Streaming service subscribers complain about the excess of platforms – 22/09/2021 – Maurício Stycer

Those who exchange pay TV for streaming never fail to calculate that, by giving up a package with 200 channels, it is possible to hire more than one service and still have a change.

One of the issues that worries entrepreneurs in the sector is the uncertainty about exactly how many platforms the customer-spectator is willing to subscribe to at the same time. The answer is still not clear, not least because this transition process is relatively recent.

With dozens of services available, most launched in the last five years, consumers are still groping and experimenting. Due to its pioneering spirit, Netflix has the advantage of being a reference in the market and the number one option.

In the United States, major competitors such as Disney, Amazon, Apple and Warner (HBO), as well as other smaller “players”, seek to offer alternative or complementary content. One of the important variations is that of free services, but with advertising. Another is the one that seeks to reach niches, such as offering art films.

In other markets, from Latin America to Asia, there are local, large companies that are more capable than the Americans in producing national content. Globoplay is the best positioned Brazilian platform in this context.

A survey released this week with users of these services in the United States, made by the company Whip Media, indicates that the consumer pays for up to 4.7 platforms at the same time. It’s a high number. But the survey, done with 4,000 users, brings some bad news.

First, as has already appeared in other surveys, 70% of users feel that there is an excess of services offered. They complain about the cost (85%), the hassle of switching between platforms (66%) and cite difficulties in managing them (52%).

A surprising fact to me is the fact that respondents value the catalog more than the news in a streaming service. Available content is important or very important to 92% of the consumers surveyed, while 78% consider original content as important or very important.

It is worth mentioning that other surveys have already registered different results in this regard. The original content, these studies indicate, would be the main factor that leads the consumer to subscribe and remain as a customer. I imagine it’s a combination of the two, a well-stocked catalog and good news, which keeps the subscriber loyal.

Given the growth of free service offerings, supported by advertising, 60% of respondents say they prefer platforms that charge subscription but do not display ads. This index naturally falls in direct relation to consumer income.

Another problem arising from the excess of offers is the cancellation of subscriptions — something relatively easy to do for those who contract services on a monthly basis. A survey by The NPD Group, released earlier this year by Forbes, found that the main motivation for canceling or switching services is not price but content offered.

The largest paid video streaming service, with 209 million subscribers, Netflix lost 430,000 customers in the US and Canada in the second quarter of 2021. Company executives attributed the result to the pandemic and, consequently, an offer less significant of new films and series. The company promised to improve.

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