Choosing bundles making streamers stick with platforms longer

The entertainment industry’s faith in streaming bundles is perfectly justified because subscribing to them reduces the possibility of consumers canceling their memberships, a new survey shows.

Magid, a research firm, has found that predictive rates of churn – which is what the industry calls canceled subscriptions – was 16% lower simply because more bundle plans were available.

The study cited on Deadline also says that bundles make customers 15% more likely to keep their subscription longer than six months.

The insights reflect the simple fact that viewers in the US have more choices in how to bundle their subscriptions and save money.

After Disney and Warner Bros. joined forces earlier in the year, a new DIsney+, Hulu, and Max bundle will be available this summer.

Comcast has already launched a bundle of Peacock, Netflix, and Apple TV+, with prices starting at a mere $15 per month. This StreamSaver plan delivers savings of over 30% or nearly $100 per year, Comcast said.

Keeping subscribers entertained these days is a struggle, with users tending to jump from one platform to another, canceling the service when they don’t find anything worth watching.

Such consumer behavior has impacted the media industry, pushing more streaming service providers to offer cross-platform solutions. These are a step beyond vertical, in-house bundles such as Disney’s package of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+.

Interestingly, bundles seem particularly useful to Apple TV+, the streamer offering fewer but better shows and movies. If Apple TV+ is included in a bundle, the intent to cancel reduces by 28%, said Magid.

Kate Morgan, EVP and leader of global media, entertainment, and games at Magid, told Deadline that Apple TV+’s programming is high-caliber but lower-volume than that of many rivals. This means consumers value it but appreciate it more when it is included as part of a package.

In late 2023, though, Magid said that churn was actually still going up in the streaming industry and added: “Players large and small will experience turbulent churn seas ahead unless they develop strategies to manage churn with precision.”

“Consumers will be recreating the bundle that they had via cable 15 years ago but with a different assortment of assets, tied together synergistically through creative partnerships,” said Magid in the press release.

“We will see bigger, value-added, stickier bundles that justify a consumer shifting away from a monthly commitment towards an annual one with greater consequences for cancellation.”