Implementing its first North American price increase in 15 months back in January, Netflix saw its churn approach levels not seen since the third quarter of 2020, when a far-right-led controversy surrounding French kids movie Cuties caused a sudden spike in customer defections.
As data published by research company Antenna reveals, Netflix churn reached 3.3% in the first quarter, and remained on a trajectory entering the second quarter to match -- or exceed -- the peak level of 3.6% it reached during the pearl-clutching moments of Cuties manufactured hysteria back in August-September 2020.
As Antenna's latest subscription streaming report also shows, Netflix signed up 2.8 million subscribers in the first three months of 2022, exceeding 2.4 million signups in Q1 2021.
However, heavy cancellations of 3.6 million represented a 44% uptick over the 2.5 million lost souls in Q1 2021.
Antenna's report justifies Netflix's decision to launch an ad-supported tier. Across all platforms, only 19% of signups for "premium" subscription video services were for tiers partially supported by advertising. Through Q1 of this year, however, the figure is 35%.
Also notable: Paramount Plus, Peacock and Disney Plus combined to capture 51% of all premium video-service signups in the first quarter, according to Antenna, which also found these services popular landing spots for streaming consumers who had ditched Netflix.
This suggests that perhaps media companies' collective decisionmaking to pull back their content from Netflix is starting to have an impact.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!
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