Capterra: Nearly 40% of SVOD Subs Would Cancel Service If Monthly Price Rises

Consumers’ growing weariness with the number of subscription streaming video services on the market, including ongoing price hikes, is reaching a boiling point.

New data from software recommendation firm Capterra found that 38% of survey respondents said that if one of their current streaming services increased in price, they’d cancel their subscription outright, compared to a smaller percentage that would be willing to shoulder increased costs.

According to the survey of 1,000 online respondents, more than 76% said financial pressures are leading to subscription burnout, a key topic likely to surface during the Jan. 16 Federal Trade Commission hearing regarding online subscription services.

“Understanding why consumers cancel subscriptions and addressing burnout are key for businesses to thrive in today’s market while prioritizing customer needs,” Max Lillard, senior finance analyst at Capterra, said in a statement. “Success hinges on closely monitoring shifting consumer preferences towards more flexible, cost-effective, and personalized subscription models.”

Nearly half of the consumers surveyed expressed willingness to switch to a lower-cost subscription tier should prices increase. Most respondents (80%) say they prefer tiered models that offer flexible pricing as opposed to flat-fee subscriptions, which highlights how offering various plans can help customers stretch their dollar and allow businesses to prevent customer churn in the midst of economic pressures.

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The survey also highlights the impact of subscription fatigue on consumer behavior. An increasing number of users find managing multiple subscriptions cumbersome, with 45% citing this as a reason for cancellations. Furthermore, 47% question the value they receive for their subscription, indicating a gap between consumer expectations and perceived benefits.

The data comes ahead of the FTC holding a virtual hearing on amendments to the current “Negative Option Rule” that enables third-party online services to engage in prenotification plans, continuity programs, automatic renewals and free-to-pay conversions on consumers using services without paying through free trials and promotional offers.

The federal government is proposing online subscription services offer easier access to a so-called “click-to-cancel” option for subscribers.

Deloitte: SVOD Subscriber Turnover Reaches 40%, With 50% of Subs Saying They Pay Too Much

With myriad subscription streaming video services available, turnover among subscribers (churn) remains high as media companies continue to increase monthly fees to help meet the fiscal bottom line, according to a new report from Deloitte.

Deloitte’s 17th annual media trends report found that subscriber churn for paid SVOD services during a six-month period was around 40%. For Gen Z (born 1996 and after) and millennial consumers (born 1981-1996), those numbers jumped to 57% and 62%, respectively. Around half of consumers said they pay too much for the SVOD services they use and about a third intend to reduce their number of entertainment subscriptions.

Millennials spend more than any other generation on paid streaming video services — an average of $54 per month, compared to the overall average of $48 per month. They churn through SVOD services at the highest rates and are more likely to cancel paid gaming services (26%) and paid music services (39%).

To compensate for the SVOD churn, about 60% of households are now using a free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) service, and around 45% say they watch more ad-supported streaming video services than they did a year ago, whether paid or free.

Despite the relatively high SVOD subscriber churn, when asked which entertainment option they’d choose based on time constraints, watching TV shows or movies on SVOD was tops for people with one to four hours of time to spend, but lagged behind listening to music when they only have 15 minutes.

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The data suggests streaming video providers should up their marketing efforts to retain subscribers and deliver more variety and value, said Kevin Westcott, vice chair for Deloitte, U.S. technology, media and telecom leader.

“Streamers are under pressure to reinforce their core offerings, but they should also be leveraging gaming and social media, especially considering the behaviors we are seeing in younger generations,” Westcott said in a statement. “To stay competitive, SVOD providers should seriously consider how to engage broader audiences, play across diverse media properties that add value, and advance their ad platforms to better support advertisers.”

Nielsen: Abundance of Streaming Content Overwhelming Viewers

The average U.S. consumer subscribes to at least four streaming services, according to the Deloitte Digital Media Trends Study. Another report suggests 7% of consumers have six or more SVOD subscriptions.

As SVOD platforms spend big on original and licensing content to differentiate themselves from the competition, consumers have become overwhelmed with programming choices when including linear television.

Data from Nielsen found that consumers have more than 817,000 unique program titles to choose from across traditional TV and streaming services. That’s up 18% from just more than 646,000 titles at the end of 2019.

In an average week, U.S. audiences watch nearly 170 billion minutes of streaming video content on their television. That’s up from more than 143 billion minutes in 2021.

Nielsen’s recent streaming media consumer survey found that while only one in 20 respondents have negative feelings about their streaming experiences — and 93% said they plan to either keep or increase their paid streaming services over the next year — finding the right content has become a challenge.

About 46% of survey respondents said it is harder to find the content they want to watch because there are too many streaming services available. Another 64% of respondents wish there was a bundled video streaming service that would allow them to choose as few or as many video streaming services that they wanted, more like linear TV channels.

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The report concluded that the media industry should help consumers find what they’re looking for and use what they know about their subscribers’ evolving viewing behaviors to keep them engaged.

“The audience will steer the future of the streaming landscape, and the media industry can help consumers in their media journeys by leveraging data to ensure they never get lost along the way,” read the report.

Survey: 66% of Video Streaming Subscribers Canceled a Service in the Past Year

The market saturation of subscription streaming video services is beginning to impact consumer behavior. The combination of subscription price increases and choice of platforms finds that streaming service providers have seen an uptick in “streaming fatigue,” with nearly two out of three people canceling at least one service because of price and nonuse, according to new data from Blu Label Labs.

A survey of 1,005 respondents in North America between the ages of 15 and 67, conducted over the Web between May and August, revealed that the most-canceled streaming service in the past year was Amazon Prime Video at 9.46%, followed by Netflix at 8.55% and Disney+ at 8.33%.

The survey found that most subscribers (37.4%) report canceling because of non-use, while 25.9% canceled because a service was considered too expensive.

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Regarding ads, 51.9% of respondents said they would deal with ads for a lower streaming price point, 18.8% would pay more to remove ads, and 19.4% delete apps with ads.

Rather than use a paid streaming service, 22.4% of respondents report spending more time with YouTube’s free version, 17.5% spend more time on Instagram, and 14.2% use TikTok more frequently.

“Around 10% of people seem to cancel because of the volume of transactions it takes to maintain several streaming subscriptions — while it might still be economical, the perception of ‘having too many’ platforms has influenced some respondents’ choice to cancel at least one service,” read the report.

Streaming Fatigue: Too Many Choices, at Too High a Cost?

Kathryn O’Shea has a problem. The Greenville, S.C., retiree is a recent cord-cutter, transitioning from pay-TV to streaming video consumption. O’Shea, like millions of others who have ditched their cable, satellite or telecom bundles for subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), now faces an avalanche of subscription options — for which the collective price tag, compounded by soaring high-speed internet costs, rivals her former cable bill.

“I don’t even watch that much TV,” she says. “I’m not sure which service to use.”

In addition to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video (O’Shea subscribes to Amazon for shipping), she was talked into signing up for free trials of HBO Max, Paramount+, Peacock and Disney+.

“I liked Wonder Woman and that Denzel Washington movie [The Little Things],” she says. “Disney stuff is usually good.”

Following 2020 launches of Max and Peacock, and Paramount+ and Discovery+ this year, consumer options for SVOD, in addition to a growing market of ad-supported VOD (AVOD) and free ad-supported TV (FAST) services, have skyrocketed. Throw in a pandemic, and 36% of American consumers now stream more now than they did before COVID-19 hit the national consciousness, according to data from Future Today.

“It’s like another virus,” O’Shea says with a laugh.

It’s a Streaming World

With myriad platforms available, there has never been a better time to be a consumer of digital movies and episodic programming, thanks to the proliferation of high-quality films and series, many of them produced expressly for the streamers.

But with studios, media companies and third-party apps offering endless programming across multiple platforms, distribution chaos and service
fatigue are part of the new content bundle.

“There’s not enough time in our lifetime to watch everything that’s available to stream,” Netflix’s Ted Sarandos told an investor group a few years ago. The co-CEO/chief content officer should know. He’s overseeing a $13.6 billion budget this year on original Netflix movies and TV shows. And that record-high budget is prompting other platforms such as HBO Max, Disney+, Peacock and Amazon Prime Video to up the ante as well.

With booming content buffets available across multiple platforms — some marketing early access to theatrical movies and episodic programming — has the rush to supplant the pricey cable bundle just produced a mirror image featuring escalating high-speed internet costs and a-la-carte streaming fees?

A recent survey for tech company The Trade Desk suggests a trend of “subscription fatigue” among the survey’s 2,600 respondents. As the streaming market continues to disrupt linear TV and upend content distribution, consumer weariness about it all is real — and the industry is taking steps to combat it.

As the country continues to adjust to post-pandemic life, a Horowitz Research survey found that streaming now supplants pay-TV household penetration, and consumer time with OTT video is bridging the gap between the time people spend watching broadcast television. Nielsen reported that in May 35% of consumers spent their TV viewing time streaming content or playing video games. That’s up from 20% in 2020 and 14% in 2019.

At the same time, consumers’ streaming options require monthly payments ranging from $4.99 to $17.99. A TiVo study found that respondents between the ages of 18 and 30 use more than 11 different video streaming services monthly, while older respondents (50 and up) use at least three video services. The average consumer, according to the TiVo study, now spends $142.20 monthly on high-speed internet and SVOD — significantly more than the average $100 cable bill.

John Buffone, media analyst with The NPD Group, characterizes rising streaming costs as a rebranding of the traditional pay-TV bill.

“One of the things that we are looking at is the potential for re-bundling down the road,” Buffone said in a media statement. “To date, re-bundling largely benefits viewers by providing a single billing relationship, user interface, and discounts.”

And that’s what fatigues consumers such as O’Shea, who says remembering what platform a favorite show is streaming on — and when she can access it — is a challenge.

“It makes my head hurt,” she says.

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It’s a Numbers Game

Between 2018 and 2021, SVOD subscriptions among pay-TV viewers increased from 50% to 74%, according to Horowitz, which cited the lack of live sports during the pandemic in 2020 as another driving force for cord-cutting. Indeed, more than 33% of pay-TV subs have cut the cord, up from 23% in 2020, according to the study.

With nearly 60% of respondents in the Trade Desk study suggesting they spend too much money on multiple OTT subscriptions, more than 66% say escalating fees are a source of frustration. The report suggests subscription fatigue can also be described as the burnout consumers feel when they are faced with increased choice for original content.

In India, for example, there are about 40 different streaming video platforms, including Disney + Hotstar, which launched last year. Indian consumers make up 33% of the Disney+ global subscriber base of 116 million through the most-recent fiscal period — driven in part by the platform’s exclusive streaming access to professional cricket. The study found that to satisfy a variety of content interests, the average Indian respondent subscribed to a minimum of three services.

Netflix, which has struggled to gain a foothold in world’s second most-populous country, now offers Indian streamers concurrent options: an inexpensive mobile phone plan with limited content in addition to normal tiered options.

“Growth in that country is a marathon,” Sarandos said on a recent fiscal call. “We’re in it for the long haul.”

Too Much?

Over half of the respondents in Deloitte’s 2021 Digital Media Survey said they are re-evaluating multiple streaming subscriptions, and 40% said they wished to terminate at least one subscription. The survey also showed a number of respondents ranking gaming and music streaming ahead of streaming video, as compared with the 2019 survey. Notably, SVOD fatigue coincides with a global slowdown in subscriber growth. Until the third quarter, Netflix achieved only 66% of its recent sub growth estimates, according to the report.

Adriana Waterston, SVP of insights and strategy at Horowitz, contends streamers are feeling overwhelmed, with 50% of survey respondents saying there are too many services, which the analyst contends ultimately results in less content from major media brands available on streaming giants such as Netflix.

The analyst says she believes streaming viewers are struggling to keep connected to their favorite content: 49% of TV content viewers say they find it hard to know what shows are on which streaming services, and 44% say they often have a hard time finding something to watch at all.

Waterston says that in the early days of streaming, media companies were concerned that their network brands no longer mattered in the new ecosystem — especially with so much content from so many networks consolidated under the Netflix umbrella. With the market shift toward separate standalone streaming platforms designed to compete with Netflix, media brands matter once again.

“We are at a very interesting, pivotal moment,” Waterston says.

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Size Matters

In the pay-TV heyday, subscribers often paid for access to as many as 500 linear channels. Now, SVOD platforms are essentially doing the same thing, driven by offering consumers inexpensive monthly pricing to lure subscriptions. Research from Ampere Analysis found that most U.S. survey respondents consider themselves service “super stackers,” with 52% of households now having access to three or more SVOD subscriptions, up from 45% a year ago.

Social media also is driving multiple SVOD subscriptions. TV is a bigger part of the conversation on social media platforms in the United States than in other countries, according to Ampere. Higher levels of competition among domestic streamers have translated into consumers now spending less time watching content on each of the services they have access to, according to the research firm.

“There are some big differences in the way people consume TV,” says senior analyst Annabel Yeomans. “In the U.S., TV is a much more important part of daily life and plays a greater role in social interaction than in other countries.

“In the last six months, we have seen that this not only impacts stacking rates, but also the growing demand for quality original content as streamers battle to engage subscribers and reach new audiences.”

As the SVOD market grows, market share for perennial leader Netflix is declining. In the second quarter of this year (ended June 30), Prime Video saw its market share increase 3% from the previous-year period according to JustWatch, an international streaming guide that tracks more than 20 million users per month across 54 countries. Observers contend Amazon added a greater number of new subs compared to the competition this year due to e-commerce’s importance during the pandemic.

Amazon saw a 16% increase in online sales to $53.1 billion in Q2. While Prime gained memberships, the average member also increased their SVOD subscriptions from 2.6 to 2.8 — considerably less than the national average of 3.8 streaming services. Ampere suggests this means there is less streaming competition for Prime members and indicates that they are getting what they need from fewer services.

Crowded Podium

Netflix topped 214 million subscribers worldwide through Sept. 30, exceeding the company’s — and industry — estimates. Amazon Prime Video boasts 150 million members, while Disney+ is projected to exceed Netflix’s sub count with 284 million subs by 2026, according to Digital TV Research.

The news is a rebound of sorts for Netflix, following a disappointing second quarter in subscriber gains, as the market adds competitors and consumer service stacking possibly undermining the SVOD pioneer’s prowess. While the streamer’s market share dwarfs the competition, ongoing platform saturation could result in Netflix subs trading for a newer model. The most common stacks also include Prime Video and Hulu.

Netflix should be cautious of the situation, say analysts, for as the cost of stacking services adds up, saving money is cited among Netflix subs as a driver for dropping the service, according to Ampere.

Michael Pachter, media analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, says he uses the Roku search engine to find content and save time leapfrogging between platforms. Pachter says he still spends as much on streaming as on his pay-TV bill. The longtime Netflix bear believes that if the streamer keeps getting valuations of $1,500 per subscriber by investors, content owners are going to chase the streaming business model.

“I don’t see an end to the proliferation of services, and expect that their existence will continue to erode content available on conventional broadcast, lowering the appeal of cable and driving even more people to cut the cord,” Pachter says. “It’s a vicious cycle, with no end in sight.”

FAST Relief?

As the cost of stacking multiple streaming subscriptions rises, an antidote is emerging. Ad-supported VOD and free-ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) platforms are gaining viewers who are perfectly willing to sit through ads in return for free content. Free AVOD/FAST platforms include Facebook Watch, Redbox TV, The Roku Channel, Tubi, Pluto TV, Crackle and IMDb TV, among others.

For Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of Fox Corp., ad-supported free streaming distribution is the salve that heals all streaming wounds. Instead of spending billions on original content and attempting to pry a few dollars more a month from consumers, Murdoch eyes migrating original and branded Fox content to the media company’s Tubi platform — free to any viewer.

“We don’t want to compete in the subscription video-on-demand world,” Murdoch told an investor group in March. “We believe we can win in the advertising video-on-demand world … in a much more careful and clever way.”

Data from Hub’s annual “Monetization of Video” study suggests that tiered platforms — where viewers can choose between a paid ad-free option or a less-expensive (or free) ad-supported option — appeal to the largest cross-section of viewers.

In the June 2021 survey of 1,607 U.S. TV viewers ages 16 to 74, respondents were split into two groups. Each group was asked to choose from three hypothetical streaming services with identical content. Group one chose from a paid ad-free subscription, a free-with-ads service, and a paid limited-ads subscription (“fewer ads than you’d see on regular live-TV”). Group two chose from the same options, except the limited-ads service was replaced with a paid service offering two tiers to choose from: ad-free and ad-supported. Almost twice as many consumers chose the service with tiered options (36%) as the service with a limited-ad option only (19%).

The limited ads-only service got a much lower share than either the paid ad-free service or the free-with-ads service. On the other hand, the proportion choosing the tiered service was just as high as the proportion choosing free-with-ads, and higher than the proportion choosing the service with only a single ad-free option.

“It’s true that some TV viewers will do almost anything, including paying a premium, to avoid ads. But there are many who will choose ad-supported TV if it saves money or lets them watch programming, they can’t watch somewhere else,” says Jon Giegengack, one of the study’s authors.

In a separate Future Today report, 50.6% of respondents said they opted for AVOD to end paying for SVOD.

“Despite some pundits’ expectations, we’re seeing AVOD adoption flourish,” Vikrant Mathur, CEO of Future Today, said in a statement. “Our research solidifies that with the right viewing experience, the ad-supported streaming model is ideal for content owners, brands and, most importantly,

In the Hub survey, in a question asked before this summer’s launch of the ad-supported HBO Max option, 40% of Max subscribers said they’d consider switching to an AVOD option. But more than a quarter of those who didn’t subscribe to Max said they’d also consider signing up.

A TiVo report contends 58% of AVOD users don’t mind ads or commercials when watching TV. Another 81% said they would rather use free ad-supported streaming than subscribe to another paid service, while 83% said they wished Netflix or Prime Video offered a free ad-supported option.
“Tiered plans give viewers control of their experience. Whether they watch with ads or not, everyone is getting an experience they chose, and not one chosen for them,” Giegengack says.

The Empire Strikes Back

As scuttlebutt about the number and cost of SVOD platforms grows, media companies are fighting back.

Hulu, HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock are pursuing less-expensive AVOD options, with Paramount+ eyeing an ad-supported option as well. Last November, Netflix France began testing “Direct,” an option enabling users to simply log onto their account and begin streaming pre-selected content — no searching required.

“In France, where traditional TV consumption is very popular, many viewers like the idea of programming that avoids having to choose what they will watch,” Emily Grewal, product manager at Netflix, wrote in a blog post.

With 75% of U.S. households accessing streaming services, the market may be saturated. FAST platforms only require a few clicks to be entertained. To some observers, it’s a throwback of sorts to the broadcast era when viewers turned on the TV with little worry about cost or content.

“In many ways, what’s old is new again,” says Howard Horowitz, president of Horowitz Research. “The managed-services approach of the pay-TV ecosystem, with the ability to search and discover content across all networks in their package, helped consumers mitigate the chaos of a multichannel ecosystem. In the streaming environment, consumers are increasingly demanding universal search features to help them navigate across all their streaming apps for the same reason.”

Streaming Fatigue a Real Thing — Take It From Me!

Streaming fatigue is a real thing, and my gut instinct tells me it’s only going to get worse.

Reviewing the automatic withdrawals from my bank account the other day — which, sadly, I don’t do often enough — I realized that I have been paying monthly for both a discounted (with ads) and a premium (no ads) subscription to Hulu for more than a year.

The trouble is, I don’t remember the last time I watched anything on Hulu – and when I questioned my wife and three sons they said they haven’t watched anything on the service recently, either. It took two weeks to figure out the user names and passwords for my two Hulu accounts, but they’ve both been canceled – after I don’t know how many months of non-use.

Subscription streaming services were smart to adopt the “gym model” – you know, those $10 or $15 per month gym memberships that are so insignificant that you never bothered to cancel them, even long after you’ve stopped going to the gym. Maybe you think, “Well, even if I go one or two times next month, it’s worth it,” regardless of whether you actually go.

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The problem with our similarly priced SVOD services is that, unlike gyms, you’re prone to sign up for multiple services. And once you realize you’re shelling out upwards of $60 or $70 a month you’re invariably going to reach the point where you say to yourself, “Whoa! What the hell am I paying for here?” — particularly if, like most of us, you’re tuned in to Netflix 90% of the time.

Compounding this “too much of a good thing” problem is the fact that with theaters back in business, I am once again spending more time watching fresh theatrical films on Vudu, Redbox on Demand or Blu-ray Disc. And the more new movies I watch, the less time I have for mediocre streaming series like “Manifest” (which despite the buzz is nowhere near the caliber of, say, “House of Cards,” much less “The Sopranos”).

On top of that, I’m truly enjoying the theatrical experience now that I’m able to do so. I even saw The Many Saints of Newark at the local Regal Cinemas theater even though I could have watched it for free on HBO Max (and, in all likelihood, still will — Max is going to be one of the keepers).

What does this all mean? The average monthly streaming bill (counting Internet costs, since you need to connect to watch) now tops the average monthly cable bill by more than 40%, according to a TiVo study. And a Trade Desk survey found that nearly 60% of respondents say they spend too much money on multiple OTT subscriptions, while more than 66% say escalating fees are a source of frustration.

Where will it end? The big streamers will likely double down, adding more and more content. But simply adding content isn’t a solution. It needs to be good content, a lesson Netflix learned, early on, when it shifted away from third-rate movies and began focusing on producing its own shows.

But not every service will succeed, as consumers learn to cherry pick and figure out other ways to watch what they want to see. I had heard great things about the miniseries “Defending Jacob,” but I wasn’t about to subscribe to Apple TV+ just for that show. Ultimately, I watched it on Blu-ray Disc (thanks, Paramount!).


Data: U.S. Q2 SVOD Growth Cools, Except For Amazon Prime Video

With Netflix set to release second-quarter financials July 20, research firm Kantar suggests the fiscal period will be a wake-up call to U.S. subscription streaming video services when it comes to domestic growth.

Citing in-house data, London-based Kantar contends that a pandemic-related home confinement restrictions end, there has been a significant drop in the number of U.S. households taking out a new SVOD subscription in the past three months — down to 3.9% in Q2 2021 from 12.9% Q2 2020.

“This is the smallest growth in new subscribers we have recorded,” Jennifer Chan, consumer insight director at Kantar, wrote in a post.

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Among U.S. streaming platforms, Amazon Prime Video regained the top spot for new subscribers for the first time since Q3 2020. Prime Video gained market penetration, up three points to 58%, and ranked No. 1 in terms of new subscribers.

Kantar said Amazon is gaining subs through owned touchpoints such as offering a free trial and consumers visiting Prime Video is currently among the highest for converted free trials at 31%, beaten only by Apple TV+ at 37%. Both factors indicate that Prime Video is still benefiting from the increase in Amazon Prime subscriptions taken out during lockdown.

Discovery’s branded SVOD platform, Discovery+, moved to No. 2 in terms of new subscribers, in just its second full quarter of operation. In Q2, Discovery+ generated one in 10 new SVOD subscribers according to the report.

The growth, combined with Prime Video, contributed to Netflix installed base declining to two-thirds of all U.S. subscribers — the behemoth’s lowest homeland penetration ever as streamer juggle increased competition. Meanwhile, the proportion of U.S. households who have a video subscription has remained consistent at 74.6%, meaning there are now 95.8 million households with subscriptions, as of June 2021.

Kantar said Disney+ series “WandaVision” was the top-rated title for the second quarter in a row, with Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” No. 2 and “Mare of Easttown” on HBO Max in third place.

Amazon Upping Pressure on Netflix

As well as gaining new subscribers, Prime Video’s average stacking of subscriptions increased from 2.6 to 2.8 year-over-year, compared with the market average of 3.1 to 3.8. This means there is less competition for viewership time and indicates that subscribers are getting what they need from fewer services.

When examining the reasons for satisfaction, the reports suggests Prime Video scores higher than the total market for touchpoints such as ease of use (48% vs 44%), the amount of original content (44% vs 41%) and value for money (44% vs 41%).

Over the past year, despite new entrants to the market such as HBO Max, Discovery+ and NBCUniversal’s Peacock, Amazon’s content acquisition has remained strong. This reflects the caliber of original content such as “The Boys” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Kantar made no mention of Amazon’s $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM Studios.

“As people return to bricks and mortar stores, it will be interesting to see whether Prime Video’s original content can carry them through and prevent subscribers from canceling their Prime subscription,” Chan wrote.

Finally, Netflix’s share of SVOD-enabled U.S. households is at its lowest, down to 67%, from 74% in Q2 2020, and similarly its share of new subs hit 6% this quarter, down from 13% a year ago. Although the market share outranks the competition, the saturation of SVOD services may be resulting in Netflix subs trading the service in for a newer model, according to Kantar.

Whereas Disney+, Hulu and HBO Max take the top spots for content this quarter, Netflix comes in fourth and fifth position with “The Crown” and “Lucifer.”

“This is the first time they have missed out on a top three spot for content enjoyed for at least the past five quarters,” Chan wrote.

Indeed, Netflix went from having the lowest stacked subscriptions of the main services at 2.5 last year to three, meaning that Prime Video now has a lower average. This is another indication of Amazon managing to navigate the new landscape. In addition, the most common stacks for Netflix subs are Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu.

The report found that the cost of SVOD service stacking can quickly add up and Netflix subs cited saving money as the top reason (31%) for canceling service.

Interestingly, Netflix has the highest proportion of subscribers who say that someone else pays (27.4%), compared with Disney+ (26.3%) and Hulu (23.1%), suggesting a lot of account sharing is taking place.

Perhaps media attention around Netflix clamping down on account sharing has cast the streamer in a negative light among some subscribers. This may explain why Netflix received its lowest NPS score over the last five quarters with a score of 37, according to Kantar.

Stacked Subscriptions Continue to Climb

With three-quarters of U.S. households now accessing SVOD services, growth is slowing as subs now seek content rather than standalone gateways to streaming. In addition, with the rise in ad-supported VOD platforms, price sensitive consumers now have more options to drive down subscription costs.

HBO Max is launching an ad-supported option this month. For those stacking multiple subscriptions, $9.99 for HBO’s ad-free version is more attractive to a subscriber already paying $30 to $40 a month for SVOD, than Max’s $14.99 ad-free offer.

“If the content is there and the interface is good, consumers are still satisfied with ad-supported services,” Chan wrote.