03 / December / 2020

Seniors move to the OTT area

OTT strategies are mostly aimed to attracting youngsters: boomers, zoomers and other groups like that are always in focus. Meanwhile, according to Nielsen, 18-34s have adopted online video faster than 50-64s. However, the difference is not as large as many would expect. As well, SPB TV 2020 Survey showed that share of senior users raised from 10 to 17% during last year.

Seniors move to the OTT area

Ofcom claims that UK adults doubled the amount of time spent on streamers during the peak of the Covid-19 lockdown. Older viewers were a key component of that uptick, with 32% of 55 to 64-year-olds using SVOD services, while one sixth of people aged over 65 watched streamers such as Amazon and Netflix. Those figures stood at 25% and 12% respectively last year.

It’s time to state the obvious: senior people occupy their share in streaming audience.

Why is OTT TV needed for seniors?

Apart from traditional benefits of streaming like multiscreen, EPG or timeshift, this category of viewers can fulfill special needs using such services.

For older adults, the need for accessible entertainment, like a streaming service, is important, especially when their mobility is limited, either temporarily or long term or, for example, there’s a need to maintain distance from others.

Many seniors may like the ability to pause for short breaks or rewind if they miss something. They can even make plans to watch a show at the same time as family member or a friend, to share the experience.

There’s also evidence that seniors with cognitive issues can benefit from the social context of watching TV with people who are close to them.

What should an OTT TV service consider when reaching out to seniors?

Convenience: it may be that app interface would need a redesign. Simplicity and easiness of navigation are crucial.

Accessibility: interface for seniors must consider sight or hearing problems. Bigger icons or voice assistant will be a huge plus.

Content: though elder people cut the cord, they are still stuck on linear TV, that is why offer should include TV channels as well as VoD content.

Advertising: proper targeting is a must. Like every other user, seniors want to see something relevant, so segmentation and data analysis go first.

Subscription plan: seniors' financial possibilities of the area where an OTT service is functioning may differ. So, considering the amount, forms and dates of payment is matter of knowing. Is it better to offer monthly or yearly subscription? Or create a packgage to replace familiar linear TV and offer VoD content on pay-per-view basis? There is a sea of options.

Older viewer loyalty lays between easiness, affordability and pleasure of interacting with the service.