Americans are canceling streaming services more and more as they push toward higher prices, more ads

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Customers unsubscribing from major streaming services increased in 2023 with about 25% of customers canceling subscriptions to at least three services in the past two years.

Customers overall were leaving premium streaming services at a rate of 6.3% as of November 2023, up from 5.1% in the year prior, Forbes reported.

The numbers come from Antenna, a market data platform that collects third-party information from consumers (with their consent), in regard to online purchases, bills, and banking.

Furthermore, of the major streaming services (Apple TV+, Discovery+, Disney+, Hulu, Max, Netflix, Paramount+, Peacock, and Starz), about 25% of American subscribers canceled at least three of those subscriptions in the last two years. That represented an ~10 point increase from 15% two years before.

While more users are opting to sign off completely, streaming services have attempted to entice new users with bundles and ad-included packages; a strategy that proved to be effective in 2023.

Nearly 60% of Disney+ subscribers who were new to the platform or who had just completed a trial period chose to subscribe via the package that included ads.

More than 33% of new Netflix users in the United States in November 2023 chose a subscription with ads. The year before, that was just 11% when the tier with ads was introduced, the report stated.

Streaming services particularly love the offer because not only have they lured customers with the promise of lower fees, they also generate ad revenue from the commercials.

Whether it can be considered addiction, boredom, or a case of necessity to access a favorite show, not as many people stay disconnected from the major apps as they may claim.

One out of every four subscribers who cancel their premium streaming service resubscribe to the same platform within four months, Forbes noted. 33% of those who cancel return within seven months. If they don’t get you in seven months, there’s a 50/50 chance the user returns within two years.

“Retention doesn’t just mean holding on to a new subscriber the first time they get them. It’s about managing a relationship over a true customer lifetime,” said Jonathan Carson, co-founder and chief executive of Antenna.

Companies seem to have a handle on their users’ habits, with the report adding that Warner Bros. and Disney executives know that bundling packages and services is a way to keep users aboard. Disney reportedly stated that customers are less likely to cancel a subscription when they pay for Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu together.

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