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Young people cut back on video streaming services

More households in Britain are cancelling video streaming subscriptions due to the rising cost of living, new research suggests.

A total of 1.66 million services were canned in the second quarter of 2022, market research firm Kantar said.

Under-24s were the most likely age group to cancel, the data showed.

More than a third of cancellations were attributed to cutting costs, with people budgeting for higher prices and energy bills.

Younger audiences are turning back to services such as Tik Tok, BBC iPlayer, Channel 4’s All 4 and ITV Hub, Kantar’s data suggested.

Some 35% of people surveyed said they took out a new subscription in the quarter to watch a specific series or film, up from 28% a year ago.

“It is increasingly less about taking out Netflix or Prime Video as an overall entertainment solution and more about wanting to watch Stranger Things or Reacher,” said Dominic Sunnebo, global insight director at Kantar.

“This puts significant pressure on these services to ensure they are able to quickly entice them to stay subscribing,” he added.

About 56% of homes in England, Scotland and Wales now have at least one paid streaming service, Kantar said.

The latest cancellation rates are up on the first three months of the year, when 1.51 million subscriptions were ended, it said.

Mr Sunnebo said there are “definite signs” that consumers are making more short-term and content-driven decisions over subscriptions.

Amazon Prime showed the largest share of new subscriptions, attracting 25.9 per cent which Kantar said was due to its free trial period and free delivery option.

Kantar also said people surveyed had said they were more satisfied with Disney+ than Netflix because of the quality of its shows.

Cancelling subscriptions to switch to another service was also slightly down year on year, according to the research.

Some 12% of new subscribers in the latest quarter cancelled one service but and took out an alternative, compared to 14% in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Netflix teamed up with Microsoft last week to offer a cheaper subscription plan to customers that will show adverts.

The streaming giant said its service will be an “addition” to its existing plans, which do not include adverts but has not yet revealed how much it plans to charge subscribers for the new service.

Netflix announced the move after it reported its first subscriber loss in more than a decade and cut hundreds of jobs earlier this year. Netflix said it expected to have lost two million subscribers in the three months from April to June. BBC

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