By Michael Lantz, CEO, Accedo
Competition among video services is increasing. There are more OTT video services than ever before, and consumer confusion is mounting. Which service should I use? What offering will best suit my needs? How do I use the different services? As the OTT landscape becomes increasingly crowded, it will be even more important for video providers to really understand and optimise the user experience of their video services.
Everyone of Accedo’s customers, from the largest pay-TV operator to the smallest niche video provider, understands the importance of capturing and maintaining consumers’ attention. If you don’t offer users the exact right experience, at the exact right time, you risk losing them. The majority of consumers have access to multiple video services and competitors are just a click away.
Unfortunately, many video services focus all their customer communication efforts on content promotions. It is, of course, understandable that a video service provider who has invested heavily in a premium TV series would want to maximise viewing on this show. But is this really what will increase customer satisfaction and drive long term success for the service?
In order to stay competitive, video service providers should use data-driven insights to optimise the user experience. At Accedo, we have identified four main areas where companies should use data to improve their offerings. We believe that these areas are low hanging fruit and can generally be addressed with the right combination of expert tools and knowledge.
1. Registration process and strategy
Most video services want to get to know their users. This enables them to provide better experiences, improve monetisation and drive long-term customer loyalty. Consumer data should be a key part of building a successful registration strategy. By identifying KPIs for various UX points in the registration process, it is possible to start experimenting with different variations to ultimately optimise registrations. For example, the process may need to be different for different devices, depending on which marketing channel the consumer comes from.
2. First-time usage
First impressions last! The interest and attention which is built up during a user’s first visit to a video service is really important. By analysing first-visit behavioural data, it is possible to understand the drivers behind the user’s registration. Couple this with the knowledge video service providers have about the user lifecycle from existing customers, and we can ensure that consumers get the best possible experience. Maybe users who have registered based on a marketing campaign for a new flagship show should be taken directly to that content? Maybe your target demographic is willing to offer up more data about themselves and their interests before proceeding to the service? Maybe you need a service walkthrough immediately after registration? All of this can be measured and the experience can be optimised for maximum benefit.
3. Monetisation optimisation
Most video services, at the end of the day, are focused on making money. It’s therefore surprising how little time and effort is spent on optimising the user experience from a monetisation perspective. We generally see two major monetisation models and these need to be addressed in different ways.
First, you have usage monetisation, normally Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD) and Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD) business models. For these models, it’s pretty obvious that an improved UX would lead to more consumption, which ultimately increases revenue. Companies with these models should leverage data to determine when it’s appropriate to encourage additional consumption and when it will be detrimental to consumer satisfaction.
Second, you have subscription monetisation, where the video provider receives the same revenue regardless of usage. The focus for these companies is to retain consumers over a longer period of time, i.e. reduce the service churn and avoid losing users to competitors. While this is, of course, often down to content and promotions, a seemingly simple thing such as a poorly implemented updating of consumer data or expired billing methods, can be enough to have users abandon a service.
4. Promotions and recommendations
The final low hanging fruit is to improve consumer engagement during normal usage of the service. Our experience is that this seemingly obvious task is proving a challenge for video service providers. If not done successfully, it can cause endless frustration amongst users who cannot find anything to watch, are confused about the UX or maybe get irrelevant recommendations. It is our experience that there is no one answer to this challenge, but rather it will depend on user demographics, refresh rate and most importantly: the amount and type of content. For some services, enhanced metadata is really key for consumer engagement while for others, it is attractive editorial promotions that will do the trick. There may also be differences depending on time of day and in periods when something is launched. All this is possible to improve and optimise, but may require analysis over a longer period of time as well as detailed insight into content strategy and the loyalty and usage of different parts of the user base.
At Accedo, we’re proud to have both the team and competence to provide the advice needed for this effort. We have the tools to start experimenting with an optimised UX, using our product platform’s ability to dynamically change the user experience. Contact us to discuss how we can do a UX Audit of your video service to identify improvement areas that will have a positive effect on your business performance.