Coronavirus sees over half of Americans borrow streaming logins

Study finds 64% of Millennials have used someone else’s subscription service as it saves $100s

More than half of Millennials between the ages of 24 and 39 are not paying for their own streaming service, according to a new Bankrate study.

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In fact, 64 percent admitted that they use the account or password associated with someone they know to access subscriber-only content. This includes video streaming, music streaming and online journalism.

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Millennials were more likely to share accounts than Gen Xers between the age of 40 and 55 and Baby Boomers between the ages of 56 and 74, according to the study. However, funnily enough, Millennials and Baby Boomers that share accounts both turned to family to do so at the same rate – 41 percent. Millennials were more likely to use their parent’s account while Baby Boomers were the most likely to use a child’s.

Overall, 19 percent of the study’s respondents admitted to borrowing a child’s login to access a streaming service.

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Millennials are so committed to sharing accounts that one in 10 – or 12 percent – have admitted to using an ex-partner’s streaming service after a breakup. Only four percent of those who are older admitted to doing the same. When factoring in all of the study’s received answers, the number of people who have used an account that belonged to an ex is nine percent.

On the flip side, Millennials who have their own subscriptions are more likely to lend them with 74 percent saying that they would if asked. Fifty-two of Gen Xers and 35 percent of Baby Boomers said they would be willing to share.

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The study also found that Millennials believe this practice saves $666 annually. Older Millennials between the ages of 31 and 39 belive they receive additional savings that can be as high as $763. Gen Xers believe they save $379 while Baby Boomers believe they save $220.

For borrowers overall, approximately $513 is believed to be saved annually on average. Though, this amount is generally higher or lower depending on household income. Individuals earning less than $30,000 per year saved $703 by sharing accounts while individuals earning $80,000 or more per year saved $479.

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Low earners shared accounts more only by a slight margin of one percent when compared to high earners, according to the study, which revealed 44 and 43 percent respectively.

"Streaming services are a growing credit card rewards category. Issuers view this as a way to combat card churning and the sign-up bonus arms race," points out Bankrate's analyst Ted Rossman. "Recurring charges, such as monthly subscriptions, are sticky, especially since many are paid via autopay."

He adds, "In exchange for getting into the habit of using their card, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred dangles six percent cash back on select streaming services. The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card offers five percent and the Wells Fargo Propel gives three percent. The figures represent solid savings on money many households would have spent anyway."

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According to Bankrate, 56 percent of U.S. adults have shared their subscription information with someone else.