The days of cord-cutters treating Netflix as an essential utility may be winding down, with a recent survey showing that more and more long-term Netflix users are turning their backs on the streaming video giant.
The survey, which was conducted by research firm Antenna and provided to The Information (by way of 9to5Mac), says that roughly 3.6 million Netflix users canceled their subscriptions in the first quarter of 2022, and 13 percent of them had been with the service for at least 3 years. That 13 percent slice is up from 10 percent in the first quarter of 2021, while long-term subscribers made up only 5 percent of Netflix cancellations in the first quarter of 2020.
So, why are once-loyal Netflix users ditching their subscriptions? Two reasons, according to the Antenna researchers: That steep Netflix price increase back in January, which saw the price for Netflix’s Premium tier hit $20 a month, and the rise of rivals such as Disney+, HBO Max, and Paramount+ plus.
“Customers vote with their wallets on a monthly basis,” said an Antenna analyst (as quoted by The Information), “and now there are just more viable candidates on the ballet.”
Not only are there more options to choose from, they’re also cheaper, with Paramount+, Peacock, and Disney+ luring the most new users with their lower prices. Even after its latest price hike, Disney+ is still only $8 a month, while Paramount+’s ad-supported Essentials plan is just $5 a month.
The survey comes in the wake of Netflix’s disastrous quarterly earnings report, which saw the streamer losing subscribers for the first time in more than 10 years. Netflix’s stock prompt tanked, and now the company is racing to roll out an ad-supported tier, and it’s also making noises about cracking down on password sharers.
Beyond the price hikes and account freeloaders, however, Netflix faces an even bigger threat: the loss of its vaunted status as a cord-cutting utility, a bill to be paid without even thinking about it.
With so many competitors offering loads of compelling product a cheaper prices, Netflix simply isn’t an automatic re-up anymore, and if you’re a Netflix exec, that’s gotta be a scary prospect.