Nigerians spend 22% of their salaries on monthly streaming subscriptions- report

Godfrey Elimian
The combination of 5 subscriptions costs ₦15,726.79 or $36.38 monthly. That is an average of 22.2% of the average monthly wage of Nigerians according to WageCentral (₦70,791)…
Nigerians spend 22% of their salaries on monthly streaming subscriptions- report
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According to data made available by Picodi.com, Nigeria ranks first globally on the list of countries where citizens pay the highest subscription cost to several streaming platforms in relation to the country’s average wage earnings.

The analysis which ranked several countries across the globe considered subscriptions to select popular social media and streaming platforms. These include the two most popular video streaming services (Netflix and Prime Video), one music streaming platform (Spotify), an internationally available e-book and audiobook platform (Scribd), and a gaming subscription (Microsoft’s Game Pass).

All the platforms considered are available both on PC and on consoles and offer titles from some of the most well-known content creators around the world.

Nigerians spend 22% of their salaries on monthly subscription
Nigerians spend 22% of their salaries on a monthly subscription – How Nigeria ranks with other countries. Source: Picodi.com

According to the data, Nigeria tops the list of nations with the highest ratio of subscription costs to average hourly wages (the lower the percentage of the salary, the better). Nigeria came in at number 42 in terms of subscription costs with $36.38

Other notable indices show that, among the countries included in the ranking, after conversion to dollars, the Swiss pay the highest price for the bundle of 5 subscriptions – $64.21/month. The second most expensive country in the comparison is the USA ($60.45), followed by the UK in the third place ($51.29).

However, after also juxtaposing the price of the subscription services with the average net wage, the situation changes diametrically: the bundle of subscriptions will cost an average Swiss only 1.19% of their salary, an American – 1.50% and an average Brit – 2.22%.

Related story: Nigeria telcos gained 2.9m new telephone subscribers in May- NCC report

Subscription figures in Nigeria

According to the data, this is how the prices of individual subscriptions from the discussed bundle look like in Nigeria:

  • Netflix – ₦3,600.00
  • Prime Video – ₦2,589.47 ($5.99)
  • Spotify – ₦900.00
  • Scribd – ₦4,318.66 ($9.99)
  • Xbox Game Pass – ₦4,318.66 ($9.99)

The combination of 5 subscriptions costs ₦15,726.79 or $36.38 monthly. That is an average of 22.2% of the average monthly wage of Nigerians according to WageCentral (₦70,791).

Nigerians spend about 22% of their earnings on social media subscriptions
Nigerians spend about 22% of their earnings on social media subscriptions

In comparison, the most favourable ratio can be found in UAE (0.89%), Australia (1.04%) and aforementioned Switzerland (1.19%). On the other hand, Nigerians, Pakistanis and Indonesians have to face the least favourable ratio – 22.22%, 19.49% and 16.24% respectively.

Read also: Despite 5G rollout, data shows that 70% of Africans only have access to 2G/3G networks

Subscription cost: Other countries Vs Nigeria

Apart from Nigeria with a subscription cost of $36.38 (₦15,726.79) and a 22.02% ratio cost to their average monthly wage (₦70,791) for the 5 selected platforms, a quick look at other countries will give a clearer picture why Nigerians may be overshooting their internet usage.

Citizens of India, for example, with a population of more than a billion people enjoy one of the cheapest subscription costs in the world at just $23.95. Also, comparatively, their cost-to-wage ratio ranks them as one of the cheapest countries to subscribe to these platforms given their average wage.

Other countries which enjoy the lowest prices in the world for the discussed subscription pack include Argentina ($23.36), Turkey ($16.78), UAE ($33.94), Philippines ($24.85), and Colombia ($27.30)

Citizens of countries that are paying seemingly higher sums relative to average earnings include Pakistanis (19.5%), Indonesians (16.2%), Egyptians (15.2%) and Ukrainians (12.5%).

Average Income: Other countries Vs Nigeria

Economists say the average income of a country is the best measure of its standard of living.

The average income of countries according to Worlddata.info

According to the data from Worlddata.info, Nigeria ranks 60th globally in terms of average. According to the same source, Nigeria’s monthly average income is $175 dollars, which reflects the official exchange rate of ₦437.68/$.

Since the average monthly income of Nigerians totals ₦70,791, 22% amounts to about ₦15,574. This amount goes to their monthly subscriptions for the selected platforms listed above. It is also worthy of mention that other expenses related to internet connection include data cost which comes along with paying for the former.

Income: Nigeria ranking with the rest of the world

Read also: Here are the top 5 African countries with the cheapest data rates

How subscription companies are faring

The number of Netflix subscribers in Nigeria is hard to find. However, a 2019 report puts the number at less than 50,000 subscribers. This was inferred from the number of subscribers in Luxembourg, the country that rounded up the top 50 list at the time. 

For Amazon Prime Videos, its global subscriber growth rate has accelerated over the last 5 years. Although Prime has been in Africa since 2016, users have had to pay for the service in dollars. This year, the video streaming platform launched in Nigeria providing stiff competition for Netflix in one of Africa’s largest markets.

The easy strategy for a new competitor would be to enter into a new market with a lower subscription price, which is what Amazon has done. After a seven-day free trial, Prime Video users in Nigeria will have to pay ₦2,300 ($3.4), which is cheaper than Netflix’s basic plan of ₦2,900 ($4.3) or the premium package of ₦3,600.

The United States has the most Prime Subscribers by far. Overall the US accounts for about 74% of all paying Amazon Prime accounts globally, meaning that it has 148.6 million Amazon Prime members in the US alone.

In February 2021, Spotify expanded to Nigeria and 79 other countries (including Ghana, Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire) and since then, the average number of artists streamed per user has grown by 60%, and Nigerian music fans have created 1.3 million user-generated playlists.

For Spotify, figures from the company’s Q4 2021 report put the number of monthly active users on the streaming platform at 406 million, indicating an 18% YoY growth from the 381 million recorded in Q3 2021 and the near top end of its guidance range.

Read also: FG outlines roadmap to successful 5G deployment


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