Subscriber Retention: Welcome to the 'Streaming Wars' by@anjana

Subscriber Retention: Welcome to the 'Streaming Wars'

Streaming was initially Netflix’s game as it went unchallenged for almost a decade. It has its fair share of the audience for entering the realm before anyone tried to compete. However, today media companies, broadcasters, and independent content creators are all entering the streaming space as it is clearly the future of entertainment. All of them are battling hard to establish their supremacy. This has made deciding what content to watch, which services to subscribe to, and how many such services to subscribe to our biggest worry. The streaming wars were supposed to benefit viewers, but the space has already become overwhelming and expensive enough to discourage an average user from building loyal relationships with a service.
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Anjana

Talks about VOD, OTT, Video Monetization and Video Streaming

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Streaming was initially Netflix’s game as it went unchallenged for almost a decade. It has its fair share of the audience for entering the realm before anyone tried to compete.

However, today media companies, broadcasters, and independent content creators are all entering the streaming space as it is clearly the future of entertainment.

All of them are battling hard to establish their supremacy.

This has made deciding what content to watch, which services to subscribe to, and how many such services to subscribe to our biggest worry.

The streaming wars were supposed to benefit viewers, but the space has already become overwhelming and expensive enough to discourage an average user from building loyal relationships with a service.

What is User Retention?

User retention is converting first-time viewers and trial users into subscribers and increasing their lifetime value.

To calculate your retained subscribers, subtract the number of new subscribers acquired from the number of subscribers remaining at the end of the period. To figure out the percentage, divide that number by the total number of subscribers at the start and multiply it by 100.

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User Retention - Why is it a Challenge for Streamers?

Streamers spend every marketing dollar on attracting a new audience. But they fail to notice that the backdoor is wide open.

In other words, acquiring without retention is like filling a bucket with holes in the bottom. Sure, you could keep acquiring new subscribers to make up for the exit, but you'd be better off discovering what led to the holes and how you can fix them.

Subscribers have tons of choices, if they don’t find value in your service – they would ditch you for another service.

You don't need a mathematician to figure out that your streaming business cannot sustain if you are losing subscribers faster than attracting them.

Armament for Customer Retention

Here are the basic tips to prevent subscriber exodus caused by the streaming wars

1. Know Your Subscribers

Be informed of your subscribers' needs by getting to know them. The right way to find out what your subscribers think about your streaming service is to ask them.

Asking for feedback and analyzing it is a great way to figure out what needs to be improved in your overall user experience.

Also, take suggestions from your customer service executives and admins who manage user comments. Because they are the ones aware of the problems in your service and might even know how to solve them. 

2.  Communicate With Your Subscribers and Also Those Who Did Not

To retain subscribers, you need to constantly communicate with them through multiple channels such as emails, push notifications, SMS, and social media.

In addition to communicating with your subscribers also send emails to users who came up to your payment page and did not complete it, and those who have recently canceled their subscriptions. 

Understand what stopped them from subscribing to your service. Addressing and fixing these issues close the back gates for the audience.

Never give up on users who leave your app/website before subscribing. While mailing them, keep in mind that your goal is not to sell a subscription but to win a subscriber.

Have a communication strategy. Don’t just broadcast your promotional messages. Segment your audience and craft your messages accordingly.

After all, building a relationship is the goal of communication. Personalizing the message makes the user believe that the message was written exclusively for them and therefore builds trust and loyalty.

3. Personalization is the key

The success of a streaming service depends on the ability to customize the subscriber experience.

Most subscribers are willing to share their personal information for a personalized experience such as relevant recommendations and suggestions.

Ensure that your recommendations are based on a subscriber's behavior in your website and apps and not blindly based on their profile information such as age, gender, and location. 

Continually refine the persona descriptors of your subscribers. Work towards refining them, and create additional personas required to refine the personalization experience. 

Tailor the user experience for your subscribers. Find out what they want and cater to it.

4. Delight Your Customers 

While discounts and freebies are great ways to reward your subscribers, they can be expensive. 

Rather than relying heavily on these expensive delighters, you can express your gratitude through thoughtful gestures such as exclusive plans for long-time subscribers.

You can also share coupon codes in promotional emails. 

Also, you can encourage referral programs by offering discounts to the referrer and encourage referral acquisition through a gift card program.

Remember, it is not how much you give them, but the thought of giving that builds a loyal subscriber base.

5. Be Subscriber Obsessed 

Delight is not the basis of a customer service strategy, it is a side effect. Start by meeting expectations consistently and avoiding unpleasant surprises.

Instead of simply focusing on your subscribers, become obsessed with them. It's no longer just about data, algorithms, and personalization - go beyond it.

Here is how you can be subscriber obsessed

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6. Quantity Is Secondary to Quality

Whether you’re acquiring a license for new content or producing it yourself, quantity is only delightful if you’re delivering what your subscribers enjoy. You’ll do more damage than good by adding something that your viewers find boring. 

Of course, you need to consistently keep adding value to your video library. But ensure it is of real value.

The cost of creating and acquiring content is rising, Pay attention to the customer preferences to be certain that your investment isn’t wasted.

The content you add must be premium and enjoyable. After all, your viewers pay you to be entertained.

7. User Experience Is a Deciding Factor

Today, audiences have high expectations, which means that streaming services must strive to provide the best streaming experience possible to remain competitive.

To maximize customer satisfaction as competition increases, streaming companies should focus on the user experience, backed up by data that allows them to tailor the user experience to each subscriber

Finally,

Although there are many customer retention strategies, there are no shortcuts. Subscriber relationships are no different from personal ones, so why do we assume they are? Put in the same effort to win a loyal subscriber base. 

Create compelling pricing, marketing, and retention strategies that align with customer journeys 

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