The ‘churn rate’ of streaming platforms

Since at the end of 2019 the appearance of Disney Plus or Apple TV + enlarged the competition over Netflix the ‘streaming wars’ have been actively talked about. That fierce competition to fight each subscriber, in a context in which the user increasingly faces the fatigue of services that work with recurring payment.

All this has caused an outbreak of premieres and series, something that the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased. As a result, today streaming platforms have become the spearheads from various studios who have seen how the rooms remained closed or very touched. And of course, they have launched themselves with everything to compete in this new increasingly important window.

The premieres of Mulán, Soul, or in a few months of Black Widow on Disney Plus (even with extra payment) or of all Waner tapes in the United States direct to HBO Max not only respond to the need to find where to distribute before the uncertainty of movie theaters. It is about making a bet, although surely at a loss, of each study to position its subscription platform (SVOD) taking advantage of the current confluence.

However, this maelstrom of the Streaming Wars has also brought another side of the competition, and it seems that every time users change or pick more services. In other words, welcome to the Churn Wars.

Subscription zapping: The ‘churn rate’ of streaming platforms

The analysis firm Antenna Data has recently published the first big estimates on the ‘churn rate’ of the main streaming platforms in the United States.

The ‘churn’ could be translated as a ‘churn rate’ of service in a given period. What percentage of subscribers unsubscribe from the service after trying it for a few months.

The following graph shows the evolution from the beginning of the so-called ‘streaming wars’ to the end of last year. The graph allows us to draw various conclusions or interpretations about how the platforms They are winning or losing users according to their offer.

Antenna, Matthew Ball: The ‘churn rate’ of streaming platforms in general they went from 5.2% to 6.4% during this period.In the case of HBO, the end of Game of Thrones in the summer of 2019 caused a very important increase in casualties.Disney saw the opposite effect with the case of the second season premiere of The Mandalorian, which contained the rate.Netflix is ​​the champion, with a drop-out rate lower than the rest. Of course, the controversy about Cuties, in which it was said that it sexualized a group of girls, started a campaign that caused its abandonment rate to increase momentarily.Apple TV + It is the service with the least down payment, probably due to its limited catalog. The truth is that it is very clear how its increase caused the Cupertino firm to extend the free trial period of its platform twice.

Movie premieres, the latest artillery

In this context, Disney Plus has been the service that has opted the most for bringing the big blockbusters from Disney to streaming, either due to the COVID situation or due to the increase in its users, who have already surpassed 100 million in a dazzling way.

Here you can see how their premieres (under extra payment or subscription) have caused a greater number of registrations in their service. Soul, like Hamilton did a few months before, along with series like The Mandalorian or Wandavision, seem to leave no room for doubt.

But this is not something exclusive to Disney Plus, of course. Although HBO Max’s commitment to release all the new Warner films of 2021 in parallel on its service and in theaters will not leave the United States, the case of Zack Snyder’s Justice League it does let us see this trend as well.

According to Antenna data again, Zack Snyder’s Justice League has increased HBO Max subscriptions by 2.3 times (March 18-21) compared to the previous four periods of Thursday through Sunday. On Snyder’s movie opening weekend (March 19-21), HBO Max got more records than usual, but less than Wonder Woman 1984.

Only time will tell us if this rate of premieres is maintained, not only once the coronavirus has been overcome, but because of the enormous investment they require. Platforms seem to have a long way to go to truly retain their audience, and prevent it from becoming a kind of subscription zapping.