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Study: Only 20% of Subscribers Are Happy to Keep Their Current Streaming Subscriptions Long-Term

Aubrey Meister

With so many video streaming services available these days, consumers are left with tough decisions to make. After cutting the cord, they must decide which subscriptions to pay for and which to skip. Many consumers have begun churning through different providers to get access to the content they want to watch without paying for too many services at one time.

A new study by Interpret shows that only 20% of subscribers are content with their current providers. Brett Sappington, VP of research at Interpret, says that consumers are aware of the myriad of different services available, so they want to experiment by trying out different ones.

“Users now realize that they can’t get all of their preferred content in one place,” he said. “Subscriber churn was a concern for many video service providers prior to the pandemic, particularly for pay-TV. The interruption in content, household income, and viewing behavior, along with heightened competition, has led to changes in how consumers value and evaluate video offerings.”

At this point, it’s becoming more obvious that churn simply cannot be avoided. Consumers are going to continue to cycle through various services.

“The industry is essentially training consumers to be churn-tolerant,” Sappington said. “So, the question for the future is less about how to stop churn, and more about how to make churn work in your favor.”

It is unclear exactly what steps streaming providers will take to use churn to their advantage.

According to the study, 20% of subscribers report switching from one service to another to watch exclusive content. Another 13% report that they canceled their subscription once they finished watching a specific series or piece of content. In addition to churning through services, subscribers are using services for the duration of the trial period without signing up for paid subscriptions.

According to the report, “Consumers who subscribe to multiple SVOD (subscription video-on-demand) services also have a willingness to watch ad-supported streaming services, providing ad agencies growing inventory on streaming outlets.”

A report from AdWeek shows that nearly half of viewers prefer ad-supported tiers, which consumers find to be more budget-friendly.

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