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More long-term subscribers ditching Netflix, survey suggests

Netflix’s current woes have been highlighted by recently published data that suggests an increasing number of its long-term subscribers are ditching the streaming service.

The results of a survey conducted by data analytics firm Antenna and reported on by The Information show that 13% of cancellations in the first quarter of this year were linked to Netflix subscribers who’ve been with the service for at least three years, compared to 10% in the same period a year ago, and 5% in the same period two years earlier.

Antenna, which arrives at its figures after studying data from a group of five million Americans who anonymously share their streaming subscriptions, also said its survey revealed that new subscribers accounted for 60% of cancellations in the first quarter of 2022, down 4% over the previous three-month period, suggesting it’s making some headway in its bid to retain new customers.

The survey follows an update from Netflix last month in which it revealed that 200,000 subscribers globally had ditched the streaming service in the first quarter of this year, though it expects the figure to leap to two million in the current quarter.

Customers could be hitting the “cancel” button for a number of reasons, but a decision to rein in spending in the face of rising households bills caused by soaring inflation is likely to be a major factor. Such cutbacks will in some cases involve customers ditching several streaming services in favor of just one or two, and with rivals such as Disney+, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and Hulu, among others, the competition is tight.

Brendan Brady, Antenna’s media and entertainment lead, pointed out that some of those rival streamers have been pulling their own content off Netflix and putting it on their own services, forcing Netflix to “rely more on its originals, which have been hit or miss.”

In a bid to attract new customers and retain existing ones, Netflix is planning to launch an ad-supported tier with a lower monthly subscription fee, probably before the end of this year. In another effort to make its service more attractive, it’s also considering adding a livestreaming element to its service featuring various unscripted shows and stand-up specials.

To find out what’s available to watch on the myriad of video streaming services right now, check out Digital Trends’ handy guide.

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Trevor Mogg
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