AlwaysVPN Survey Reveals Why Streaming Services Are Losing Subscribers—And Where They’re Going

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In the midst of rising inflation and increased demand for original content, streaming services looking to increase their returns are at odds with subscribers who aren’t happy with policy changes. This year’s exodus of subscribers are binging their content elsewhere and using VPNs to do it.

AlwaysVPN, a product that recommends the most robust VPN features and top-of-the-line security encryption, ran a recent survey of 280 streaming service subscribers to get a pulse on this entertainment phenomenon. In the wake of pandemic-induced isolation that saw streaming subscriptions soaring—top dogs like Netflix are faltering. 40% of respondents who canceled streaming services said Netflix was the one they chose to unsubscribe from—and out of the 83% who do subscribe, only 39% said it was their preferred streaming service. So why is the “Netflix and Chill” era dwindling and where are these unsubscribers going?

In the case of ‘why’, cash continues to be king. The first quarter of 2022 saw another round of fee increases for Netflix. 72% of Netflix subscribers polled said the price of their service had increased since they subscribed. Coincidentally, 69% of respondents said fee increases were an influential enough factor for them to consider canceling a streaming service altogether.

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Convenience is another big factor in subscriber loyalty. Netflix recently announced they were considering including ads in their lower-priced tiers—a move that 43% of respondents said would be very influential in their decision to cancel a subscription. These changes to user experience coupled with rising costs have many subscribers seeking better options.

40% of respondents use alternatives to a streaming service to find content at least half the time. Of these, 40% search for sites where content can be streamed for free and 13% download it off of websites or torrent. These options come with the risk of unwanted ads and illegal activity, which is why 49% of these respondents use an adblocker and 33% use a VPN.

In addition to added security, the use of a VPN is a popular trick for unlocking content one wouldn’t normally have access to because of geo-restrictions. Subscribers may still have to have access to a streaming service, but they can get much more out of it. Those who torrent especially need to employ VPNs to keep their activity private and secure from internet providers who frown on this practice.

VPNs and torrenting sites make streaming more accessible and are becoming more prevalent as streaming services continue to raise prices and implement unappealing policies. To retain streaming enthusiasts and keep them off the web, streaming services will have to find a favorable balance between their business interests and subscribers’ values.

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