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Subscription creep hit two-thirds of US consumers, as some fight back

Subscription creep – the term given to increases in subscription fees after someone has signed up – hit a full two-thirds of US consumers in the past year.

Some of the increases were steep ones, and others imposed with little notice …

A CNET survey found that US adults now spend more than a thousand dollars a year on subscription services.

US adults spend an average of $91 on subscription services each month […] The most common amenities consumers reported paying for were streaming services, e-commerce memberships like Amazon Prime and music subscriptions.

For Millennials, the figure was $119 per month – or more than $1,400 per year.

One reported problem was gradual – or not – increases in prices, with 67% of respondents reporting an increase in their total subscription costs in the past year.

Another issue was signing up for free trials, and then forgetting to cancel.

A total of 48% of respondents said they had signed up for a free trial of a paid subscription and then forgotten to cancel it. Some said this had happened multiple times per year. Millennials and Gen Z adults were the most forgetful, with 65% and 59% of respondents, respectively, saying they had forgotten to cancel a trial at least once.

But some consumers are fighting back, by actively managing their subscription costs. One strategy is to rotate subscriptions. For example, sign up to Netflix, binge-watch one or more shows over the course or a month or two, then cancel – and do the same for Apple TV+. Almost a quarter of subscribers now do this.

Other approaches are proactively looking for deals, including bundles that work out cheaper than existing standalone subscriptions.

It’s worth carrying out regular reviews to see whether you’re actually using all the services for which you’re paying.

What are your tips for reducing subscription costs? Please share in the comments.

Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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