With the cost of living crisis worsening and pandemic restrictions easing, there has been a drastic increase in the number of people unsubscribing to streaming services, which is known as “Churn”.
According to some new research from UK media consultancy Omdia, they have found that 45% more streaming services were cancelled in the UK in the past 12 months. However, resubscriptions rose by a colossal 84%. It shows that UK viewers have gotten used to ditching a streaming service, once a series they wanted to watch has finished or have just begun rotating through the different platforms.
With more streaming services available in the UK than ever before, such as Peacock and Discovery+, it has led to 20% more consumers cancelling their subscription services than in the previous year.
According to the research, the number of people subscribing to streaming services in the UK grew by 11% last year, with four out of five households, now subscribed to at least one service.
Disney+ has been the most successful in growing its subscribers in the UK, reaching 7.5 million subscribers, which is up 21% from the previous year. No doubt the inclusion of significant Marvel and Star Wars shows has been a major part of that increase, but also in the UK, Disney+ has been releasing more content aimed at the general audience, including “Dopesick”, “The Walking Dead”, “The Dropout”, “The Kardashians”, “Pam & Tommy” plus much more. All of which helps reduce the churn rate, as new content is being released weekly, keeping subscribers engaged.
Netflix has the most UK subscribers, pulling in 15.5 million households, with Amazon Prime Video following behind at 10 million (though many Amazon subscribers just use it for the free shipping).
Omdia Senior Director Maria Rua Aguete has said that people in the UK are still spending more on streaming services despite the cost-of-living crisis.
“In terms of dealing with rising costs, consumers prefer to cut other expenses than their own entertainment at home. In fact, as the survey reveals, cuts in other spending has allowed them to subscribe to extra services.”
The research also indicates that Netflix will remain the world’s most-subscribed-to SVoD in five years, at an estimated 260 million global subscribers. However, their estimates suggest that Disney+ will hit 240 million subscribers globally by 2026, making it the second-biggest streaming service globally.
It’s not a huge surprise to see this research shows more people are unsubscribing to streaming services. Especially as there are so many options available, some households will continuously have some streaming services, depending on their viewing habits, but subscribing to a single original show and then unsubscribing makes sense.
The addition of ad-supported tiers in the future, will also help reduce the general price for the lowest tier, which might help reduce the overall churn rate. Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek has mentioned how the churn rate in Europe has been drastically reduced since the introduction of general entertainment content in early 2021, which is why US subscribers have recently seen more general entertainment content being released, though not at the same rate as across Europe.
Netflix has a long-standing relationship with audiences, but it has had some issues lately. Will this change people’s opinions on Disney+ in the long run?
What do you think of Disney+ failing to topple Netflix as the world’s number one streaming service?
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.