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How UX Impacts Viewer Retention: Key Metrics that Really Matter

Paul Khan

Solutions Manager, EMEA & LatAm

June 20, 2023


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Every video provider wants to achieve the pinnacle of having a service that is not only fast and responsive, but also works consistently across all platforms - as well as being uniformly liked by users. Achieving this is difficult and getting it wrong can have a big impact on churn. Pinpointing and resolving what the likely pain points for users are is a crucial part in increasing retention. 

In this blog post, we’ll look at how user experience and performance impact viewer retention, with a focus on the UX areas that really matter and some key metrics that you can’t afford to ignore.

Analyzing UX 101: areas you should focus on

Before disclosing some of our metrics of choice, let’s get a bird’s eye view of the main UX areas any OTT business should pay attention to and how these differ from one another.

Content discovery

It’s well known that users will quickly get frustrated if they can’t easily find relevant content. According to a recent study, almost three quarters of consumers (72%) report frustration at finding something to watch. Issues with content discovery may arise because of problems with the search process or recommended content, the way content is grouped or categorized, or because user-specific content is not promoted well within the platform UX.

Video and UI performance

Users expect a well performing video service and are generally not forgiving of any kind of performance errors. If the service takes too long to load or if it regularly crashes, this is enough to motivate even the most loyal user to leave.


A video service needs to be incredibly simple to use and this applies to all of its aspects, from onboarding, discovering and viewing content, to updating user profiles. If a particular function is not performing properly then users will quickly get annoyed. Measuring how easily customers can complete different tasks will be a good indicator of where the problems are. 

User feedback

Listening to your users is a key part of any customer service provision. To improve customer satisfaction and to deliver on user needs, you need to understand both what users want, and also what is not working well. 

Customer service experience

Ensuring that all users receive the best possible customer service when they get in touch for help, guidance, or troubleshooting is incredibly important. A quality customer service experience goes a long way towards keeping your users loyal and combating churn. 

Key UX metrics that really matter for viewer retention

Now that we know the main areas that any good UX analysis should consider, let's dig into some of the metrics we think you should prioritize when optimizing the OTT user experience.

Discoverability of content and features

To determine if discoverability is an issue, you first need to analyze how viewers are interacting with the service and assess how long it takes for them to reach certain content or features. You can then move on to evaluate whether content is categorized in a way that feels natural to users as well as how easy it is for them to find and use different functionalities. Are features such as continue watching, recently added, and related content easy to find? Are search results and personalized recommendations effective and accurate? By evaluating how well your service is performing in each of these areas, you can pinpoint what needs improving, and then make the necessary changes.

App crash percentage

Measuring app crash percentage against usage data or active customers is vital if you want to ensure that your service is perceived as high quality and running smoothly across all platforms. This metric gives a good overview of application stability which is all important when it comes to UX. Performance could also be evaluated against industry standards.

Video start time

It’s important to evaluate the time it takes for the video to start after last user activity. In a similar way, you need to assess how the service performs on different bandwidths as well as the time for transition from ads to primary content. A delay between the user attempting to start the video and it actually beginning to play will frustrate even the most loyal customer. If, after evaluating, the metrics indicate that this is a problem, action can quickly be taken to reduce the time between user activity and start times.  

Social listening

Not all users who are experiencing performance or usability problems will raise their issues with customer support. They will, however, often post about their issues or how they feel about a service on social media. The number of negative (and positive) comments shared is indicative of user sentiment, so this is an important metric to measure. What’s more, by actively monitoring what viewers are saying about a service online, video providers can uncover important and often hidden issues that can impact viewer retention.

Time to first contact

According to one report, 71% of consumers aged 16-24, and 65% of those aged 25-34, feel that a quick response to a customer service inquiry significantly improves their customer experience. Measuring the time it takes to respond to an inquiry is as crucial for the customer service experience as the time it takes to resolve the issue - even if people don’t usually pay as much attention to the former.

It’s time to improve your OTT app retention rate

As the competition becomes ever fiercer, the need to ensure a consistent, pleasurable experience on every device is key to retention and reputation. You can only begin to optimize your service when you evaluate how you are currently performing. This is where Accedo Healthcheck comes in.

Accedo Healthcheck is a consultancy offering designed to assess the health and performance of a streaming service by examining over 100 metrics. Whether you are a global entertainment brand or a smaller, local provider, the solution will help you quickly evaluate the performance of your OTT service while accessing practical guidance on ways to improve.

To find out how Accedo Healthcheck can help you to retain viewers by maximizing performance and optimizing the customer experience, get in touch

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