The Rise of The Show Chaser

Back in 2019, “Serial Churners” – consumers who have canceled three or more Premium SVOD services within the past two years – accounted for just 3% of all U.S. streaming subscribers. Today, Antenna estimates more than 29M Americans are Serial Churners, comprising roughly one-quarter of U.S streamers. In those intervening years, the streaming market has grown significantly to include more consumers, more services, more plans, and more content. 

Some Serial Churners manage their subscriptions, but others decidedly binge and cancel. Antenna has observed that among Serial Churners 38% have made three or more of their cancellations within the first three months of subscribing to a Premium SVOD service. In a media landscape where a user’s favorite shows can be spread across several different streaming services, this behavior suggests these users are “Show Chasers” who sign-up for a service to access specific content and then cancel shortly thereafter.

Unsurprisingly, Show Chasers are less loyal than the general population. Looking specifically at the cohort of users who subscribed to a Premium SVOD service in Q’4 2022, 56% of Non-Serial Churners (subscribers who have canceled two or fewer services within the past two years) were still subscribed to that same service six months later, compared to just 29% of Show Chasers.

While Show Chasers are more likely to cancel, we know from other Antenna data that when users cancel a meaningful portion of them come back. Looking at Weighted Averages across the Premium SVOD category, 23% of cancellations were “won-back” by Month 3; that share increases to 41% by Month 12.

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Brendan Brady is a Content Strategy Associate at Antenna, a measurement and analytics company providing insight into purchase behavior and subscription metrics across the new media landscape.