February 25, 2024

US Streaming Services Lose Subscribers Amid Increased Costs

The number of Americans canceling their streaming subscriptions has increased significantly according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ report showed that in November 2023, 6.3% of premium service subscribers abandoned their streaming plans. The number is a 5.1% increase compared to the previous year according to Antenna.

As of November 2023, nearly 25% of those subscribed to leading streaming services canceled at least three of them over the past two years. This number is a notable increase from below 10% in January 2021.

Users Cancel Streaming Plans Amid Increased Costs

If a user makes subscriptions to multiple platforms, the payable amount can increase significantly. For instance, if a user subscribes to Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, Paramount+, and Max, the lowest cumulative monthly subscription is $40 per month.

However, if the same user decides to go with the premium plans for all five streaming services, the total cost will be $150 per month.

However, leading streaming services like Netflix and Hulu appear to not feel the dent of these leaving users. According to WSJ, 50% of those who unsubscribe from the two platforms return within two years.

Streaming Services Hike Subscription Costs

As more streaming services enter the market, streaming companies have raised subscription prices by as high as 43% over the past year. The increased price seeks to improve profitability for the companies. However, at the same time, it has also affected customer budgets.

Some users do not need to subscribe to multiple services at the same time. Because of the increased costs, customers are choosing to have one or two streaming services, affecting the ability of some to hold on to their customers.

Before the recent hike in streaming costs, US TV consumers viewed subscribing to multiple streaming platforms as more cost-effective than cable TV. Cutting access completely to cable TV might be as cost-effective as it once was given the rising costs of maintaining streaming subscriptions.

The cost of cable TV varies depending on the state. The average cable TV service cost is around $83 per month. This cost is now lower if compare to maintaining multiple streaming service subscriptions.

Some streaming companies have also increased their streaming charges by huge percentages. For instance, Apple TV+, which is among the leading streaming providers in the US, increased the price of its ad-free subscription tier by 43% from $6.99 to $9.99.

Another service that also hiked its costs is Disney+ which increased costs by around 27% from $10.99 to $13.99. Foreign-owned subscription platforms have also been increasing costs. For instance, Britbox, which is a hub for UK TV shows, increased its price by $1, which saw its ad-free subscription plan cost $8.99.

Streaming giant Netflix has also increased the subscription cost for its ad-free plan. This plan now costs $15.49 per month. Netflix has also raised the cost of its premium ad-free plan where users are allowed to add two additional members from different households. This plan costs $22.99 per month, up from $19.99.

Efforts To Retain Users

Streaming service providers have been making changes to their plans to attract more users. Some tactics employed by these companies include seeking new ways to attract users and attract those who have left such platforms.

Disney+ Hulu, Netflix, Max, Paramount+, and Peacock reduce prices by selling ad-free subscriptions. Peacock and Paramount have the cheapest plans currently priced at $5.99 exclusive of tax.


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