OTT TV is no longer a novelty in the television industry. It keeps on gradually substituting for traditional TV in terms of audience and revenues. Consider these numbers: for the last 2 years, the share of digital TV subscribers in the global pay TV market has increased up to 73%, while the number of cable TV subscribers has gone down. The Internet penetration rate has been growing year by year: in 2020, it constitutes 31% and is expected to be 36.4% by 2024.
These numbers speak for themselves. According to Statista.com, this year the revenue in the global OTT video segment is forecasted to reach USD 133,587 million. And these numbers can only grow. The OTT media revenue is expected to reach 158.84 billion U.S. dollars by 2024, more than double the 67.8 billion generated in 2018.
What else is important? TV channels, broadcasters and studios have already appreciated the advantages of OTT and create exclusive content only for this format. Every season is marked by long-awaited premieres of major streaming services: Netlix, HBO, Apple TV+ viewers with movies and series available only for subscribers.
However, at the same time, the problem of choice arises seriously. In an environment where streaming services have literally flooded the market, viewers are provided with much more content than they can consume. Deloitte research found that the average US viewer is willing to pay for a subscription for no more than three different streaming services. How, then, to differ from competitors?
To survive within conditions of tough competition, you need to attract new subscribers and keep the existing ones — and these are different strategies. New viewers can be attracted by exclusive content or an extensive video library, but retaining a user by relying only on content is quite expensive. Canceling subscription after watching the show you want is a common thing. New users come to the platform for trending content, but then only stay if they are attracted by the service provided.
Deloitte in its research emphasizes that today viewers find online most of what they need, but are disappointed with the amount of effort that has to be made to understand all the services and platforms. They want to be able to independently build interactions with media services, use a la carte options, cut too many subscriptions to make it easier to manage them. And online services should use that.
In addition to content and advertising, which are the focus of major marketing budgets, bundling with other media services is effective. According to a survey of SPB TV viewers in 2020, 63% of users who have a subscription to TV and video services have one or more subscriptions to other media services (books, music, games, etc).
The more you know about viewers, the more creative opportunities you have. In addition to demographic criteria that are clear to everyone, you can focus on audience behavior to segment the audience and offer different prices for content depending on the time of day or day of the week. Besides, it gives more reasons for communication. For example, you can congratulate viewers not only on their birthday, but also on the end of the series and, taking advantage of a good reason, offer additional options or an extended subscription that will make viewing more convenient.
Everyone loves to get presents, so you can surprise users as a reward for loyalty. For example, if statistics show that you have a group of subscribers that most often watch children's channels or cartoons, offer them a discount on a baby monitor or other useful thing from your partners. And those watching sports might be interested in discounted stadium tickets from your other cross-marketing partner.
Thanks to YouTube, the practice of premium access to the service is gaining momentum. In addition to content, a premium package can include various useful features. For example, offline access, the ability to combine viewing with other applications, audio mode, etc. These functions do not yet belong to the must have category, this is a nice addition. They will help create a more trusting relationship with the user and, even without updating the video library, will make the online resource a full-fledged service.
What else? Netflix has proven that recommendations work great: they are responsible for 80% of the transitions to movies and TV shows. Not every service can afford to implement such a system based on machine learning algorithms. But the creativity has not been canceled yet. Instead of automatic recommendations, offer viewers a selection of movies from your director, video blogger or host of the "N" channel. Users may not agree with the choice of the author, but they will definitely appreciate your imagination. The real-time format also works well. Whether it's hot news, another “coming out,” or the FIFA World Cup - the editor can use any topic to communicate with the audience.
Marketing approaches and activities can make a very long list, but with no analysis and KPIs they are still ideas. Every effort your make should be planned, thought-over and analyzed. Integrating events with Google Analytics, checking viewing data reports or conducting surveys – all is fair here.
The point of all these actions is to go beyond your type of service. You are not just an online marketplace with funny pictures. You are a service that can do more! Become a friend to the viewer. Discuss the video seen, help the user to make purchases, be a nanny for viewer's child, entertain client on the way home. It all depends on your imagination and the speed with which you can test hypotheses. Tune in to communication and use every occasion for dialogue.