Five ways to acquire new customers in OTT

How do you attract eyeballs for your OTT service? Here are five future-proof ways to gain new customers

So, you want to grow your OTT service by gaining new customers, which could prove a challenge given the current climate. The decline in the UK’s streaming market has seen a loss of 0.5 million SVOD subscribers in Q2 of 2022 alone, with many of the largest streaming services now looking at advertising-supported models to alleviate the cost to the consumer and retain their subscribers. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Adapting to new trends and viewer behaviour is how your business can survive and thrive, but knowing which trend is the new Blu-ray, and not the HD DVD, can be tough.

First episode free  

What if you gave away the first episode of each series to get the viewer engaged and wanting more? This is the method that Amazon Prime Video is adopting with add-on subscriptions for premium content made available from third-party content owners on their platform. We’ve covered the try before you buy concept before, but not in this format, as this is giving viewers an extended preview of the content available and could be a great way to entice them into wanting more. This differs from the usual ‘free month’ trial most OTT services offer, and as an acquisition method is somewhat flawed as subscriber numbers can be inflated by offering free trials in this way, creating a ‘vanity metric’. You don’t want users cancelling once that first free month is over, do you?

Exclusive content  

Scarcity increases demand and by the same means, exclusivity could increase the popularity of your service. Think about it this way, you can’t buy a Big Mac at a Burger King, you must go to a specific fast-food chain to satisfy that desire. If you’ve got great content, keep it exclusively on your platform. Retain full control of the rights and monetisation, drawing in viewers with your most popular original titles. Data shows that headline titles are effective at drawing in subscribers, with a couple of the largest streaming services gaining 400,000 new subscribers upon the release of big-name titles. However, those same services are not retaining these new subscribers, with half of them leaving within six months. Consistent quality of content is key.

Availability across platforms  

You don’t need to be on every platform. However, your applications should be available wherever your customers are. If you were to look for your favourite brand of a product while completing your weekly shop and it’s not stocked in that store, would you not just pick up the nearest equivalent rather than going to another store to look for it? Simplestream can provide an out-of-the-box set of tried and tested applications for the most popular platforms and devices with our proprietary product, App Platform. You could launch a set of branded applications within weeks, with fully customised app logos and iconography.

Reduced sign-up friction

22% of US consumers abandon their online basket due to the checkout process being too long or too complicated. Yes, that means you could possibly be losing over a fifth of your potential customer base if your sign-up or purchase process isn’t smooth enough. Trials no longer have to be card-less to simplify the purchase process. Payment integrations within applications offer one-click purchases through the likes of Apple Pay and Google Pay, making the process frictionless and reducing the risk of ‘basket abandonment’.

Offers and personalisation

As we mentioned, free trials can become a vanity metric. Nevertheless,  the latest data suggests that 78% of households which trialled multiple streaming services had subscribed to at least one by the end of their initial free access. Though this might work in the short term to increase subscriber numbers, it’s worth taking cues from outside the OTT industry and offering referral schemes.  

Why not offer your subscribers a slightly reduced subscription rate when they get a friend to sign up for your service? Personalisation is key to the success of your referral scheme, and you could ultimately succeed where Netflix failed. Studies show that 92% of customers trust recommendations from people close to them, so the personal touch of a referral scheme could be all you need.  

These are only five of the potential tactics which you could utilise to grow your OTT service, for further support with growing your business get in touch with us today.