February 16, 2021
New data from Brightback reveals that 86% of respondents say they anticipate maintaining or even increasing their number of subscriptions over the course of 2021. The data, based respondents to an online survey found that 98% now subscribe to streaming media (75% subscribe to two or more services, foreshadowing a greater propensity for hoppers to jump from service to service).
Up to 40% subscribe to online news, food, fitness, or curated box services; another 36% have subscribed to services since the onset of the pandemic that they would not have otherwise.
As retention remains the industry focus, the Brightback report points to unexpected impact of SVOD cancellations, suggesting ease of cancellation influences a company’s re-engagement, brand perception, and more. According to respondents, more than 80% of consumers would be more likely to try or buy a new subscription if they could pause or cancel that service online. This data suggests subscription services should pivot to not only simplify their cancellation processes, but to tout this for potential new customer acquisitions.
Netflix is considered to have the best cancellation experience: 23% of respondents ranked Netflix in the top spot for this category, more than two-times better than runner-up Amazon at 10%. Additionally, the recent Netflix subscriber milestone of 203 million underscores the link between company growth and ease of cancellation.
“Leading tech companies and subscription services understand that sheltered-in-place consumers want user experiences that make it easy to try, buy, use and cancel online,” Brightback CEO Guy Marion said in a statement. “As more companies invest in digitizing their subscription experiences, they are using best practices to let customers quit online, with a concerted focus on retaining over acquiring customers.”
In the survey, 32% of respondents said that they had changed their minds about cancellation after being offered an incentive; and that they had done so within just the past 12 months. This finding should be encouraging for subscription businesses concerned about churn — at least a third of their cancellations can be prevented with well-timed, relevant offers.
The survey also shows the pandemic-driven growth of the SVOD services industry is here to stay. More than 60% anticipate having the same number of subscriptions 12 months from now. Another 25% anticipate acquiring even more subscriptions within the following 12 months. Only 14% of respondents anticipate having fewer subscription services by the end of 2021.