How To Keep Viewers Coming Back To Your OTT Video Service

Miles Weaver
Miles Weaver Marketing Director

In news that will likely come as a surprise to no one, in its Industry Benchmark Report for Media and Entertainment (OTT) Apps report, mobile marketing company CleverTap, showed that 43% of all OTT video apps get abandoned just one month after downloading. The report also showed that OTT video applications experience 67 per cent churn within the first two weeks; while, on the flip side, only 26 per cent of new OTT app users engage media at least three times within the first month.

As I said at the top, this news will hardly be received with earth shaking surprise. Users, for some time now, have been shown to be extremely fickle when it comes to using new OTT video services, they view them, in many cases, as extensions of the mobile app culture – try, use and forget once you’ve got your fill of it.

One of the key reasons for this large and sudden drop off is behaviour. It takes effort on the part of the user to go from using an app a few times because it’s new to using it regularly as part of their behaviour. There are a variety of things that can speed this process up, placement on the user’s home screen, eye-catching nature of the icon, the kinds of and frequency of notifications that the app surfaces. But the key issue, comes down to content. How regularly is there new content added to the service, and thus how many reasons do I have (as a viewer) to revisit the app?

An example; after the end of season 6 of Game of Thrones HBO Go revenue fell by 40% (according to app-research firm Sensor Tower), which was one of the biggest drops in the services history. Last year, however, after season 7 finished, the drop off was only 7%. A massive improvement. Why was this? It was likely due to the range of new, tentpole content that HBO has been deploying near to when Game of Thrones finishes. Acutely aware of the potential for churn, HBO wisely dropped shows like Westworld and The Wire creator David Simon’s The Deuce near to when Game of Thrones finished.

Content is what keeps consumers engaged with a service more than anything else. A good UI will please them, good playback quality will satisfy them, but more than anything they need a reason to continue to keep coming back to the service. The prime reason they will do that is content. If there isn’t anything new or interesting for them to watch, they aren’t going to come back, and with new OTT video services and apps a gap in that content refresh cycle after the first few weeks or months is key. Give viewers a reason to watch, and they will, and slowly, as you keep them coming back with new content, their behavioural patterns will adapt to integrate your service, and habits will form that you’re part of.

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Miles Weaver

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Miles Weaver Marketing Director
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