Cancellation rate decreases but budget is much greater factor

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A report by ACCUCOMS based on the company’s renewal campaigns for publishers reveals steady renewal rates and a slight decrease in cancellation rates between January 2007 and December 2011.

The report – ‘Renewals 2007-2011: Overview and Outlook’ covers over 30,000 renewal calls and more than 44,000 subscriptions worldwide.

One of the main conclusions is that the overall worldwide renewal rate has been fairly stable at approximately 38 per cent, although the percentage of online-only renewals has increased over the past five years and accounted for 40 per cent of renewals in 2011.

The company found that the cancellation rate has decreased to less than 40 per cent in 2010 and 2011. However, lack of budget now accounts for a much larger percentage of cancellations – approximately 40 per cent in 2010 and 2011 compared with 19 per cent in 2007.

Another trend identified is the increasing role of usage statistics in renewal decisions. According to the report, ‘our statistics clearly show that in 2007 less than 10 per cent of the cancellations could be attributed to lack of usage while in 2009 and 2010 low usage was put forward as the main reason of cancellation for 18 per cent of the subscriptions that were not renewed.’

Budgets and usage are not the only factors in cancellation. Other reasons include: the subscriber leaving, library closing, organisational changes, changes in access/subscription model, and having duplicate subscriptions.