Competition amongst OTT platforms is rapidly increasing; we’re seeing large players such as Disney step into the VOD ring. This is sending ripples throughout the established market. Beyond the large organizations, we’re seeing many smaller entities take a leap into OTT, with niche offerings gaining in popularity. With all of this choice and recent reports stating that consumers are starting to feel the impact of subscription fatigue, how can OTT platforms minimize churn?
Understanding your viewers
The very nature of OTT means that customers aren’t tied into a contract; if they feel they’re not getting the service they want it’s very easy for viewers to cancel their subscriptions. OTT churn is one of the biggest challenges facing platforms, where both the quality of the content and the user experience are equally important in retaining customer loyalty. However, delivering high-quality video experiences is only possible if you know what your customers like. Analyzing viewing behavior is an important part of understanding what works and what doesn’t; thorough AI-based data analysis gives SVOD providers insight into why people churn and the behaviors leading up to it. It also plays an important role in gauging the success of new features, layouts, and content collections. People will use a feature regularly if they like it and it is intuitive to use. Introducing new features is key in developing a successful OTT service; in a competitive and fast-paced industry, staying static may, over time, increase the chances of churn.
Deliver a top-quality viewing experience
There are certain technologies emerging within OTT which are proving popular with customers. Augmented Reality has really gained pace within the last couple of years – we’re seeing many people adopting the technology daily within apps to make their lives easier. With most viewers already using their mobile devices whilst watching TV, utilizing users’ second screens to incorporate AR into the viewing experience has been a natural progression within broadcast. We worked on a project with France Télévisions to develop an AR solution which created a platform to deliver value-added interactivity to viewers’ living rooms. Not only did it present customers with a wealth of stats and additional information, but it also introduced the concept of bringing immersive viewing experiences into customers’ homes. In the next few years, we’re also anticipating an increase in Virtual Reality’s popularity as the tech becomes more accessible.
Beyond usage data analysis, AI is also enabling OTT platforms to produce higher quantities of tailored content for viewers. For example, if your data analysis suggests that your customer supports a certain football team, you could then use AI to search through your archived footage to produce nostalgic content which can be used promotionally in the run-up to a big match. Additionally, AI has a place within live events. People enjoy statistics and extra bites of information and AI can be used to deliver real-time data to users during live events. As AI becomes more intelligent, we see the potential for it to deliver an incredibly personalized viewing experience, with AI processing allowing fans to choose camera angles and live replays.
Keep your viewers interested
Beyond having the right content and features on your platform, it’s key that your viewers can find them. Recommendation tech has long been used to keep people engaged with VOD. Although successful, we have been looking at other ways of delivering this information to keep viewers interested. Endless scrolling for new content can become overwhelming, with it sometimes having a detrimental effect on user experience. We’ve recently been looking at packaging curated content in order to make viewing selection easier.
With 93% of buyers being swayed by reviews when making purchases and the rise of influencer culture, it’s easy to see that people enjoy exploring expert opinions when making decisions. Drawing on this, it makes sense for OTT platforms to curate and deliver parcels of content to the user, depending on their interests. For example, delivering content via categories such as, ‘Space Week – our top picks’, ‘90s Sitcoms’ or ‘Feelgood Dance Films’ removes the need for scrolling and delivers an organic way of finding relevant content. This means people spend less time searching for content, and more time watching it.
Staying ahead in OTT
In OTT, you must keep striding forward and innovating to keep at the forefront of the user experience. Services must spend time understanding viewers’ needs and interactions. Pairing a high-quality and feature-rich customer experience with quality content on key platforms is the best way of minimizing churn.
Read the original article on Prensario Internacional.