The pandemic’s onset coincided with the year of binge-watching, which accelerated the growth of OTT platforms. This hype isn’t going anywhere, with Allied Market Research suggesting that the OTT market is projected to generate a revenue of $1.039 trillion by 2027. Including 5G technology will only encourage more companies to jump on board, with production companies opting to launch their own platforms rather than licensing their content to be streamed on other platforms. However, with the rise of OTT platforms, so does the customer’s dilemma in choosing the best platforms to subscribe to. This has, in turn, led to stiff competition between OTT platforms. While “content is king,” great content alone might not serve your case, in the OTT race. Increasing user engagement is key here and here are tips to boost your OTT viewership?
Since customers view content via different channels, ensure your platform is compatible with a wide range of devices. While supporting multiple profiles, the user experience across all platforms must be personalized by taking different devices into consideration. This helps elevate your customer’s user experience, thus helping retention rates.
Intuitive UI is also key here. Let’s take Apple as an example. Apple spells out every action in the simplest way possible that the user is supposed to do on the button to ensure the user understands what to do. Netflix also has a similar UI when it comes to onboarding. Their tagline is simple and shows exactly what a customer could do. “Watch anywhere. Cancel anytime.” The next tab prompts you to sign up. This is how easy it is for a customer to start a Netflix account?
Winding off after a long day at work, you switch on your TV, and you realize you’ve just finished watching your favorite series. You now need a new series, similar to what you’ve been watching. This is how personalized recommendations work? Help your customers view content they’d like, thus making it easier for them to find the content they’d enjoy. To do so, you could rely on direct user inputs and apply machine learning algorithms to user data. While most OTT platforms focus on knowledge-based systems that focus on a particular characteristic like ratings, for example, a content-based system that focuses on user preferences on social media takes the win here? A mixture of the two could also be applied to achieve a perfect balance in giving relevant suggestions.
Customers today are used to being in control. Personalized content suggestions only go so far if there aren’t flexible subscription models for your viewer. Your subscription plans must cater to a larger demographic of viewers. Free trials and monthly and annual subscriptions can vary according to your user base. If you’re a relatively new platform, the freemium model is a great way to attract users to your platform and thereby boost viewership. This would provide unlimited access to some content on your platform and a nominal fee for the premium or original content on your platform. This helps your users get a preview of how your application works and also gives them an insight as to what they could expect.
Loved watching a movie and want to recommend it to your friends? This is yet another way to boost your OTT platform’s viewership. Allow your customers to share your content’s links on social media, thus invoking word-of-mouth marketing. Adding the features of likes, favorites, and sharing is a feature of social media applications, which, thanks to the pandemic, is what we’re used to. Allow people to discuss your content on social media forums and help spark debates? This would also help you understand the type of content that resonates with your audience and thus drives traffic to your platform.
Notifications are always a sore subject for applications since sending too much might trigger the opposite of your expectations. However, sending quirky push notifications helps immensely with user engagement? Relevant and personalized notifications at the right time are key to ensuring that your customers do not uninstall your application. For example, if a customer has watched "F.R.I.E.N.D.S.", season 1, you could recommend that they watch "F.R.I.E.N.D.S.", season 2. This is to show that you care about the customers' interests and think they’d enjoy season 2 as well!
It is also vital to ensure you send push notifications according to your customers' time zones and understand that not every notification can be sent to every customer. Notifications can thus find the perfect balance by not being annoying or causing any disturbance for the customer.
To boost viewership in a competitive market, UX is everything. It is essential to engage your viewers or get them “hooked” on your content in an era where there’s an overflow of it. As more media platforms shift to setting up their own platforms, standing out is tough. Great content is an anticipatory bail to this issue; however, without proper UI/UX, bounce rates would increase. To put it in layman's terms, great content that turns into the talk of the town and an immersive experience that mesmerizes your customers is all you need to skyrocket your OTT viewership?