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25% of Streaming Customers Canceling Multiple Subscriptions

Americans are increasingly cutting back on their streaming subscriptions.

Streaming service cancellations increased to 6.3% in November, compared to 5.1% the year before, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Tuesday (Jan. 2).

And roughly a quarter of U.S. subscribers to major services like Netflix, Hulu and Disney+ have canceled at least three of them in the last two years, the report said, citing data from subscription-analytics provider Antenna

That’s up from 15% two years ago, which WSJ said is a sign of an increasingly fickle attitude among steaming subscribers.

The report includes comments from consumers like Crystal Revis, a Florida resident who recently canceled her Disney+ and Paramount+ memberships due to rising costs.

“With the streaming services increasing their rates like they are, it’s, like, ‘OK, do I pay for the cable?’” Revis told WSJ.

“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 CEO of Antenna. 

He added that streamers will need to become more sophisticated when it comes to winning back subscribers by doing things like targeting their marketing to customers who tend to watch at certain times of year.

Against this backdrop, streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have been embracing ads, as PYMNTS wrote last week.

“Netflix, for instance, launched its ad-supported tier last year, though the tier’s underperformance earlier this year caused the platform to expand, seek more or different ad partners, adjust prices and innovate placements,” that report said.

“Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max streaming subscription has seen its shift to ad-supported models helps drive revenue increases.”

More recently, Amazon announced that it would begin including ads in Prime movies and TV shows beginning in late January, letting users pay an extra $2.99 per month to watch without commercial breaks.

And streaming services have been looking for other ways to monetize their content beyond subscription fees and ad sales.

For example, Disney+ is apparently exploring adding shopping options to its streaming service, while Amazon has begun offering recommendations of other products and services through its Prime Video X-Ray feature.