When it comes to billing, digital subscriptions are a mystery to more than a third of Finns. Our nationwide survey reveals that many have thought about taking control of their subscription charges but can’t get around to it. One in five pay their bills automatically, but never look at their payment histories.
According to our survey, 32.5 percent of Finnish consumers don’t keep track of the bills of their digital service subscriptions, such as video streaming or e-book services. More than a fifth let their bills run without ever taking a closer look at their payments, and more than one in ten would like to keep their digital service subscriptions better under control.
Most Finns are prudent about their digital service subscriptions, however. More than six in ten (60.5%) regularly review their subscriptions and cancel unnecessary services.
Our nationwide survey was taken by one thousand adult consumers from all parts of Finland. It dealt with services offering digital products instead of physical ones.
Many new digital service subscriptions this year
More than a fifth (22.8%) of Finns have subscribed to two or three new digital services over the past year. More than half (56.8%) have used at least one new service within a year.
“The Finns are trying new services at an amazing pace right now. People are quick to drop services, and new services are springing up all the time. In other words, the service market is developing intensely. The growth potential is huge, especially among users who are not active subscribers of digital services.”, says our CEO, Lari Tuominen.
Four in ten (40.5%) Finns have not adopted a single new service in the past year.
Digital services are not yet available for everyone
A clear majority of Finns (60.6%) subscribe to one to three digital services with monthly billing. However, the survey showed that more than a fifth of Finns do not have a single regular digital service subscription. More than a third (34.6%) of people aged 65–75 fall into this category, for example.
“There is considerable potential and room for development in this category. But not every senior citizen has access to digital service subscriptions. Current solutions may not serve the needs of all consumer groups as well as they could, and improving the attractiveness, availability and accessibility of services should be an urgent priority.”
One in three have been disappointed with their service
The survey also examined why Finnish consumers have terminated regular digital service subscriptions. More than a third (34.3%) had terminated a subscription because the service content did not live up to their expectations.
“As a rule, Finnish consumers are extremely price-conscious, which was also reflected in the results of this survey. But a surprising number of respondents had been let down by the service they subscribed to. This sends a powerful message to service designers and marketers.”
Nearly a third of Finns (28.9%) had cancelled a subscription because it felt too expensive. Approximately a quarter reported having only wanted to try the service. More than one in ten (12.8%) said that they had terminated a subscription because they had found a similar service cheaper or free of charge.
Music doesn’t compete with movies or series
The Finns’ favorite services are video streaming services like Netflix, HBO and Cmore, used by almost six in ten (59.1%) Finns. Roughly a third (30.4%) subscribe to music services, such as Spotify or Apple Music.
Information security services and cloud storage, like Dropbox, Google One Drive and iCloud, are also popular. E-books, on the other hand, come a distant fifth according to the survey.
Qvik studied the digital service subscription habits of Finnish and Swedish consumers with nationwide surveys in December 2021. The results were similar in both countries.
Our electronic survey was taken by a thousand people aged 18–75 in Finland. Half of the respondents were men and half women, and the sample was representative of Finland’s adult population. The margin of error of the electronic survey conducted by research company Bilendi is 3.1 percent.
Illustration: Aija Malmioja