There's been some speculation about Netflix-style game subscription services as the future of the industry, but they're making a considerable impact on the present as well. According to a new report from industry research group Superdata, the leading subscription services combined to bring in about $273 million in revenue during the third quarter of the year.
The group determined that most of that revenue (52%) was accounted for by Sony's PlayStation Now service, which it said brought in $143 million for the quarter. EA's collection of PC and console services--EA Access, Origin Access, and Origin Access Premier--combined to bring in about $90 million, with a little over half of that coming from EA Access and the Origin offerings splitting the remainder. Interestingly, the new Premier tier of Origin Access brought in slightly more than the basic Origin Access tier, even though it was only launched partway through the quarter. Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass brought up the rear among the major offerings with roughly $41 million in revenue, a little less than EA Access but more than either of the Origin programs.
Although these services together combined for just 6% of overall non-free-to-play console and PC revenue for the quarter, Superdata noted that consumers of other media have already shown a pronounced shift toward getting their entertainment through subscriptions. It said that in the US, 74% of people who spend on digital video do it through services like Netflix and Hulu instead of purchasing the shows and movies they want a la carte. For music, 64% of digital customers have subscriptions for services like Spotify or Apple Music, compared to 51% who buy their music directly from storefronts like iTunes.
Unlike those other forms of media, games also have the advantage of selling add-on content to users of subscription services, and Superdata found subscribers more willing to do so. On average, subscribers to game services spend $25 a month on in-game content, compared to $10 for non-subscribers. And even with the subscriptions, those users are spending $57 a month on full game purchases, compared to the non-subscriber average of $39.