Netflix Prices, Loss of Content Contributing to Subscriber Decline

A majority of those exiting the streaming service are longtime members.
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WASHINGTON—Netflix and some of its longtime subscribers are coming to a parting of the ways as the streaming service has seen some big changes this year in regards to price and the content it offers.

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A report from the Kill the Cable Bill blog, which partnered with a third-party data analytics firm to complete its survey, details how 2019 has been a challenging year for the streaming giant, which has seen slowing subscriber growth and isn’t retaining its U.S. customers at its usual rate.

Of those surveyed that had recently canceled Netflix, 63% had been Netflix subscribers for more than a year. The next closest were subscribers that had been signed up for 7-12 months (14%). Those who had been signed up for six months or less were under 10% each, including those who had signed up for a one-month free trial (7%). And of those who canceled, 25% said they do not plan to subscribe to Netflix again; 58% were unsure and 17% said they would.

The two most cited reasons for canceling Netflix among respondents were price increases and a lack of interesting content. Netflix issued a price increase to its services in May, raising its standard offering from $10.99 to $12.99 and its premium plan, which offers 4K streaming, from $13.99 to $15.99. Nearly half (49.4%) cited these prices increases as the key factor in their decision to cancel.

Lack of interesting content was second at 42%. Some of this may stem from Netflix losing the rights to popular content like “Friends,” “The Office” and many Disney properties as new streaming services from WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal and Disney have or prepare to enter the market. In fact, other streaming services was the third most popular response for leaving at 40%.

Disney+ and Apple TV+ are the two latest streaming services to enter the market and both with a lower price than Netflix—$6.99 and $4.99, respectively. Reports on the first few days of Disney+ put the new streamer at more than 10 million subscribers.

Kill the Cable Bill points out the Netflix’s international subscriber growth is still strong, helping to bring its total subscriber count to 158 million across 190 countries.

“[Netflix] cannot afford to ignore the increased domestic churn it’s facing domestically as more competitors with appealing, lower-priced offerings attempt to win over customers in the coming quarters,” the blog reads.

However, despite the numbers from Kill the Cable Bill’s report, multiple outlets have reported that Netflix is not being increasingly impacted by the launch of Disney+ in terms of its subscriber loss or stock value.