24s.

32 per cent of all participants said they use their mobile phone to watch videos shared on instant messaging networks, rising to 46 per cent for 18-24s; 21 per cent of all participants use their mobile phone to watch live streams, rising to 48 per cent for 18-24s; 17 per cent of all participants use their mobile phone to stream films or TV series, rising to 37 per cent for 18-24s.

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Participants in the survey were also asked what connected devices they own or have access to.

58 per cent of Irish consumers have a smart TV, up nine per cent since 2019. 34 per cent have a games console (down by one per cent); 33 per cent have a video streaming device that connects to their television (no change since 2019); 28 per cent have wireless speakers (up three per cent); 22 per cent have a set-top box or video recorder that is internet-connected (down three per cent).

Voice-assisted speakers saw the biggest increase, up 10 per cent year-on-year to 22 per cent.

Subscriptions

63 per cent of all respondents had access to a video on demand subscription service, up four per cent on 2019. In addition to the over-65s, the 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54 age categories also saw increases while the 18-24 (down two per cent) and 55-64 (down six per cent) age categories saw small decreases in the numbers subscribing to video on demand services.

Netflix was the most popular subscription at 56 per cent, up two per cent on 2019, while Prime Video saw the biggest year-on-year increase with 18 per cent (up nine per cent). These were followed in popularity by Disney+, which was launched in 2020, at 19 per cent and Now TV at eight per cent (up three per cent).

Participants were asked to consider whether they would be happy to pay half price for a video on demand subscription service if that meant they would have to watch some ads. A third (33 per cent) said that they would prefer to pay the full subscription fee and not have to watch ads.

28 per cent reported that they would be happy to watch some ads if they could get a subscription for half price. Younger respondents were notably less tolerant of ads, with 47 per cent of 18-24s and 48 per cent of 25-34s preferring to pay full price for no ads.

46 per cent of participants had access to a music streaming service, up four per cent on 2019. Spotify was the most popular music streaming service at 33 per cent, up two per cent on 2019.

This was followed by Amazon Music at nine per cent (up four per cent) and Apple Music at eight per cent (up one per cent).

30 per cent had access to a newspaper or magazine subscription, a decrease of two per cent year-on-year.

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