Brightback State of Industry Report Reveals Shift in Subscription Economy with 98% of Consumers Having Streaming Media Services

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New Data Shows Permanent Turning Point for Subscription Services Industry Post-Pandemic and Strong Link Between Customer Satisfaction and Online Cancelation Flow

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...As more companies invest in digitizing their subscription experiences, they are using best practices to let customers quit online, with a concerted focus on retaining over acquiring customers.

Brightback released its State of Industry (SOI) report today revealing 86% of respondents say they anticipate maintaining or even increasing their number of subscriptions over the course of 2021. Additional results include:

  • 98% now subscribe to streaming media (75% subscribe to two or more services, foreshadowing a greater propensity for hoppers to jump from service to service).
  • Up to 40% subscribe to online news, food, fitness, or curated box services.
  • 36% have subscribed to services since the onset of the pandemic that they would not have otherwise.

As retention remains the industry focus, the SOI report points to unexpected impacts of companies’ cancellation flow, suggesting ease of cancellation influences a company’s re-engagement, brand perception, and more. According to the report, over 80% of consumers would be more likely to try or buy a new subscription if they could pause or cancel that service online. This data suggests subscription services should pivot to not only simplify their cancellation processes, but to tout this for potential new customer acquisitions.

Netflix is considered to have the best cancellation experience: 23% of respondents ranked Netflix in the top spot for this category, more than 2x better than runner up Amazon at 10%. Additionally, the recent Netflix subscriber milestone of 200m further points to the link between company growth and ease of cancellation.

"Leading tech companies and subscription services understand that sheltered-in-place consumers want user experiences that make it easy to try, buy, use, and cancel online," said Brightback CEO Guy Marion. "As more companies invest in digitizing their subscription experiences, they are using best practices to let customers quit online, with a concerted focus on retaining over acquiring customers."

In the survey, a whopping 32% of respondents said that they had changed their minds about cancellation after being offered an incentive; and that they had done so within just the past 12 months. This finding should be encouraging for subscription businesses concerned about churn -- at least a third of their cancellations can be prevented with well-timed, relevant offers.

The survey also shows the pandemic-driven growth of the subscription services industry is here to stay:

  • 60.8% anticipate having the same number of subscriptions 12 months from now.
  • 25% anticipate acquiring even more subscriptions within the following 12 months.
  • Only 14% of respondents anticipate having fewer subscription services by the end of 2021.

These findings suggest that the dramatic shifts in consumer behavior over the past year are permanent.

For the full findings, visit: https://brightback.com/2021-brightback-state-of-industry

About Brightback
Brightback is the first customer retention solution that automatically saves customers at the moment of cancelation. Trusted by high volume subscription businesses like MeUndies and Unbounce, Brightback helps retention leaders deflect churn with personalized cancelation experiences, optimize offboarding processes through testing and targeting and gather aggregated insights to drive product and company improvements. Headquartered in San Francisco, Brightback is a remote-first company with a team of subscription-industry veterans located across the United States.

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Tabitha Ziegmann
Pitch Public Relations
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