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Study: Media Service Shoppers Drove $90 Billion in Shifts in 2019

Broadband Now, the Web site that provides info on broadband availability by plans, prices, and service ratings, said that March visits to its site are up 20% over the same period last year, which it attributes to a coronavirus-driven increased interest in home internet.

But the shop and/or switch trend is nothing new.

Broadband Now said that in 2019, some $90 billion in consumer spending shifted among providers of internet, TV and phone as consumers shop for new or replacement services.

That is according to its 2020 U.S. Internet, TV, & Phone Shopping Study*. That study found that in 2019, 36% of the population, or about 118 million people, have added or switched home services, compared to 16% in the previous study. When adding a streaming service is factored in, that jumps to a whopping 73%, or 241 million adults.

(Image credit: Broadband Now)

"With Americans increasingly dependent upon broadband internet for work, commerce and entertainment, and the debut of new services like Disney+, 5G mobile service and YouTube TV, we find that consumer purchase behavior is shifting faster than ever," the study asserts.

The latest survey found that streaming subscription market penetration as of 2019 was on par with residential internet adoption--89% had residential internet and 88% had at least one streaming service.

It also found that a whopping 71% of internet subs added a streaming service in 2019--both switching to a new service and adding a service--with streaming also topping the consumer satisfaction scores at 81 out of 100 versus cable/satellite service satisfaction at 66 out of 100.

Broadband Now asked streamers why they subscribed to a new service; price getting specific shows topped the list (see chart). "As the trend of content being exclusive to a specific streaming platform continues to grow, we expect this behavior to do the same over the next year and beyond," said Broadband Now.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.