Can streaming services avoid losing customers in Mexico with rising prices?
November 24th, 2022, Alejandro R. Chavez

Can streaming services avoid losing customers in Mexico with rising prices?

Mexican consumers are unlike other audiences worldwide in their love for their streaming services. According to a YouGov survey conducted at the end of past July, 62% of the general population watch content through video-on-demand (VoD) services at least once a week, way above the worldwide average of 48% and the highest percentage among 18 global markets. This love, however, isn’t impenetrable.

Another study conducted by YouGov at the start of August shows that more than 70% of Mexicans surveyed cancelled at least one of their subscriptions in the past six months. The main reason to do so, said those that have stopped paying for a VoD platform in the country, was to cut costs or because the fee seemed too expensive.

The answer makes sense given the economic moment that Mexican audiences are going through. Prices for consumers reached an annual growth rate of 8.41% by the end of October (according to the latest calculations by the national statistics agency, Inegi), more than double the upper limit of the Mexican Central Bank‘s annual inflation goals. Certain platforms, like Apple TV+ and Crunchyroll have already begun to raise their fees.

In fact, fee hikes from streaming services seem to be especially hated in Mexico, compared to other countries. Since early May, another YouGov survey revealed that Mexican consumers were the most prone to cut back in media streaming subscriptions if their household budget got constrained because of the rising costs of living among 18 international markets.

But that doesn’t mean that VoD services in Mexico just must accept either lower profit margins or losing clients to lower-priced competitors or to unauthorized/unlicensed platforms. In fact, there are viable ways to maintain the interest and business of local consumers. The implementation, however, must be very precise.

To begin with, VoD platforms in Mexico have the advantage of a relative dislike towards unlicensed platforms. A study conducted at the beginning of the year by YouGov found that 32% of Mexican consumers said that they don’t actively look for unauthorized music, video or sports free-to-use sources when there is a known, paid alternative; slightly more than the 31% average of the other 18 global markets surveyed.

They are also more open to alternative business models than other countries. For example, more than half of Mexican consumers say they’d agree to watch more ads while streaming to lower their subscriptions fees, the highest percentage (together with the United Arab Emirates) among 18 international markets surveyed by YouGov at the beginning of July. And, according to YouGov Global Profiles, they are also twice as likely as the worldwide average to say streaming companies should add more group subscription options to lawfully reduce the fees each individual must pay.

These findings seem to support the recent decisions of companies like Disney and Netflix, which have been adding ad-supported tiers to their streaming services in the past few months. However, other business proposals, especially restricting password shares, are much more difficult to implement.

In general, according to YouGov Global Profiles, Mexican consumers are more likely than the global average to say that they don’t consider password sharing convenient (26% vs 22% worldwide). That doesn’t mean, however, that they are okay with efforts to curb password sharing. Almost half of the population in the country agrees that streaming companies shouldn’t care if their users share their passwords with other people, meaning that any implementation of a feature of this kind may result in lost subscribers.

Therefore, and considering there are other options available to maintain profit margins even with rising prices, streaming platforms should consider very carefully which kinds of business strategies they want to introduce in Mexico to avoid further erosion of their client base.

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YouGov RealTime Omnibus provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18 and over in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 1002 and 2008 for each market. Surveys were conducted on February, May, July and August 2022. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov RealTime Omnibus. 

YouGov Global Profiles is a globally consistent audience dataset with 1000+ questions across 43 markets. The data is based on continuously collected data from adults aged 16+ years in China and 18+ years in other markets. The sample sizes for YouGov Global Profiles will fluctuate over time, however the minimum sample size is always 1000. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from India and UAE, which use urban representative samples, and China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, which use online representative samples. Learn more about Global Profiles.