Surveys show that online video subscriptions are liable to churn as customers look for value from their monthly bills. Almost 30 million subscribers to online video services in the United States, about a quarter of the total, have cancelled three or more services over the last two years, according to Antenna, a subscription research firm, as reported by the New York Times.

These serial churners hopscotch from one service to the next. A third of them resubscribe to a previously cancelled service within six months. They account for about 40% of all new subscriptions and cancellations, said Jonathan Carson, the chief executive of Antenna.

In the first quarter of 2024, Antenna estimates that there were 45.5 million gross additions to online video subscriptions in the United States. There were 41.3 million cancellations. That produced a net growth of 4.1 million subscriptions, which was the lowest quarterly growth in a year.

According to Antenna, 19% of gross additions were for Paramount+, followed by 18% for Peacock, boosted by live sports, while Netflix accounted for 14%.

The Antenna data is sourced from customer transaction records and banking data, which are used to model trends for the population.

The recent Digital Media Trends report from Deloitte found that households in the United States subscribing to online video services spent an average of $61 per month on four SVOD services. 36% of 3,500 Americans surveyed believed that the programming on online video subscription services was not worth the money.

Deloitte reported that the overall percentage of respondents who have cancelled any paid online video subscription service in the past six months has softened a bit, to 40% from 44% last year, although churn remains considerably higher at around 53% for younger generations, who also subscribe to and pay for more services.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom a YouGov survey of 2,000 adults found that 31% have cancelled or removed at least one online video service in the last 12 months, while 39% say they are likely to cancel at least one service in the next 12 months. Although not all of these will end up cancelling, that is 8 percentage points above the number of cancellations the previous year.

The subscription squeeze is led mainly by low usage and cost concerns. A separate YouGov survey found that 36% of respondents said that online video subscriptions would be one of the first cutbacks they would make in the face of budget squeezes.

One of the top reasons people gave for potentially cancelling a service is that they were simply not using it enough, cited by 40%.

Leading global services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ were less likely to be cancelled than national services like NOW and BritBox.