Password-sharing crackdown backfires: Survey shows Netflix subscribers ready to jump ship

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A recent survey by Bitcentral’s ViewNexa has shed light on a growing discontent among subscribers of major streaming platforms, creating a potential runway for new contenders in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming market.

The survey notes that nearly half (46%) of viewers feel underserved by the content provided, with a significant portion (19%) confident they could find better value elsewhere.

The study, released on September 27, titled ‘How to follow the audience: the challenges and opportunities in today’s streaming market,’ elucidates an emergent opportunity for new content services to create tailored DTC apps addressing the gaps left by major streaming services.

A notable finding of the report is the untapped potential to monetize older viewer segments through advertising.

Less than half of older viewers feel satisfied with their paid video subscriptions, signifying an opportunity to enhance revenue through ad-based models. Interestingly, Baby Boomers showed a higher tolerance for advertising, with 44% willing to endure three ad breaks an hour compared to 32% of millennials.

One of the major gripes from subscribers stems from the recent crackdown on password-sharing, particularly by Netflix. This move has not resonated well, driving two-thirds (65%) of Netflix subscribers to consider alternative platforms. The dissatisfaction is notably higher among millennials (aged 27-42), a third of whom expressed a strong likelihood to switch providers.

When quizzed on what could entice them to try a new streaming service, a whopping 76% of respondents pointed to relevant content.

Additionally, the prospect of free, ad-based streaming options like Pluto, Tubi, or Amazon Freevee appealed to three-quarters (75%) of the surveyed individuals.

Greg Morrow, GM Streaming Media Group at Bitcentral, emphasized that despite a seemingly saturated market, there’s abundant opportunity for new entrants offering high-quality content in the DTC streaming arena. Morrow noted the potential to significantly ramp up the average revenue per user (ARPU) by catering to the nuanced preferences among different viewer segments.

The shifting attitudes among streaming subscribers underscore a critical juncture in the digital broadcast realm. The apparent willingness for a sizable portion of viewers to explore new platforms presents a ripe opportunity for emerging DTC apps to make a mark by delivering curated content at competitive price points.

The survey interviews were conducted online by Sapio Research in August 2023 using an email invitation and an online survey. The research was conducted among 1,000 adult consumers who subscribe to major streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Apple TV+.