In a survey of former Netflix subscribers, just over a third indicated that the recent price hike was a factor in their decision to drop the service.
The takeaway? The number of over-the-top (OTT) subscription video services continues to grow exponentially, meaning that competition is fierce and growing. In this kind of red ocean environment, keeping subscribers happy becomes ever more important.
In its 3Q 2016 US Consumer Insights Survey, SNL Kagan asked previous subscribers of OTT subscription video services why they dropped the service. The responses were diverse and varied significantly by service.
For example, of Netflix subscribers, nearly one-third (31%) reported dropping their subscription because of fewer recent movies in the Netflix video library. Other factors impacting subscriber churn were the ending of a free trial and not enough new TV content.
For Amazon Prime Instant Video, pricing and the lack of new movie titles were major reasons leading to subscriber churn. However, 34% indicated that they did not continue their subscription following the end of their free trial period. The inability to retain subscribers after a free trial has ended was also an issue for Hulu (32%), as was the lack of original programming (14%).
This all comes more into focus given the increasing number of offerings from traditional pay-TV providers that are launching their own OTT skinny bundles: These include SlingTV from DISH and DirecTV Now.
SNL Kagan’s figures are also interesting when one considers that the number of US consumers who plan to carry a pay-TV subscription actually increased this year, making fears of widespread cord-cutting seem outsized.
In PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Videoquake 4.0: Binge, Stream, Repeat – How Video is Changing Forever report, the firm found that 84% now plan to take a subscription, vs. 70% in 2015. The number is still down from the 91% in 2014 that said they would take a subscription, but nonetheless, the tide seems to be turning, indicating that many consumers see OTT services as additional rather than replacement services for cable or satellite.