Over the past few years, we’ve seen the streaming wars ramping up in an effort to get as many subscribers as possible, but getting new subscribers is only half the battle, as keeping those subscribers is much harder to do.

With yearly price rises, reduced originals and fewer catalogue titles being added, it’s making people take a look at how many different streaming services they have, especially with the cost of living crisis causing price rises in fuel, energy, food and everything else.

Many streaming services have been trying to reduce the number of people leaving, in addition to recruiting new and returning customers.  One method is the introduction of ad-supported tiers, which provide the studios with an additional revenue source, while offering a cheaper alternative that can add up.  If you have three or more streaming services, taking an ad-supported tier could result in a considerable saving.

In November, nearly 60% of new Disney+ signups opted for the ad-supported tier, though the Black Friday offer is likely to have helped increase those numbers.   

Disney has also been looking at making deals with telephone, cable, and internet providers to include ad-supported versions of its streaming services.  They are also looking to bundle platforms together to save customers money and keep subscribers engaged.  Another option many streaming platforms have been using, includes offering different tiered versions, to allow more flexibility depending on how many viewers can watch at once or not including 4K as standard.

One of the problems Disney+ has faced in the United States, is that its offering of general entertainment has been lacking due to the existence of Hulu, which has traditionally been the home for Disney’s more grown-up content, made by its studios like FX and 20th Century Studios.  Retention is a major reason why the Disney Streaming Bundle was launched, and most recently, Hulu On Disney+ was launched in beta mode, before its full rollout in March.  Offering a variety of content is enabling more subscribers to keep their subscriptions.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal revealed that more Americans than ever are starting to unsubscribe from streaming platforms like Apple TV+, Discovery+, Disney+, Hulu, Max, Netflix, Paramount+, Peacock and Starz, with one-quarter of US subscribers looking to cancel at least three different platforms.

This number has increased from two years ago, which saw 15% of people looking to cut subscription services.  However, during the pandemic era, people were subscribed to more platforms since we generally spent more time at home, and also, the price of the subscriptions was much lower.

Many US households have been watching more FAST (Free Ad Supported Television) like Tubi and Pluto as an alternative to subscribing to paid platforms.

With the increase in ad-supported offerings and price rises, many viewers question how streaming has become as expensive as cable television.  Though it’s important to remember, you don’t need to subscribe to every platform; you have the choice if you want to pay for the ad-supported or more expensive ad-free experience, and there are no long-term contracts in place. 

The data also indicates that 39% of people who unsubscribe from a streaming platform like Disney+ or Hulu, usually sign back up within eleven months of leaving.  Though returning offers and discounts are likely helping with that number, since returning customers are often eligible to take advantage of deals.

While the price of the ad-free plans isn’t likely to be reduced any time soon, we are seeing many of the studios, including Disney, looking at ways to encourage subscribers to stay, but it’s also likely we will see many of the smaller streaming platforms and cable companies shut down, as it becomes clearer that people are only willing to stay subscribed to a handful of apps at once. 

Have you cut back on how many streaming services you have?  Let us know on social media!

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Roger Palmer

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. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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