Study Finds Password Sharing Crackdowns Impacting SVOD Churn


Horowitz Research’s new State of Media, Entertainment & Tech: Subscriptions 2024 report has found that the recent crackdowns on password sharing have contributed to 23 percent of viewers having plans to cancel one or more of their SVODs in the coming months.

Over the past year, 52 percent of viewers lost or cancelled access to at least one SVOD service, citing efforts to cut subscription costs, recent price hikes and perceived lack of value for the cost. Almost three in ten viewers who cancelled said that not being able to share or borrow log-ins was a contributing factor.

The crackdowns on password sharing has impacted consumers’ wallets, with 35 percent reporting that they are paying more this year than they were last year for streaming services. The self-reported average spend on SVODs increased from $49.33 in the 2021 study to $60.60 in the 2024 study. As a result, six in ten viewers report they are open to ads if it means paying less for their subscriptions.

That being said, almost one in four subscribers—23 percent—report plans to cancel one or more of their SVODs in the coming months, an increase from 19 percent who intended to churn in 2023. Netflix is the service most often mentioned as being the first to go.

“The economics of the streaming business demand that these companies crack down on password sharing in order to deliver the great content audiences want,” said Adriana Waterston, executive VP of insights and strategy at Horowitz. “That said, given rising costs for streaming, consumers will become more and more judicious about how they are spending their money in the streaming ecosystem. To avoid churn, subscription streaming services will need to focus on smart windowing strategies to keep audiences consistently engaged with their content and be proactive about helping consumers downgrade to lower-priced and/or ad-supported tiers as soon as they see a subscriber’s viewership and engagement dropping.”