Study Finds Only 33% of People Are ‘Serial Churners’. Why Not More?





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With so many options available for streaming services, brand loyalty pales in comparison to prices and options. People want a wide selection with low monthly payments and are ready to cancel subscriptions over it. But a study from research company Antenna shows that people aren’t jumping from platform to platform as much as one might suspect.

One of the great things about streaming is you can select what you want and switch if the selections get dull or prices increase. Antenna’s report shows that only a third of streaming subscribers users are “serial churners,” according to NextTV, meaning they frequently sign up and quit subscription services.

Antenna looked at subscription video-on-demand platforms dating back to 2019 when only 10% of users fit the “serial churner” definition. The number has increased to 33% this year. Of the 33% who actively manage and switch their subscriptions, a third were “won back” within 12 months, while almost 25% who canceled returned within three months. Antenna found that 45% of U.S. SVOD users keep a streaming service for 12 months.

The numbers are surprising given how streaming is more competitive now than ever. There’s a large selection, each offering unique content. People can sign up with a few clicks of a button and get access to a streamer’s video library. It’s just as easy to cancel the service.  

Yet people are sticking around either because they get hooked on other selections, feel brand loyalty, or, in 50% of cases, forget they even have the streaming service. According to a Forbes survey, nearly half of the people pay for a streaming service they don’t use.

New content, especially sports, is keeping people around. For instance, Harvard Business Review shows that 39% of people who signed up for Netflix for Stranger Things fit the serial churner category. In comparison, only 17% of people who signed up for Apple TV+ on Friday Night Baseball days would bounce.

A significant price hike is a contributing factor to churn. Forbes found that 58% of consumers would keep their service if the bill went up by $5 per month, but just one in three would if the cost was $10 more. 

Last week, Netflix said it is raising the price of its Premium, a move likely to set off a round of churn. Those who cancel and come back as new subscribers won’t be able to get the $9.99 Basics without ads plan again and will have to choose between the ad-supported tier for $6.99, Basic for $11.99, Standard for $15.49, and Premium for $22.99.

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