Netflix's biggest problem is the number of long-term subscribers that are leaving

Netflix Ozark Hero
Netflix Ozark Hero (Image credit: Bryan M. Wolfe/iMore)

What you need to know

  • Netflix appears to be losing customers who have been with it for more than three years.
  • Last quarter saw Netflix report a 200,000 fall in subscriber numbers.
  • The streaming industry as a whole continues to grow as Netflix stumbles.

Recent reports are that Netflix is losing customers faster than it is gaining them, something that saw it lose an aggregate of 200,000 paying customers last quarter. But new research shows that the biggest issue isn't that people are leaving — it's who those people are.

According to numbers shared by research outfit Antenna to The Information, a growing number of the people leaving Netflix have been subscribers for longer than three years. A large portion has been giving the streamer money for between two and three years. And that's a bad sign because these are the people that have proven to be Netflix's core business — and now they're leaving in droves. Could the ever-increasing price be part of the problem?

According to the numbers shared by Antenna, 13% of the people that canceled their Netflix subs in the first quarter of 2022 had been customers for more than three years, while an additional 8% had been customers between two and three years.

Netflix is losing its grip on long-standing subscribers.New data show that people who have been subscribers to Netflix for more than three years accounted for a significantly greater share of cancellations in the first quarter than they did two years earlier.

As The Information points out, companies like Disney have removed content from Netflix to help bolster their own services, including Disney+. And while the overall streaming market continues to grow, Netflix is seeing its numbers go in the opposite direction.

These are troubling times for Netflix. The recent fall in subscribers comes at a time when the company is laying people off and canceling content. It has also confirmed plans to launch a new ad-supported tier in an attempt to reduce its subscription price, while it's also aware that it needs to prevent people from sharing passwords — something that is directly impacting its ability to make money.

If you want to enjoy Netflix and other streaming services like Disney+ and Apple TV+ in style, be sure to check out our list of the best Apple TV deals on the market today.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.