Loyalty becomes a “sticking point” in a competitive streaming environment

Rameez Tase
Jun 8, 2020 · 2 min read

Much of the coverage on streaming services focuses on total Subscriber growth. Often, total Subscribers is the only publicly available metric for subscription media businesses.

But much of the value created is by subscribers who stick around, paying their monthly subscription fees over and over again.

New Subscribers Still Subscribed After 12 Months

Our data shows that, in today’s competitive environment, retaining users has become more difficult than ever.

The percentage of new subscribers who are still subscribed after 12 months is falling over time, virtually across the board.
The percentage of new subscribers who are still subscribed after 12 months is falling over time, virtually across the board.
  • While Netflix remains best-in-class at their ability to retain users, the % of new Subscribers still Subscribed after 12 months dropped by 5 percentage points between 2017 and 2019.

New Subscribers who Cancel Within 3 Months

Our data confirms this trend when we examined Churn Rate for new Subscribers. The % of new Subscribers who cancelled within 3 months of Subscribing also increased meaningfully for many services in 2019.

The % of new Subscribers who cancelled within 3 months was higher in 2019 than previous years.
The % of new Subscribers who cancelled within 3 months was higher in 2019 than previous years.
  • HBO Now 2019 spike was content-driven (Game of Thrones, final season).

The takeaway: Subscriber growth will always be worthy of attention but the bulk of value is created by retaining those new Subscribers. Understanding how different behaviors correlate with loyalty may be the single most important driver of value for subscription media businesses today:

  • When did my most loyal users sign up?

ANTENNA

ANTENNA provides measurement & analytics for subscription…