How Are Streaming Services Attracting and Maintaining Subscribers?

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 showed us a few things about the streaming industry – primarily that people are more ready to embrace streaming over traditional television than ever before. 

But even though streaming is on the rise, streaming churn (or customers canceling one service for another over and over again) is also rising.

Which brings an important question – why are people switching services so often? What really matters when choosing a streaming service?  

Analytics company Deloitte posed this question in two surveys (in January and May of 2020) as part of their Digital Media Trends study. 

It turns out, content really is king. 

When asked to choose the three most important reasons for selecting a streaming service, 51% of people chose “a broad range of shows and movies.” Right behind at 45% was “new, original content not available elsewhere.” In third place at 27% was “previously released content not available elsewhere.” 

So out of seven possible answers, the three directly related to content won out – by a long shot. 

It’s not until the number four spot that we see a reason outside of content – “a free trial or a discounted rate” at 24%. 

17% of people chose “ad-free viewing experience” as one of their driving factors while 16% said “shows and movies appropriate for children” were important. The lowest ranked reason at 15% was the ability to bundle with other services. 

When most streaming services cost in the same general range – $6 to $12 a month, it makes sense that people churning subscriptions don’t really mind spending an extra $5 a month to have one service over another. But it’s still surprising to see price be that much of a non-factor.

But even if subscribers rapidly changing services becomes the new normal, the biggest question for streaming services remains the same – how do we get new subscribers and how do we keep the ones we have?  

If studies like this are any indication, the answer is simple – keep the quality content coming. 

This data comes from Deloitte’s Digital Media Trends study, conducted partially in January and partially in May of 2020. 2,103 US consumers took part, and data was weighted to reflect US Census data and to represent the entire population accurately.

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