By Sadirah Pathan, Public Relations, Parks Associates
Today’s streaming landscape is one where consumers face a variety of competing OTT services and an often-overwhelming amount of content. The ease and temptation of switching services in this environment makes churn an inherent problem for OTT services. Services today are challenged to drive a consistently high level of subscriber acquisition and retention to combat the ever-present threat of churn. Methodologies and strategies to maximize subscribership, raise customer retention, and predict and actively combat churn are exceedingly crucial to services and content owners seeking to thrive in today’s market.
The OTT medium offers access to an incredible array of content, and consumers have embraced access diversity in order to satisfy their needs. Parks Associates’ research finds that 61% of OTT subscribers today subscribe to a mix of the top 3 and other services. Existing subscribers are increasingly valuable in today’s churn-prone OTT competitive landscape. Additionally, OTT services are constantly looking to shorten their path to ROI and strengthen their revenue base. Further, controlling churn is crucial – subscriber retention is less costly in time, effort, and capital than acquiring new subscribers. As a result, services proactively enact initiatives to detect, prevent, and limit churn.
The research firm reports that smart TVs are the most widely adopted video device in US internet households and consumers’ preferred platform for video consumption. Smart TVs are now in active use in 55% of US broadband households, and are the most-favored primary device for streaming video consumption in the home. The smart TV has now surpassed all other connected TV devices as the device of choice through which consumers stream video and is now a staple of today’s connected US households.
Smart TV engagement and deployment strategies also have to contend with the differences between smart TV platforms. Four streaming platforms dominate the picture – Samsung Tizen, LG WebOS, Vizio Smartcast, and Roku TV. These four collectively comprise 79% of consumers’ primary TVs, and Samsung leads with 41% of the market share. Services and service providers must still support distribution to various software platforms to maximize their total reach in this competitive market landscape.
Content is key to driving and maintaining subscriber engagement, and the lack of new original content in an OTT service’s pipeline has potential implications for an offering’s bottom line. All OTT video services, particularly those that stake their value proposition in new original content, must be vigilant in managing their content pipeline. Industry leaders address the role of original and exclusive content, best practices in utilizing it to maximize engagement and stickiness, and solutions to retain and grow customers.
Parks Associates reveals that 70% of viewers dedicate an average of their viewing to services with a broad variety of content. Over one-third of viewers dedicate over three-fourths of their time to services with varied content. In today’s highly competitive, churn-prone environment, every engagement advantage counts. Maximizing content variety and diversity on both the acquisition and distribution ends of the equation will also help maximize subscriber engagement and retention.
For more information on OTT Churn: Marketing and Retention Strategies, visit www.ParksAssociates.com or register for the firm’s upcoming Future of Video virtual session on July 21. This executive conference features Parks Associates’ new consumer research strategies for cableco, OTT, and mobile service providers to provide high-quality customer service, retain subscribers and attract new customers, and design bundled options through new distribution strategies.