It should come as no surprise that cost is the main reason given for why someone will likely cancel a streaming service subscription — but what might be surprising is what those consumers feel is actually a fair price for Netflix, Disney+ and more platforms.
According to Fandom’s second annual State of Streaming report, which was released on Tuesday by the mega-fan platform, 61% of those surveyed believe their streaming subs are too expensive and value the average streamer at $7.46 monthly.
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Here are the “average prices” consumers want to pay for top SVODs, per the Fandom study, in descending order: Netflix ($10.60), HBO Max ($9.30), Disney+ ($9.20), Hulu ($8.60), Amazon Prime Video ($8.60), Apple TV+ ($6.9), Paramount+ ($6.8) and Peacock ($5.5).
The same report also revealed that 62% of surveyed consumers think “genre is the key differentiator” between streaming platforms, “with Disney+ being acknowledged as the genre-leader to date.”
“I always look at originals and the way that they market originals is really the key to not only capturing audience, but keeping audience,” Anthony Iaffaldano, Fandom’s vice president of sales marketing and insights, told Variety. “And it turns out that’ll get you in the door and get you a credit card down. But once in the platforms, a lot of subscribers really feel that they don’t know what’s coming. They feel overwhelmed. They don’t feel that the platforms do a great job of telling them.”
He continued: “While you’ll always know when the core property for you has something new coming out, because you’ll hear about it in the market, when someone watches the show that they subscribed for, their next move is to figure out if there is other stuff like it. And they look at what the category is. Forget the title, just like, hey, I love superhero content, I love fantasy content. And if they think they’ve seen everything, and if they’re not getting recommendations that are helpful, that’s when they’ll cancel. And genre is the number one thing that’ll keep people locked in there. And I found that to be pretty, pretty surprising.”
Fandom’s 2022 State of Streaming study focused on three “rules of retention”: Streaming services must lean into genre strengths and value-adds to retain customers; studios must rethink the in-theater experience to differentiate from growing at-home viewing trends; and both streaming services and theaters must super-serve consumers beyond the screen to drive loyalty and favorability.
“When I started, it was all about acquisition. Everyone who came to us was trying really hard to beat the other players to the market to get a large subscription base. And now it’s really changed,” Fandom CMO Stephanie Fried said. “I think their strategies are shifting to, maybe we need to stand for something, maybe we need consumers to think of us to not just provide shows, but to solve this specific problem for them of a genre that they need. It’s something the streamers lost a little bit in their development. You forgot you have to bring people in the funnel with brand and everyone focused on performance. All of a sudden, they’re like, ‘Oh, maybe this matters.’ This study is confirming that.”
See below for more takeaways from the global study and analysis, which was compiled using Fandom’s “Fan DNA” data from more than 300 million unique monthly visitors, as well as survey of 5,500 global Fandom users:
73% of fans would justify the cost of a streaming service if it provides exclusive access to entertainment offerings like exclusives and behind-the-scenes content as well as merchandise and collectibles
32% of fans would find added value in bundles with gaming subscriptions
19% of consumers don’t have a strong allegiance to streaming service as viewer behavior is driven by content, not provider loyalty
45% claim that streaming services who establish partnerships — like offering packages with food delivery services — would enhance their viewing experience and drive loyalty
46% look for community and culture around their entertainment interests
Franchises that foster always-on fan exploration outside of releases live at the top of Fandom’s rankings – #1 Star Wars, #2 Disney, #3 Harry Potter, #4 Marvel
Disney’s massive franchises with critical fandoms will make them a standout leader in the streaming space — and consumers believe Disney+ has a +30% higher value than an average video streaming service
80% of Fandom users have returned to theaters or are comfortable with in-theater viewing, but but 74% of consumers are willing to wait to see the movie as part of one of their subscription plans as long as it’s free
When consumers prefer to see movies in a theater it is because of: 61% – screen size, 54% – sound quality, 51% – event/outing
When consumers prefer to watch movies at home it is because of: 82% – ability to pause while watching, 65% – owning movies they can rewatch, 61% – watch with subtitles
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