Streaming, Other Gift Subs Expected To Soar This Holiday Season

Gift cards are always a leading holiday gift option, thanks to gift-buying procrastination and the desire for a safe choices.

And thanks to the pandemic-driven boom in services subscriptions, those may actually give the old standby retail gift cards a run for their money this year.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of U.S. adults planning to give gifts this holiday season would consider giving streaming and other subscriptions, and (70%) are interested in receiving subscriptions as gifts, according to a survey by Recurly, a subscription management and billing platform.

In the survey of 2,472 consumers, fielded on Sept. 8, 73% of Gen Z respondents and 53% of Boomers said they are interested in receiving subscriptions as gifts. 

Streaming video subscriptions are the top choice both for giving and receiving.

The most-desired types of subscription gifts are streaming video (40%), retail (28%) and streaming audio (27%), and the types most likely to be given are streaming video (54%), gaming (39%) and streaming audio (36%). 

Consumers’ recent years’ shift to valuing experiences over goods comes into play here. 

The top reasons cited for liking subscriptions as gifts are that these allow them to experience something new (60%), and that there are a variety of options from which to choose (44%). 

And in more potentially good news for streaming services, 52% said they would continue a gift subscription if they found it to be fun, useful or helpful.

Given inflation’s expected impact on gift behaviors this year (respondents confirmed intentions to cut back on gift spending), Recurly is suggesting that subscription businesses create customized pricing models to drive acquisitions and enhance customer loyalty, and consider partnering to offer gift bundles, like streaming media and popcorn-of-the-month subscriptions. 

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents said they want to spend under $100 per subscription gift, and 34% said they would select a six-month subscription as a gift.

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