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Higher Prices Resulting In More People Canceling Streaming Services More Often

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Streaming Services 2023

The number of homes canceling streaming services is growing, as more people look to save on the cost of streaming. That’s according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, which credits Antenna data showing an increase in the number of customer cancellations at major streaming services compared to the year before.

According to the data, customer cancellation across popular streaming services increased to 6.3% in November 2023. This marked an increase of around 1.2% when compared to the 5.1% noted for November 2022. The report also states that around one-quarter of U.S. subscribers have canceled at least three major streaming services over the past two years

One of the suggested reasons for the increased number of cancellations is the ever-increasing cost. Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Paramount Plus, and Peacock, are just some of the streaming services that have increased the price of some or all of their plans over the past year. All of these services were also specifically named as part of the group of services that more homes are now canceling more often.

From the streaming service side of things, while cancellations are never ideal, the data does suggest that cancellations are often only a temporary measure. For example, while one in four reportedly resubscribe within four months, one in three resubscribe within seven months, and as many as half sign back up again within two years.

Another trend noted in the report is the increase in the number of people downgrading (or subscribing/resubscribing) to ad-supported plans. According to the data, almost 60% of U.S. customers who signed up (or began paying) for Disney+ in November opted for the ad-supported tier. Likewise, over one-third of new Netflix customers in the United States opted for the Standard with ads plan during the same month.

In this sense, it would seem that ad-supported plans are helping to fill in an important gap. While consumers may not like sitting through ad breaks when streaming, the data does seem to suggest that the number of people signing up (or remaining subscribed) might be much lower had these ad-supported plans not existed in the first place.

Still, it remains unclear if ad-supported tiers, along with the even more recent trend of bundling streaming services together, is going to be enough to keep consumers subscribed to as many services over the long term, and especially if these ad-supported (and bundle) prices follow the same pattern of increases as traditional ad-free plans have so far.

John Finn

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