Streaming services in the United Kingdom, including Disney+, have recently started to suffer from a drop in subscribers as households start to try to cut costs.
According to some new data revealed by research firm, Kantar, over 1.51 million subscriptions to streaming services were cancelled in the UK in the first quarter of 2022. Up from the 1.04 from the previous quarter and the 1.2 million from the same time in 2021.
There are multiple reasons for people cancelling their streaming services, such as the Covid restrictions ending, resulting in more people socialising. During the many national lockdowns, more people have subscribed to multiple streaming services as their primary entertainment choice.
But the biggest reason is the current cost of living crisis, which has seen bills such as energy and food drastically increase in price, resulting in many UK households looking at their outgoings and deciding to cancel some streaming services.
Just 3% of UK households signed up for a new streaming service in the first quarter of 2022, compared to 4.2% in the same period in 2021. It’s now being estimated that 58% of UK households are now subscribed to at least one subscription service. With UK households subscribing to, on average, 2.4 different services at once.
According to the latest data from Kantar, Disney+ has seen its churn rate (how many people unsubscribe) triple in the past quarter go up to 12%. The rate of churn also increased for Britbox, NOW and Discovery+, which have the highest churn rate of streaming services.
The research has shown that people are less likely to unsubscribe from Amazon and Netflix. Though I do personally feel that the other benefits of an Amazon subscription like free shipping will probably have an impact on that decision.
38% of the people asked about why they’ve cancelled a subscription is because they “wanted to save money”.
One of the main reasons people subscribe to streaming services is the content, and the research has shown that the number of consumers who have signed up to watch a specific show or film has risen to 36%, up from 30% a year ago.
In a statement from Kantar:
“With many streaming services having witnessed significant revenue growth during the height of Covid, this moment will be sobering… The evidence from these findings suggests that British households are now proactively looking for ways to save, and the SVOD market is already seeing the effects of this.”
This shows why Disney+ needs to have a constant flow of new shows to keep subscribers engaged. During the first quarter of 2022, Disney+ in the UK did have several new major shows like “The Book Of Boba Fett”, “Pam & Tommy”, “The Walking Dead” and “The Dropout”, plus films like “Nightmare Alley”, “Turning Red” and “West Side Story”.
The continued growth of streaming services was bound to take a knock when “life” started to go back to normal, with people being able to socialise and go on holidays. But the biggest issue facing the UK right now is the cost of living. With energy bills doubling, food prices surging and inflation impacting on the price of everything. People are looking to cut costs and since video-on-demand streaming packages are easy to cancel and not essential, they are often one of the best ways of cutting outgoings.
If you’re looking to cut costs with your Disney+ subscription, there are multiple options.
An annual subscription does work out cheaper per month than a reoccurring subscription, saving around 17% a year. But the best way of keeping your Disney+ costs down, is to subscribe for just a month at a time, and binge-watch the shows you’re interested in once they’ve all been released.
It’s also worth looking around for offers, as currently O2, Tesco and Santander are all offering discounts on a monthly subscription.
Are you looking to cancel some of your subscription services to save money?
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.