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Report: Netflix Increasingly Losing Long-Term Subscribers

Tom Wilton

Last quarter, Netflix saw a decline in overall subscribers for the first time in a decade. This fact has led to significant changes within the company, including reversing course on multiple long-held principles. However, a further examination of subscriber details reveals an even more concerning trend inside the streaming giant. Netflix is losing long-term customers at an increasing rate, according to data viewed by The Information.

The publication said that it has viewed survey results from analytics company Antenna, which anonymously polls the streaming habits of 5 million people in the U.S. The research firm’s numbers show households with subscriptions dating back more than three years counted for 13% of all cancellations in Q1 2022. That figure is a jump on the previous two years.

Overall, Antenna’s stats show that Netflix has reached the ominous milestone of losing 3.6 million customers to date, a figure that was at just 2.5 million over the previous five quarters.

Antenna’s findings follow Netflix’s quarterly earnings report, in which it reported the loss of 200,000 subscribers in the first three months of the year. The firm also painted a dour picture about the current quarter, noting it expects to lose 2 million subscribers globally.

The fall in subscribers was somewhat inevitable after Netflix raised its prices for North American customers in January. Of course, the company also lost roughly 700,000 subscribers when it shut off its Russian operations following the invasion of Ukraine; meaning that without that decision, the service would have added 500K subscribers.

Still, as much as Netflix’s churn can be attributed to market conditions and global events, losing long-term customers might point to a deeper problem for the company: a lack of compelling intellectual property.

Unlike competitors Disney+ or HBO Max, Netflix does not have a seemingly limitless pool of superheroes from which it can craft origin stories and crossover events. It doesn’t have sprawling worlds a la Star Wars, or decades worth of beloved animated films and classic movies.

This means that when Netflix viewers power up the service, they are typically met with a wall of unfamiliar shows and movies. This can make it a challenge to decide what to turn on because, even though there’s a ton of content, it’s hard to know at a glance what is actually worth watching. Long-term subscribers know this Netflix roulette only too well.

Of course, Netflix is investing in original material, but for every “Stranger Things” there are multiple competing properties like “Loki,” “The Mandalorian,” or “The Batman” — entertainment that is steeped in connected universes and decades-old lore.

Ultimately, in a world where there’s so much to enjoy, long-standing Netflix subscribers might just be deciding to watch what they already know.

Netflix

Netflix is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 3,000+ movies, 2,000+ TV Shows, and Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Squid Game, The Crown, Tiger King, and Bridgerton. They are constantly adding new shows and movies. Some of their Academy Award-winning exclusives include Roma, Marriage Story, Mank, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Netflix offers three plans — on 1 device in SD with their “Basic” ($9.99) plan, on 2 devices in HD with their “Standard” ($15.49) plan, and 4 devices in up to 4K on their “Premium” ($19.99) plan.

Netflix spends more money on content than any other streaming service meaning that you get more value for the monthly fee.

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