Serial Churners: Hurting Or Helping Premium Streamers?

Streaming consumers who regularly cancel their premium streaming platforms -- and then sign up again -- keep rising, according to Antenna.

For the 2023 year-to-date, the research analytics company for subscription businesses said that of all “new” sign-ups for any of ten top streaming platforms, 33% come from “serial churn” customers. 

This refers to repeated users who cancel a premium service three or more times in the previous two years -- up from 29% in 2022, 23% in 2021, and 15% in 2020.

Data for premium streamers includes Apple TV+, Discovery+, Disney+, Netflix, Max (formerly HBO Max), Hulu, Paramount+, Peacock, Showtime, and Starz. 

Antenna says it excludes streaming sign-ups of free tiers, as well as streaming apps distributed by cable, satellite, or telco distributors.



It says these serial churners are essentially those who "switch" services -- canceling one then subscribing to another -- or those who cancel one service and then sign up again to the same service later on. 

This also includes those who move among different plans of the same service -- across ad-supported and ad-free tiers, or from stand-alone to bundled tiers.

Antenna also says the length of time consumers stay with a premium streamer  -- in terms of months ---  keeps dropping. 

For example, customers who subscribed to a premium streamer between the first quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 had a 12-month survival rate of 45%, which dropped to 36% the second time they came back to that service and 26% for the third time they returned to that service.

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