Are You Spending Too Much on App Subscriptions?


(Image: Getty)

With dozens of mainstream and niche streaming services as well as premium apps on the market, it’s easy to drop a lot of cash each month on subscriptions.

The average person spends $20.78 per month on four app subscriptions, according to mobile data-tracking firm Adjust, which used Censuswide to poll 1,000 US consumers last month. Streaming apps are the most downloaded subscription apps at 30.7 percent followed by gaming (9 percent) and news (4 percent); think Google Stadia and Apple News+.

Subscription-based apps are only about 1 percent of the apps in Google Play and the App Store, but they are 79 percent of the top 225 apps in Google Play and 49 percent of the top 225 apps in the App Store, Adjust says.

graphic: how are consumers using subscription and streaming apps

(Image: Adjust)

Those ages 25 to 34 spend the most overall on app subscriptions at $25.85; those over 55 spend the least at $13.97. But that covers all types of app subscriptions, from Tinder to the upcoming Apple One. Looking at streaming and on-demand services alone, the average spend is $33.58 and those ages 45 to 54 are spending the most at $38 per month.

graphic: percentage of age groups paying for streaming and on-demand content

(Image: Adjust)

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, and YouTube TV were respondents’ top five favorite streaming services, Adjust says.

Netflix saw a huge boost earlier this year as people stayed home due to coronavirus lockdowns. Disney+ also adjusted its release schedule to stream hits like Hamilton and the live-action Mulan rather than debut them in theaters. Apple TV+ did the same with Greyhound.

As VentureBeat notes, this report comes as Berlin-based Adjust launches a subscription-tracking feature for companies and developers that will give them data on how consumers are interacting with subscription apps.

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