More Americans are abandoning streaming services than ever before.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a fifth of U.S. users have discontinued at least three streaming services in the last two years, based on data from research firm Antenna. That’s terrible news for services like Apple TV+, Discovery+, Disney+, Hulu, Max, Paramount+, Peacock, and Starz, which are already suffering from the aftereffects of overpaying on content to entice more users.

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The data is a logical result of a surplus of services that have appeared in recent years, as well as the following price increases that have impacted all of them. Consumers, who are already feeling the pinch of growing prices for almost everything, have become more savvy about what subscriptions they actually require, as well as other services that provide free, ad-supported programming, such as Pluto TV, Roku Channel, or Tubi.

The amount also represents an increase from two years ago, when 15% of users dropped that many services.

While costs are unlikely to fall anytime soon, streaming services are working to retain subscribers by launching lower-cost ad-supported tiers or collaborating with other services for packaged deals, which are offered through third-party providers such as Verizon Wireless.

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The troubles that streaming services are encountering are generating some rewards for cord cutters who are sticking with them. Once-exclusive movies and shows, such as HBO programming appearing on Netflix or the first season of Paramount+’s Halo running on Amazon Prime Video, are now available on other platforms.

The WSJ’s study of Antenna’s data also provides some promise for streamers hoping to reclaim customers: a quarter of consumers who cancel a subscription resubscribe within four months, and a third within seven months.


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