What is churn you ask? It is not just a verb. Rather, churn is also an adjective, for example, when a user cancels a service – typically in response to a rate hike (i.e. “churn rate”). Sound familiar? Just last year, Deloitte predicted more than 150mm viewers will cancel at least 1 paid streaming service in 2022, with a global churn rate of 30% (in the U.S., 38% viewers churn through at least 1 paid streaming service annually), the majority of these “churners” being Generation Z. The elusive questions seems to remain, what drives churn? What makes one drop 1 service over another? Or even add a new service for that matter? Rising subscription costs drive churn – Netflix just raised their rates again, but, adding content can pick up new users. At what moment is the cost more valuable a consumer consideration than content? And how do subscribers avoid content redundancies (having the same show or movie on concurrent platforms)?
As we navigate more towards on demand and further away from Live TV, it seems to hold cache with certain services, which offer live television options. One such service is YouTube. YouTube TV has license agreements with broadcasters and recently agreed to keep NBC Universal’s channels on its service while a new agreement with the broadcaster is hashed out. Roku also renewed its licenses with Google, owner of YouTube and YouTube TV, to keep the YouTube application on the Roku device. That’s good news for Google because Roku recently reported reaching 60mm active users in Q4 2021 with 19.5 billion hours of streaming. Roku makes devices but has yet to manufacture a smart TV, like Amazon, maker of Fire TV, the only smart TV where you can access TikTok in the U.S. and Canada. Fire TV, Roku, Android TV, and Apple TV each now have application, The Verge (based on the publication of the same name) with tech reviews and more. Apple’s health is as robust as ever. Apple TV+ and content fall under “services” for Apple, which reigned in around 10% of their annual revenue for 2021 with 785mm paying subscribers (although of that number, it is unknown how many are paying for Apple TV+ at $4.99/mo. U.S.).