Streaming is Surging

Retailers can capitalize on this growing market with streaming gift cards.

Date:Sept. 29, 2020




During this time of social distancing and self-isolation, consumers have developed an insatiable appetite for entertainment. Working on a puzzle and walking the dog can only go so far in keeping them amused; data shows that consumers are turning to home entertainment platforms like never before.

Streaming content, in particular, has skyrocketed. According to a consumer survey by Invoke, 75 percent are watching more streaming content than before the pandemic struck. Nielsen reports that year-over-year, streaming among consumers aged 25 to 54 has increased almost 100 percent. And consumers contend that established streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu are must-haves during this difficult time. In addition to TV series and movies, categories such as fitness and wellness, e-learning, and gaming live streams are helping fuel the colossal gains. 

Without a doubt, the pandemic has heightened the role streaming plays in consumers’ lives. Not only does it bring safe, affordable enjoyment, it also provides an escape from the news from the outside world. Streaming entertainment puts consumers in control of what they watch, too, giving them the flexibility to stream at any time, on the device of their choice.


“With so many of us spending more time at home in this current situation, viewing time has risen significantly.”

- Sarah Scobey, Business Development Manager at InComm

Retailers would be wise to take note. Streaming entertainment represents a potentially rich revenue stream for your business. You can tap into this consumer demand by offering streaming content gift cards in your brick & mortar and online stores. InComm can help. The payments technology leader has developed strong partnerships with all the top streaming services, offering a catalog of gift cards that is second to none. “We were first to this category,” said Sarah Scobey, Business Development Manager at InComm, and a specialist in the streaming gift card business. “InComm anticipated the trends; we could see that this was going to be a very meaningful category and we partnered with forward-thinking companies that were offering great entertainment alternatives to consumers cutting the cable cord.”

Who is buying streaming content gift cards?


Gift shoppers - giving them as gifts for birthdays and holidays.
Millennials - helps budget their entertainment spending.
Parents - giving them to their kids in lieu of their credit card.
Unbanked customers - using them as a convenient way to pay.

Now more than ever, content is king. By offering streaming gift cards you’ll help lead your customers to the palace, rich with entertainment options. “Consumers are spending a lot of time streaming programming,” Scobey noted, “and offering prepaid cards for streaming services helps keep retailers relevant and in step with what consumers want. As the home entertainment industry evolves, retailers have an opportunity to create a destination for streaming content gift cards.” She pointed out that retailers selling smartphones, tablets and televisions would be smart to offer streaming content gift cards along with the hardware to create a synergy in their product offerings.

Consumers’ isolating-at-home streaming habits.

57% say they watch more movies on streaming services than they did before the pandemic.
73% of those under 25 say they watch more movies and TV shows on streaming services than they did before the pandemic.
68% said movie theater re-openings will not affect the number of streaming packages they use.
Source: Invoke Coronavirus Pulse Study, June 2020

InComm is constantly bringing new and popular streaming gift cards to retailers in both physical and digital formats. “We seek to deliver prepaid products that their customers want,” Scobey said. “Our retail partners are thrilled with the popular streaming brands we bring to their gift card mix – and the brands are excited to have a presence in retail they never had before.” Scobey noted that InComm most recently helped launch the gift card for Twitch, the streaming video network, in a major big box partner, and that the card will be available at more retailers in the coming months. Game streaming has really taken off during the pandemic and Twitch has been a juggernaut, reporting 5.8 million monthly streamers – a year-over-year increase of 58 percent.


In addition to providing an unmatched product mix, InComm's promotion and merchandising teams step in to help retailers market the cards. “We’re mindful of both the retailers’ promotional calendars and that of the entertainment industry, and we look for key dates where they can align on a promotion for a programming event or product launch,” Scobey explained. “We leverage existing marketing campaigns created by the streaming services and utilize these executions in signage in a retailer’s store, on their website, and via social media and other marketing channels to drive sales.”



Pandemic viewing isn’t just about movies.


218% increase in e-learning streaming.

149% increase in fitness and health streaming.

70% increase in game live streaming.

Sources: ZDNet, AList Daily



While the pandemic is changing people’s behavior in several ways, it’s hard to know what practices will stick around once the virus is under control. Having happy hours via Zoom and stockpiling disinfectant wipes will likely go away, but one that is poised to stay – and grow – is streaming content. “The category is still in its early stages,” Scobey offered. “Although Netflix and Hulu are well established, new services are still emerging and there’s room for growth as more consumers are cutting the cord every day. If you look at the increasing subscriber numbers over the last ten years, this trend is not going away,” she noted. “As we see more consumers adopt streaming as their primary form of entertainment, that will be reflected in this gift card category’s growth.”


To learn more about InComm’s broad portfolio of streaming gift cards, contact Sarah Scobey at

National Retail Federation, 2020
InComm consumer gift card market study, 2020