Why Subscriber Tenure Matters

One of the topics we unpack in the most recent Antenna State of Subscriptions Report is the concept of subscription tenure–how long a user has been subscribed to a given service–and its implications. While it’s still early days in the shift to streaming, there are a wealth of insights to be gleaned from tenure data.

According to Antenna data, at the close of 2023 39% of Premium SVOD subscriptions were in their first year of tenure. If we exclude Netflix, that figure rises to 45%.

When looking specifically at Year 1 Subscriptions (excluding Netflix) as of the end of 2023, about one-in-five were in their first three months of tenure when data shows a subscriber is most at-risk of canceling.

So why does tenure matter? Because Churn Rates decline significantly once subscribers complete their first year with a service. Antenna data shows Premium SVOD Weighted Average Churn was 8.6% for Year 1 subscriptions. That figure drops by more than half to 4% in Year 2.

Bottom line: the data shows that longer tenured subscribers are more loyal. A good example of this is Netflix’s churn rate. As a first-mover in streaming video, not only do a majority of Netflix subscriptions have a tenure of four years or more, but Netflix continues to have the lowest churn in the industry. In December 2023, Netflix had a Monthly Churn Rate of 2%, compared to the Premium SVOD Category Weighted Average Churn of 5.5%.

If you’re interested in downloading your own copy of Antenna’s Q1’24 State of Subscriptions Report, you can sign-up to receive it automatically on our homepage. If you’re already on our distribution list, you should have received a link to download a copy on February 27, the day the report was released. (PS - Antenna clients receive early access to an expanded client-only version of the report!)

For more detailed information on Antenna’s methodology and definitions of core metrics, please visit http://www.antenna.live/methodology.

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.