Streaming Subscriptions From Apple, Samsung and Xbox Will Test Cancel Trend

Amid a broader trend of consumers trimming retail box subscriptions, streaming entertainment looks to be a defiant holdout. Not only has it held onto the attention and budget allocation of American consumers, but it is increasingly viewed as an essential item within the realm of other spending cut casualties of rampant household belt-tightening.

This is evident in data from the new “Subscription Commerce Conversion Index: Subscribers Seek Affordability And Convenience,” a PYMNTS and collaboration, which states that of the more than 80% of Americans with subscriptions, “In every category except streaming entertainment, subscription rates are down. There may be multiple reasons for this shift, but the most pressing issue is likely inflation and consumers’ drive to get the most value out of their budgets.”

Conversely, streaming subscriptions have risen 6.5% since July, with the new report noting that “For the first time in a year, consumers were more likely to hold digital media subscriptions than retail-related subscriptions.”

chart, subscribers


Capitalizing on the resilience of streaming services in a period of household spending cuts, major brands are rolling out new offerings to take consumers into next year, presumably to binge their favorite series and get in more gameplay, even if they nixed that beauty box.

On Wednesday (Nov. 16) Apple and Major League Soccer (MLS) announced MLS Season Pass, calling it “an unprecedented subscription service to fans in over 100 countries and regions that features every live MLS regular-season match, the entire playoffs, and the Leagues Cup,1 all with no blackouts,” and saying the 10-year pact is “a historic first for a major professional sports league.”

Beginning Feb. 1, subscribers can sign up for MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app for $14.99 per month during the season or $99 per season, and Apple TV+ subscribers can sign up at a special price of $12.99 per month and $79 per season, the company said.

Get your copy: Subscription Commerce Conversion Index: Subscribers Seek Affordability And Convenience

Sports and Games Subscriptions for the Win

Apple’s MLS news is eerily similar to the 10-year deal Amazon Prime struck with the NFL in March for Thursday Night Football (TNF), which proved a subscriber magnet, the success of which Apple would undoubtedly like to replicate for Apple TV.

In September, Deadline published an internal memo from Jay Marine, vice president, Prime Video, global head of sports, saying, “During our TNF broadcast, we also saw the biggest three hours for U.S. Prime sign-ups ever in the history of Amazon — including Prime Day, Cyber Monday, and Black Friday.”

Apple isn’t stopping at sports. Also, on Wednesday (Nov. 16), Microsoft’s Xbox offered Ultimate members free three-month trials of Apple TV+ and Apple Music as part of their membership.

Per a press release, “Ultimate members who do not currently have an Apple TV+ or Apple Music subscription can claim either or both Perks on their Xbox console or Xbox app on Windows. Once the Perk is claimed, members will be directed to the respective Apple TV+ or Apple Music site to activate their subscription.” The free trial offer expires on March 31, 2023.

See also: Is Data the Cure-All for Subscription Retention and Churn?

Wednesday was a big day for such news, as Samsung took the wraps off streaming subscription deals for consumers who buy its high-end flat-screen TVs.

“From now through December 31, 2022, purchasers of a new Samsung QN85B, QN90B, QN95B, QN800B, QN850B, QN900B or S95B, can get an Xbox controller and 3 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate included with their new TV,” Samsung said in a press release.

Considering cancellation intent data findings from the new Subscription Commerce Conversion Index, this double-down on streaming may be seen as a safe harbor in troubled waters. Our data found that only 1.2% of those surveyed intend to cancel entertainment subscriptions, compared to 16% for beauty products, and even 4% for popular Amazon Subscribe and Save.

chart, subscriber cancellation intent


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