Latin Americans become more choosy and reduce streaming subscriptions

As pandemic restrictions ease, Latin Americans become more selective about which subscriptions to keep; content is the deciding factor for maintaining or choosing a new service

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Streaming has been one of the most booming sectors in Latin America since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Due to the social restrictions and with a huge contingent of people isolated in their homes, in 2020 and the first months of 2021, platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime saw their user base grow like never before, and new platforms arrived in the region riding this wave, like Disney Plus, HBO Max, Paramount Plus and, most recently, Discovery Plus.

In recent months, however, the pace of new users entry has been slowing. To try to understand the impact that the easing of restriction measures and the resumption of social activity on the consumption behavior of streaming services in Latin America, Sherlock Communications polled consumers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.

While only 35% of respondents said that the time spent on streaming platforms will decrease a little or a lot, the vast majority (64%) assured that “the new normal” will not significantly change the way they consume these services. In Brazil, 29% plan to reduce the time spent watching streaming content.

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But there are changes in consumer behavior, especially regarding subscriptions that will be maintained given so many options. “The data suggests that people in Latin America are still streaming, but that they may be refining their preferences,” says the report.

Put into numbers: in 2021, 30% of respondents said they subscribe to only one platform (in 2020, this share was 22%); 29% subscribe to two (versus 33% last year), and 19% pay for three services (last year, it was 32%). Only 12% of respondents currently pay for more than three streaming platforms.

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In Brazil, 81% of respondents said they currently subscribe to between one and four streaming services and 13% said they got none – the country even has the highest proportion of people who do not subscribe to any streaming among the LatAm neighbors; in 2020, 7% did not pay for any such service.

The research also asked respondents about their reasons for reducing their subscriptions: rising subscription prices were by far the biggest reason for changing streaming consumption behavior; regionally, 57% said this would be a deciding factor for unsubscribing.

Image: Streaming Consumption Report in Latin America 2021/Sherlock Communications

Next, the removal of programs from platforms appeared as a reason for unsubscription for 38% of respondents. Only 14% said that other entertainment options would likely affect their decision to unsubscribe from streaming services.

READ ALSO: The battle between global streaming services heats up as HBO Max comes to Latin America

And what would make Latin Americans consider a new streaming subscription, given the increase in available options? Content, simple as that – 63% of respondents said that the pace of premieres is the deciding factor for choosing a new subscription.

Similarly, 52% of Latin Americans choose their streaming services based on the availability of new seasons of their favorite shows; and 32% value original and local productions, in the local language.

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