Audiences are unsubscribing at record rates. Here’s how you can avoid it

Provide your audience with content they look forward to again and again.

Revmade regularly scours the internet for new studies that offer important insights for marketers. Then we write them up for you in as few words as possible. (Want to get them emailed to you? Sign up here.)

Subscription services have infiltrated our lives – in the form of monthly subscription boxes, weekly grocery deliveries, and everyday video streaming services – especially over the last two years. But while these services are massively convenient, there is evidence that audiences are scaling back on subscriptions and being more judicious with what they’re willing to keep.

Studies have documented that audiences are canceling services due to rising costs, but the 2022 GWI Trends Report attributes the loss of subscribers to media burnout. The GWI research found that streaming services alone can expect nearly a 25% drop in subscriptions this year. The good news? Brands can maintain and combat subscription fatigue if they focus on delivering content based on actual audience interests or needs.

What do audiences want?

The GWI report surveyed two groups: younger audiences (Gen Z and Millennials) and older audiences (Gen X and Baby Boomers) about what would motivate them to subscribe and pay for a news subscription. 

% who say the following would motivate them to purchase a news subscription:


Why should I care? 

Subscribing means that a person likes something so much that they want more, something that’s  even more notable if they’re willing to pay for it. In that spirit, brands should strive to produce content that drives loyalty, as it touches on the same impulses that drive subscription products.

What should I do now? 

Consider incorporating the tactics below into your content strategy. According to the study, 70% of respondents said that incorporating at least one of the factors included  in GWI’s survey would motivate them to purchase a subscription. Here’s how you can do it: 

  • Develop exclusive, habit-forming content experiences for your audiences. All groups want exclusive content – they’re asking for it when they subscribe. It gives your brand permission to create and deliver high-value content that your audience desires. To further increase the value of a subscription, your brand should also provide audiences with an exclusive community. This could be as simple as a discord server, or as complex as an onsite community forum.

  • Provide your audience with unique content formats that match their preferences. While it’s not as important for Gen X and Baby Boomers, Gen Z and Millennials want to interact with your brand’s content through a multitude of channels. To discover exactly what those are, your brand should take the time to understand which channels your audience prefers, and what kind of content motivates them to engage.

  • Go beyond letting the facts speak for themselves. Perhaps it’s due to the abundance of data and information available to them, but people want information presented on their terms. As a brand, you need to study your audience. The better you understand the context your audience lives within, the better you can deliver meaningful content to them. Remember, when creating content, don’t be afraid to add your tone, commentary and analysis – feel free to add perspective.
  • Always add value. Continuously find ways to up the ante when it comes to the value you provide to your audience. Consider an ongoing study of what your audience engages with externally or diving into your performance data. When you keep an eye on what resonates most with your audience, you’ll be able to trim the fat and add more meat so what you’re dishing out continues to feel both fresh and familiar. If you keep evolving your offerings based on shifting consumer needs, you’ll position yourself to be on the Keep side (versus the Cut side) when your audience is Marie Kondo-ing its subscriptions.

TL;DR: Brands that embrace the subscription mindset and deliver unique, exclusive value to their audiences will earn attention, engagement and loyalty. 

Curious what your audience’s preferences really are? Wondering how to develop habit-forming content that builds loyalty?? Reach out to us for more info.


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