The Streaming Wars Is Frustrating Consumers

People are having an on again, off again relationship with Netflix.

Two people with a smart phone and a credit card to subscribe to something on the tablet.

Two people with a smart phone and a credit card to subscribe to something on the tablet.

This article is part of Narcity Media's Technality series, which aims to take a closer look at all things related to the future, tech and humanity. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

Are you tired of juggling your streaming subscriptions just to watch your favourite shows?

Well, you're not alone. According to consultancy firm Deloitte's digital media trends survey, U.S. consumers have grown frustrated with streaming platforms. The main reasons are when they "lose content to other services, have to manage multiple subscriptions, and receive poor recommendations."

As a result, these platforms are seeing churn — where subscribers cancel or add and cancel — their service. In the past year, 25% of U.S. consumers reportedly cancelled and resubscribed to streaming sites.

The ones driving the movement? Gen Z and Millenials.

The reason? Money.

These generations are a little more sensitive to the cost of services. Rather than manage and pay for multiple sites, they routinely cancel and resubscribe depending on the content. It's cheaper to wait for the entire season of your favourite show to drop on Netflix, than pay for the weekly episode drip.

Let's face it, you're probably just going to binge it all in one sitting anyway.

This trend isn't just in the U.S., either. Across the globe, Millenials and Gen Z are reportedly "getting savvier about determining how much money they will spend on what content," which is why Deloitte has stated that consumers are winning the streaming wars.

Gaining new subscribers costs streaming sites money. Losing subscribers before the cost to acquire them is paid back costs the site even more. To combat the churn rate, subscription platforms have started to offer potential customers different options.

From a tiered system that would gate off content and ad-supported options that would lower costs to offering perks like first-access to films, companies are trying different ways to win and keep subscribers. Still, Deloitte reports that watching TV and movies at home is more popular among older generations.

Apparently, Gen Z and Millenials, who grew up with interactive media, are more likely to turn to social media and video games if nothing on a streaming site interests them. This creates a completely different hurdle for these sites when it comes to winning the hearts of potential customers. When these younger generations get bored, they're more likely to turn to a different form of entertainment rather than a different show on the same platform.

So, as the streaming wars move forward, consumers may start seeing different payment methods offered by platforms to access content.

Of course, video streaming platforms aren't the only places making use of subscription models. To see what industries are after a slice of that reoccurring payment pie, you can check out Technality's video on Ownership & Piracy in the digital age over on Technality's YouTube page.

Jacqueline Swan
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