By James Davey
LONDON (Reuters) - Britons cancelled over 1 million music subscriptions in the first quarter as a worsening cost of living crisis forced them to make savings, industry data showed on Thursday.
Pessimism in British households has hit unprecedented levels, as wages struggle to keep pace with inflation that reached a 40-year high of 9% in April and is heading for double digits.
That is forcing many to eke out savings from household budgets.
Market researcher Kantar said 37% of UK consumers cited wanting to save money as the reason they cancelled music subscriptions in a market dominated in recent years by platforms such as Spotify, Apple and Amazon.
"The rising cancellation rates of music subscriptions is evidence that British households are starting to prioritise the spending of their disposable income," Kantar said.
It noted that in Britain, subscriptions are dropping the fastest amongst younger consumers, with the percentage of under 35s having access to a music subscription dropping from 57.0% to 53.5% year-on-year.
Kantar said penetration of total individuals who have access to at least one music subscription was 39.5% of British adults in the first quarter of 2022, down from 39.7% in the previous quarter.
That compares with an unchanged 48.8% in the United States and 36.6% in Germany, up from 35.9%.
In April, Kantar reported that Britons were cancelling television and film subscription services.
To cut costs, Britons are also trading down in both stores and products, switching from mainstream supermarkets to discounters and from branded to lower priced private label products.
They are also cutting back on fuel purchases as they reduce the number of car journeys they make and cancelling repair warranties on domestic appliances.
Poundland owner Pepco said last week Britons were even reining in spending on essential items.
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)