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Home » The Writers’ Strike and Subscriber Inertia Versus Churn

The Writers’ Strike and Subscriber Inertia Versus Churn

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Stephanie Prange

The writers’ strike, pundits say, is likely to last for a while, cutting the flow of new content. The strike comes just as studios were already cutting back on streaming content and raising prices for subscribers.

Will consumers surrender to the inertia of monthly subscriptions despite these headwinds, or will they unsubscribe?

Recent studies have shown churn (canceling subscriptions once subscribers have watched what they want) was high even before the strike. Deloitte’s recent 17th annual media trends report found that subscriber churn for paid SVOD services during a six-month period was around 40%. For Gen Z and millennial consumers, those numbers jumped to 57% and 62%, respectively. Around half of consumers said they pay too much for the SVOD services they use, and about a third said they intended to reduce their number of entertainment subscriptions. A recent survey from also found nearly 40% of streaming VOD subscribers canceled a service in the past six months. Of the respondents who canceled, 44% cited the need to cut back on monthly expenses, while another 37% cited lack of use.

Indeed, content is key. In a January 2023 Hub Intel study, 41% of respondents said in the past year they had signed up for a new streaming service just to watch one show (up from 35% in 2021). Hub also found the most common reason that people drop a streaming platform is that they “ran out of things to watch.”

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