After a challenging 2017, the identity protection service (IDPS) market rebounded in 2018, growing 16% to reach $4.3 billion in revenue. While notable growth in direct-to-consumer sales demonstrates that many consumers value the protections offered by IDPS subscriptions, indirect sales channels continue to struggle, with sales through financial institutions (FIs) and after breaches declining steadily. Emerging sales channels, such as employee benefits and insurance partnerships, remain steady but contend against high attrition rates as they struggle to retain picky, tech-savvy users.

Key questions discussed in this report:
  • How has the identity protection service market changed since 2017?
  • What are the main factors driving subscriber attrition in each sales channel?
  • How are fraud trends shaping the most relevant feature sets for subscribers?
  • How do demographic characteristics influence subscribers' expectations for features and digital experience?

Consumer data in this report is based on information gathered in several Javelin survey administered in 2015, 2017, and 2018. Data was gathered and weighted to reflect a representative sample of the adult U.S. population:

  • A random-sample panel of 2,129 respondents in a December 2017 online survey. The maximum margin of sampling error is ±1.39% at the 95% confidence level.
  • A random-sample panel of 3,100 respondents in an August/September 2015 online survey. The maximum margin of sampling error is ±1.76% at the 95% confidence level.
  • A random-sample panel of 2,000 respondents in a September 2018 online survey. The maximum margin of sampling error is ±2.18% at the 95% confidence level.
  • A random-sample panel of 5,000 respondents in a November 2018 online survey. The maximum margin of sampling error 1.41% at the 95% confidence level.

The margin of sampling error is higher for questions answered by smaller segments of respondents.

In 2019, Javelin calculated the total amount of consumer expenditures on identity protection subscriptions, the number of subscriptions, and the number of consumers who own a subscription to any of various identity protection services. All metrics are derived from data provided by consumers regarding unique subscriptions. Survey respondents were able to list up to five identity protection service subscriptions that had been active for some portion of 2018. Thus, if a consumer owned multiple subscriptions, the characteristics of each subscription were captured within the survey. These characteristics included: the features offered, the amount paid per month, the channel through which the subscription was obtained, the company providing the subscription for subscriptions obtained directly from a provider, the customer's level of satisfaction with the subscription, and the month in which the subscription was purchased or discontinued.

For the 2017 iteration of the survey, Javelin changed how respondents were asked about the date when they enrolled in and discontinued each of their identity protection subscriptions that were active for at least part of 2017. With the change in methodology, Javelin is able to have a more detailed and accurate view into the revenue contribution of each subscriber, as well as the attrition rates experienced by the industry. However, this also limits the ability to conduct longitudinal comparisons of the size of the market in dollars between 2015 and 2017. Questions that assess the number of subscriptions remained consistent between the two surveys and maintained longitudinality.