Market Overview

Earnin Research Shows Monthly Streaming Subscription Fees Too Much For Many Americans


Netflix's new 2018 pricing appears to have stunted new user growth
among those living paycheck to paycheck

an app that allows anyone with a job and a bank account to get paid the
minute they leave work, today released a report which found that roughly
1 in 8 streaming subscribers living paycheck to paycheck had an
overdraft fee in the last year triggered by their subscription.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

(Graphic: Business Wire)

(Graphic: Business Wire)

The analysis, Netflix May be Growing, but Not Among Those Living
Paycheck to Paycheck
, looks at the streaming subscription habits of
Earnin users, many which are living paycheck to paycheck.

The report finds that:

  • The fraction of Netflix subscribers among those living paycheck to
    paycheck has remained remarkably flat.
  • Of these streaming subscribers, roughly 1 in 8 had an overdraft fee in
    the last year triggered by their subscription.
  • Netflix's new 2018 pricing appears to have stunted new user growth
    among those living paycheck to paycheck.

"Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu cost about $10 a month, yet
that small expense can result in frustrating overdraft fees for a
shockingly large number of Americans," said Earnin Economist Peter
Griffin. "Overdrafts triggered by autopayments complicate an already
tenuous situation. Without a financial cushion, these unexpected shocks
too often derail budgets and in some cases, trigger a cascading cycle of

In just the past five years, the percent of Earnin verified users paying
for Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube has steadily increased from around 25
percent in June 2013 to more than 32 percent. Despite a growing market
among those living paycheck to paycheck, the fraction of those paying
for Netflix has remained remarkably flat over time, with about 24
percent of Earnin users paying for the industry leader as of July 2018.

Counting dollars instead of subscriptions, Netflix's new 2018 pricing
appears to have successfully converted existing subscribers, but at the
cost of further stunting new user growth among those living paycheck to
paycheck in the United States.

Relative to the average cost of cable television providers, streaming
services are inexpensive. This has led millions
of Americans to cut the cord annually, but people living paycheck to
paycheck frequently pay a higher price courtesy of overdraft fees on
automatic payments. Streaming services cost about $0.80 more per month
after accounting for the chance they trigger an overdraft, which
represents between 5 and 10 percent more a month, depending on the base
price of the subscription.

"An increase of 5 percent may not sound like much," said Griffin, "but
it's making the low-cost alternative to cable TV more costly than it
needs to be, pricing out people who can least afford it."

For the full Earnin Netflix participation study, please visit the Earnin

To learn about Earnin and how we are building a financial system that
works for people, please visit

About Earnin

Earnin is the new, faster way to get your paycheck. Unlike traditional,
rigid paychecks that only show up every two weeks, Earnin gives you
access to your pay as you earn it -- any time, any day, right from your
smartphone. Earnin charges no fee or interest for using the service:
instead, with each transaction users are given the opportunity to pay
what they believe is fair. Launched in 2014, leveraging mobile
technology to drive consumer-empowered finance by breaking open more
than $1 trillion held up in America's pay cycle. Current funding
partners include Andreessen Horowitz, Matrix Partners, Ribbit Capital,
Felicis Ventures, March Capital Partners, Trinity Ventures, Thrive
Capital, and Camp One Ventures. For more information please visit

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