The good news is that fresh data from Kantar suggests that overall SVOD churn stayed flat or decreased during the second quarter.
But the bad news is that for one subscription streaming service, churn rate stayed in the double-digit percentage point range: Peacock’s SVOD service logged a 13% rate of customer churn, down from 15% in the first quarter but still high enough to lead among all major U.S. SVODs.
At the low end of Kantar’s research is Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, which both remained flat quarter over quarter with 4% churn rates. They are followed by Hulu and HBO Max, which both lowered their rates from 7% to 5%; Disney+, which lowered its rate from 11% to 6%; and Apple TV+, which lowered its rate from 15% to 9%. Overall churn rate for the top U.S. SVODs fell from 8% in the first quarter to 6% in the second.
“While saving money is still the top reason for cancelling a subscription, it showed a decline YoY with an increase during the same time in intention to cancel to make a switch to another provider, suggesting that viewers are jumping from platform to platform to access the content they want,” wrote Kantar. “In fact, 23% said that wanting a specific film or TV program was the reason for cancelling in Q2.”
At an overall rate of 6%, customer churn rates seem to have drastically improved from last year, when other analyst firms estimated highly elevated churn rates after the initial streaming surge brought on by the pandemic. According to Interpret, churn rates reached 20% in the back half of 2020.
“Subscriber churn was a concern for many video service providers prior to the pandemic, particularly for pay TV. The interruption in content, household income, and viewing behavior, along with heightened competition, has led to changes in how consumers value and evaluate video offerings,” said Brett Sappington, vice president of research at Interpret, in a statement. “Users now realize that they can’t get all of their preferred content in one place. The industry is essentially training consumers to be churn tolerant. So, the question for the future is less about how to stop churn, and more about how to make churn work in your favor.”