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Gaming services outpace gym memberships in American homes, study says

The research study from Parks Associates found streaming video services to be one of the most-dominant subscription products purchased by Americans.

The research study from Parks Associates found streaming video services to be one of the most-dominant subscription products purchased by Americans.

A stock image of video game controllers.
(Stock image)

More homes in America have a subscription to a gaming service than a gym membership, according to new research released by Parks Associates this week.

The study, based on responses from 8,000 Internet-connected households in the United States, tracked the purchase of various types of memberships as well as subscription bundles among consumers.

Nearly nine out of 10 American households have at least one subscription to a video streaming service, Parks Associates reported. Around 20 percent of households have a subscription to an online gaming platform like Sony’s PlayStation Plus or Microsoft’s XBox Game Pass, while just 16 percent of households affirm having a gym membership.

“The evolution of hardware to a service model and demand to drive engagement and loyalty for brands through apps are driving the rise of subscription services,” said Jennifer Kent, the Vice President of Research at Parks Associates. “On the streaming audio side, market leader Spotify’s premium adoption is as high as that of Discovery Plus, the ninth-highest video OTT subscription service.”

Parks Associates found more-affluent households with annual salaries over $100,000 are likely to have more subscription services compared to those that make less than $100,000 per year. Age is also a factor, too, with the number of subscriptions dropping off after the head of household turns 45 years old.

Younger, more-affluent households prioritize convenience and are able to absorb the cost of different streaming services. Products that bundle with others — such as Walmart Plus offering complementary access to the ad-supported tier of Paramount Plus — score high customer satisfaction marks. Internet service providers and cable TV platforms, which typically score low marks, might be able to benefit from service bundling arrangements with others, the study suggested.

“Competitive pressure will force market challengers to forge stronger ties, e.g., Walmart Plus and Paramount Plus. Subscription bundlers should seek offerings that span entertainment, productivity, and convenience,” Kent said.

The study is available to view from Parks Associates by clicking or tapping here.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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