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Subscription Fatigue Will Damage All Players, Warns Survey

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Whether it's new subscription video entries like Disney+ and Apple TV+ or established services like Netflix, they'll all feel the effects of consumer subscription fatigue as households make difficult choices in the face of ever-increasing premium services.

News 1According to global survey data from digital content platform Apester, 60.1% are sick of signing up for new streaming services, and 22.8% say they don't even know half of the new platforms coming up. Only 16.5% take a positive view and say it makes sense that Apple, Disney, and HBO want to get in on the streaming video market.

"We’re definitely entering the Big Bang era of the streaming services," notes Apester CEO Moti Cohen. "As the market splits into smaller fractions, consumers will get lost in the clutter, and subscription fatigue will surely continue. The good news is that it’s going to be a temporary phase until consolidation starts up again, incited by one or two major players with extreme gravitational forces, and it now appears that no more than three major services ultimately will survive."

Netflix will certainly be the top service for many years to come, but it no longer looks as invulnerable as it once did: 43.7% say Netflix has some hits and misses, while 29.0% believe its quality has gone down. Only 27.3% think it consistently puts out good original content. When Disney+ debuts, 61.3% will keep their Netflix accounts, 27.8% are taking a wait-and-see approach, and 11.0% will take both.

"Netflix has recently produced some of the most popular and acclaimed TV shows such as Peaky Blinders, The Crown, and The Kominsky Method. But the streaming giant is producing much more content than ever before, and the chances it will continue hitting home runs with its shows are getting smaller," Cohen says. "The biggest rival to Netflix is Disney. It has the best pop culture-oriented intellectual property with brands such as Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and Disney’s 100-year-old library. Bundled with linear channels such as ESPN and National Geographic, Disney+ is a great bargain for the price, and one of the greatest threats to Netflix.

"Netflix has to compensate for its lack of big brands by doubling down on creating new original content, launching a record number of titles each month for one streaming service. That is good to address the long tail, but not viable for the platform’s long-term growth."

Apester got its results by surveying 22,450 global users across partner websites in September and October 2019. It will release the full findings tomorrow.

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