‘Serial Churners’ Emerge as Latest Hollywood Streaming Profit Nightmare

In this illustration photo taken on July 19, 2022 the Netflix logo is seen on a TV remote
CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images

A new phenomenon known as “serial churners” spells trouble for streaming services wherein people subscribe only temporarily to watch a given show before canceling.

A new report from the New York Times showed that Americans have become “increasingly impulsive about hitting the cancellation button on their streaming services.”

“More than 29 million — about a quarter of domestic paying streaming subscribers — have canceled three or more services over the last two years, according to Antenna, a subscription research firm,” it noted.

As Breitbart News has noted on numerous occasions, the rise of cord-cutting has meant that Americans are less and less likely to stay subscribed to a streaming service in the same way that they subscribed to cable due to the dearth in quality. Antenna’s research shows that more and more Americans are subscribing, canceling, then resubscribing months later to watch a given program on a streaming platform. .

“In three years, this went from a very niche behavior to an absolute mainstream part of the market,” said Jonathan Carson, the chief executive of Antenna.

Serial churners accounted for nearly 40 percent of the streaming market last year, according to Antenna.

Due to the loss in revenue, studios and streaming services have slashed the number of scripted shows they produce and some have resorted to raising prices. Other companies have floated the idea of selling streaming services in a bundle similar to cable, believing costumers would be less likely to cancel if so many products were attached. For instance, Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ joined together in one package.  Per the Times:

The services are also trying to keep subscribers hooked with “coming soon” features prominently displayed in their apps. Disney+ recently advertised a coming documentary series from National Geographic (“Secrets of the Octopus”), and Apple TV+ is teasing “Dark Matter,” a science-fiction series that comes out in May in its app.

This year, when Peacock was days away from showing the first streaming-only National Football League playoff game, it promoted a special offer to deter new subscribers from canceling: Sign up for a full year at $30, half the normal price. (And according to Antenna’s research, people who signed up for Peacock on the weekend of the game did not cancel en masse the next month; the cancellation rates were close to average.)

As Breitbart News reported last week, the streaming giant Netflix said it will stop reporting quarterly subscriber numbers with its 2025 earnings, instead focusing on other metrics. Netflix also said it will cease reporting the average revenue per member, otherwise known as ARM.

“As we’ve noted in previous letters, we’re focused on revenue and operating margin as our primary financial metrics — and engagement (i.e. time spent) as our best proxy for customer satisfaction. In our early days, when we had little revenue or profit, membership growth was a strong indicator of our future potential. But now we’re generating very substantial profit and free cash flow (FCF),” Netflix said in its earnings release.

Paul Roland Bois directed the award-winning Christian tech thrillerEXEMPLUM, which can be viewed for FREE on YouTube or Tubi. “Better than Killers of the Flower Moon,” wrote Mark Judge. “You haven’t seen a story like this before,” wrote Christian Toto. A high-quality, ad-free rental can also be streamed on Google PlayVimeo on Demand, or YouTube Movies. Follow on X @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.