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LONDON: Research published in July by US subscriber measurement firm Antenna found that streaming video services are finding it increasingly difficult to retain customers as users switch platforms to save money. money, changing subscription depending on the service. hosts the shows or movies they want to watch at that time.

According to Antenna’s research, 19% of subscribers to premium services, including Netflix, Hulu, AppleTV+, HBO Max and Disney+, canceled three or more subscriptions in the two years to June 2022, compared to 6% in the two previous years.

The study also revealed that streaming services have to allocate huge amounts of resources and capital to produce new shows to satisfy subscribers.

“You constantly need new content,” said Michael Nathanson, analyst for “independent research boutique” MoffettNathanson. “Streaming services not only need to build massive libraries of old shows and movies, but they also need some nice big movies in theaters every quarter to make (consumers) feel truly valuable.”

When a highly anticipated show or movie comes out, streaming video providers see an increase in subscribers. However, many of these new consumers cancel their subscription after a short period of time.

This “watch, cancel and go” trend is problematic for even the biggest companies in the industry, with experts saying that attracting new customers costs five times more than retaining subscribers.

“With new streaming services popping up every day and subscriber churn rising, you need to invest in loyalty and subscriber retention programs to survive and thrive,” said Alp Pekkocak, global head of solutions and of industry strategy, media and entertainment at Salesforce. “It costs five times more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. Yet most businesses spend the majority of their marketing budget trying to acquire new customers.

“The old cliché ‘content is king’ still holds true. No matter how good a personalized recommendation engine or user experience, consumers won’t stick around if they can’t find content that resonates with them,” he added.

Despite the increase in the rate of customer defection, the appetite for streaming platforms remains high. Over the next few years, subscriber numbers are expected to grow, with global TV series and movie revenues expected to reach $224 billion in 2027, from $135 billion in 2021, according to a report by Digital TV Research.

However, as market competition intensifies with more and more players entering an already crowded industry, streaming services will not only face the challenge of winning the hearts of new subscribers, but will have to be smarter about how they retain and deliver value to their existing customers.

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