Now that Game of Thrones is over, the streaming struggle starts

It’s easier than ever to cancel streaming subscriptions, so services are getting creative to keep consumers around.


May 24, 2019

Once viewers’ favorite shows end, they are 30% more likely to cancel their streaming subscriptions, a new Axios report reveals.

This is a big bummer for streaming services, which are trying — and struggling — to keep consumers engaged in an attention economy where viewers have oodles of options.

The threat of Thrones

After Game of Thrones ended, 16% of HBO subscribers planned to cancel their streaming subscriptions.

HBO isn’t alone: With so many streaming services, many consumers only sign up for a few months to binge and then bounce — beating subscription companies that lure customers in with free trials at their own game.

Can streaming companies conquer constant cancellation?

To prevent customers from constantly cancelling, subscription services are getting creative. 

Hulu is offering cross-subscriptions with Spotify Premium to sweeten the stream, and Amazon, HBO and Netflix are heavily promoting their prime-time shows to keep people around.

But no one is sure whether streaming services can consistently manufacture the magic of shows like Game of Thrones and Stranger Things — and finding out will be an expensive experiment.

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