Report: Americans Spend Over $3,300 a Year on Access to Internet, Mobile, & Streaming


State of Consumer Media Spending Report by

How much will it cost to stay connected in a lifetime? found that the average American will now spend $203,830 on internet, mobile plans, streaming and cable TV bills in their lifetime. found that the average American will now spend $203,830 on internet, mobile plans, streaming and cable TV bills in their lifetime.

SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — How much are Americans spending to have access to technology and media The State of Consumer Media Spending Report by, looked at the average costs and potential savings of home internet, cable, mobile, and streaming spending throughout 2023.

Over the course of a lifetime, Americans will spend an average of $203,830 on internet, mobile, and TV/streaming services, essential utilities that allow us access to work, school, news, entertainment, and connection with the people around us. The average monthly costs of each of these services are as follows:

  • Internet – $84/month
  • Mobile Plans – $66/month
  • Streaming – $55/month
  • Cable TV – $80/month

Amid the ongoing conversation about the right to internet access, 1 in 3 Americans (33.53%) believe that even subscription-based streaming services (such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc.) are a need (not just a want). Despite this, costs for these and essential utilities like home internet and mobile services are rising year over year and eating up significant portions of the average American’s monthly income.

  • The average yearly cost of internet, mobile, and TV/streaming services is $3,390
  • Americans use approximately 13.5 GB of mobile data per month on average, despite unlimited plans being the most popular mobile plan option – wasting money on unused data
  • 41.37% share streaming service accounts with others to save on costs
  • The average American spends 4 hours and 52 minutes per day actively using their internet connection, more than a whole month out of the year spent online
  • There are ways to cut down on these utility costs significantly – by using comparison shopping tools to find the best service deals available, switching to smaller providers offering better deals, or using free services

“These forms of technology are more expensive than ever before—and unfortunately, we can’t live without them. But most consumers can save money just by doing a bit of research into their options and being a little more picky about their cellular and internet plans and streaming subscriptions. You don’t need the biggest data plan or the most streaming platforms to live a functional life in the digital age.” Peter Holslin, Managing Editor of

Read the full report here: 

METHODOLOGY: To calculate the lifetime cost of being connected, we used the most recent pricing data available from the leading internet, mobile, streaming, and TV brands to determine the average monthly cost of internet, streaming, and cell phone bills. 

To determine the average monthly cost of streaming, we surveyed 1,500 Americans to determine the median amount the average person spends on streaming services per month. We then scaled the average monthly cost of each of these services to determine how much, on average, Americans will spend on these services in a year and throughout their lifetime.

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