Subscription Video Churn: Introduction and Prevention Methods

By The Zype Team on March 29, 2023

User retention is one of the key factors responsible for the success of any business, and subscription video churn interferes with this success. A customer's value is often understood in terms of customer lifetime value. Customer lifetime value is the total value derived from a customer during their entire association with your business. 

If your existing customers decide to move on from your business, they take this value with them. This could sometimes lead to higher user acquisition costs than the value derived from such users, in addition to the loss of recurring revenue from their subscriptions.

What Is Subscription Video Churn?

Subscription video churn refers to your subscribers canceling their subscription after a certain period of time. The subscription video churn rate is calculated as the number of paying users who canceled their subscriptions in a given time period divided by the total number of paying customers in that time period.

Some amount of churn is normal for every business, but a very high churn rate means that your business could be in trouble. 

Types of Subscription Churn

There are two primary types of subscription churn.

Voluntary Churn

In voluntary subscription churn, users actively decide to discontinue their subscription services.

Combating Voluntary Churn

Users generally cancel their subscriptions when they're dissatisfied with some aspect of the service they're being offered. Some of these could be:

  • The assortment of content on the platform
  • The pricing model
  • Better service from competitor platforms
  • External economic factors

You can use your tracking data to analyze the usage patterns of your churned users. You can see the type of content they browse, their number of viewing hours, and the exact step where they close the browser or the app. Studying this data can give you an idea of whether the viewers found what they were looking for, how long they engaged with your content, and what led them to drop off. For example, if the user visited the page with pricing details before deciding to cancel, you know that the prices were not satisfactory for them.

Involuntary Churn

In involuntary churn, users do not cancel their subscription services, but it happens inadvertently. Some reasons for involuntary churn are:

  • Failed payment method, leading to the cancelation of the service
  • Failure to renew the subscription in cases where auto-renew is not enabled

Combating Involuntary Churn

Being proactive is key to combating involuntary churn rates. Make sure to send reminder notifications to users whose subscription periods are about to end. For payment method failures, set up retry mechanisms and allow the user to select a different payment method. 

While these methods may not be effective for every user who churns involuntarily, it can certainly reduce the churn rate significantly.

Preventing Subscription Churn

To prevent subscription churn, you must follow a couple of steps.

Identifying At-risk Users

If you analyze user data regularly, you will be able to identify users whose engagement with your platform has dropped or who have become inactive or idle. Such users are called at-risk users. Identifying these at-risk users is the first step to preventing their churn.

Re-activating At-risk Users

Once you've identified which users might leave your platform, you can make a plan for re-engaging them. You can study their usage patterns and determine what content they prefer. Then, you can show them recommendations for their preferred content on the home page or through emails and push notifications. 

Remember to be subtle about re-activating such users, or else you might annoy them and force them to churn sooner than they originally intended to.

Sailing Your Business Through the Churn Storm

It can seem like everything is going downhill when your subscribers start churning. But all is not lost. You can stop some of your users from leaving and re-acquire others for minimal acquisition costs. It requires targeted effort initially, but once you start understanding how this works, it becomes easier to save future users from churning.

If you're unsure how to prevent subscription video churn for your business, we're here to help. Book a demo today, and let us handle it from there. 


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