Why is Your OTT Platform Hemorrhaging Subscribers?

Jun 12, 2023

OTT subscribers being lost at a fast rate

Over-the-top (OTT) platforms have been growing in popularity over the years, with more and more people opting for these services over traditional cable TV. However, recently it seems like every industry headline is that some of the big services are losing subscribers, Netflix being the most affected. Even Disney+ suffered its first 2.4 million loss of subscribers this year. Are viewers suffering from major subscription fatigue? Most platforms are the same as each other, users are bored and are craving something new. Is it any surprise that viewers are moving on to look for something new?

Despite many contributing factors, some out of the control of the provider, such as economic strain and intensifying competition, services aren’t giving up. There are many methods to help combat churn. So, let’s take a look at some of the main influences that are making people unsubscribe and how to fight back.

Why are People Canceling OTT Services?

In a recent study by Cord Cutting, it was found to be true that the most obvious is the lack of interesting content as one of the main reasons for canceling. If users believe that the service is offering inadequate content, they are more likely to dip in and out of the subscription rather than being fully committed. Original content has been one strategy that providers have started to use more and more to keep viewers interested. Between 2022-2028 Disney+ has increased its annual investment in original content by 82.2%. On the other hand, this can cause some users to sign-up for one particular series or film and then unsubscribe, contributing to churn rates. In 2020, 25% of users canceled their subscriptions after a particular show has ended that they signed up for. In order to prevent this from happening, platforms need to ensure that all of their content is easily discoverable, not just their most popular content.

Poor user experience is a contributing factor; 61% of viewers say it’s frustrating when trying to find something to watch. With the act of switching between apps, trying to find something to watch can be very tedious and annoying. 82% of us consumers say there’s a limit to how many platforms they can use, so OTT platforms need to make sure that their service is number one to their users.

Currently, more and more viewers are trying to cut costs, averagely Americans spend $48 per month on streaming services — and half of those surveyed say that’s too much. Although most streaming services have reduced prices by offering ad tiers, there is still a fight against churn.

Same OTT Experience, Same Result

No wonder it’s all doom and gloom; viewers are bored, with the mutual feeling that they’re overpaying for services and starting to become very particular about where they are spending their shrinking disposable income. There’s no room to be complacent within a competitive environment, service providers need to step up and start providing something different.
While having a broad content library can be beneficial, it’s essential to ensure it’s curated to reflect your target audience’s likes and dislikes. Through having a deeper understanding of your audience as a whole can help when deciding on investment for future content projects.

Ensure you identify your core audience; for example, Hayu is focused on reality TV. Carefully analyzing viewer demographic data collected from various sources, including search queries, ratings data, and social media activity, allows OTT services to build a library of content that resonates with their core audience. Personalization can help your viewers discover new content that they wouldn’t necessarily have found otherwise. This may be because it’s older or not the most trending. This can help a service’s Effective Catalog Size Score, which is a measure of the effectiveness of a catalog or database in finding relevant items in response to a search query. For one client, this score doubled when XroadMedia’s solution was implemented in comparison to their incumbent recommendation system.

As well as pivoting to offering ad tiers, providers are offering FAST channels or total free content to bring back the lean-back viewing that consumers are craving. This style of watching has been welcomed as it almost eliminates the element of choice.

AVOD and FAST services especially can’t afford to lack in the user experience of their platforms, as they’re more likely to get bounces due to the lack of commitment. With the cheaper alternatives becoming more popular, the focus needs to be on keeping users by attracting them with different and unique experiences. All video services should be working on ways to stand out from the crowd and they can do that by creating a more accessible experience and a viewing experience that feels like it’s curated for every individual. Viewers are constantly overwhelmed with choice, personalization can enable an environment that almost takes the user back to simpler times when there were limited options, however this time, these options are most likely the content they will enjoy most.

How to Stand Out From the Crowd

Set aside the exclusive films or series you can offer your audience, how can you keep your users happy? Frictionless experience, reduce the time they spend looking for content with less interactions on their part.

XroadMedia works exclusively with media and streaming platforms to personalize their OTT platforms. Here are some of the ways that you can differentiate your service from the crowded market:

  • Predictive Content Scores: Every asset within your catalog for each user is given a unique score based on their profile and behavior. Your content team will always know exactly which items are most interesting to each user.
  • Dynamic UI: Powered by these scores, re-sort items per row, organize rows and even create rows that match every individual profile.
  • Personalize Every Touchpoint: Drive visits without annoyance with 100% personalized marketing. Powered by Predictive Content Scores, tailor every touchpoint to all of your users through personalizing emails, newsletters and push notifications. Keep your audience coming back by enticing them with only the content that they will love.
  • Smart Continue-Watching: Always have the right episode ready for your viewers, only one click away. Have your users experience the best watching experience with seamless viewing.

These are just some of the ways that XroadMedia can help your OTT platform. If you want to learn more about how we help exclusively media companies retain their users with our innovative personalization solution here.

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