Launching a successful D2C streaming service: four things to remember - The data analytics revolution

August 26, 2021

by Marco Lorenzi

We saw in the previous chapters of this blog series how the success of your direct-to-consumer (D2C) streaming service largely depends on an alchemy of various elements. Attractive content and a simple structure for your offering, of course, but also appealing user experience, and technological advancement brought by continuous research. 

There’s an underlying factor that – now more than ever – helps you to make a difference amid fierce competition for eyeballs. We are talking about data analytics, the real differentiator for the success of your D2C service. Organisations today need to put the viewer at the heart, and the deeper they can understand their own audience, the better they can tailor the overall experience to its needs. Business models, pricing, consumer behaviours, churn rate predictions: it all starts from data.

Get ready as in the final chapter of our series, we analyse the ‘whys’ and ‘hows‘ streaming services cannot do without robust sets of analytics. With an eye on what’s next. 

It’s a data revolution

We are living the so-called ‘age of the customer’. An era where consumers are more empowered than ever, as they can access information about products and services over the internet, and in real time. The customer's ability to quickly access information has resulted in remarkable changes in the marketplace, and the OTT world is no exception.

With services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max and Disney+, the market is clearly set to explode, and current forecasts predict exponential growth in revenue and subscriber-bases. In the US only, for instance, average OTT subscriptions are expected to increase to five per broadband household in 2023, from three in 2020.

Access to big data and analytics has become a must for all the players in the streaming space. It comes as no surprise, then, that the giants mentioned above started to leverage data to inform their strategy many years ago. All with the objectives to contrast customer churn, ensure the higher customer lifetime value (LTV) out of their audience, and ultimately come up with those personalised experiences that nurture loyalty. 

Quality over quantity

OTT operators have one main task: to focus on the quality, as opposed to quantity, of their data. As we said in our post dedicated to user experience, today it’s key for any player in the market to focus on how their end-users consume content, as well as what they are watching. It’s the first step to take to ‘live and breathe’ customers’ habits, take those individuals by the hand and through a journey that’s built upon never-ending streams of insights.

Analytics tools that help you to monitor your audience’s behaviour in real time are integral to your success. Think of a dashboard that regularly pulls information from your users’ video playtime, or provides you with invaluable information about their preferred choices in terms of subscription packages. Analytics help you to get a thorough, multi-dimensional understanding of your customers’ experience.

At Simplestream, we provide our customers with the fully comprehensive Nice People At Work's YouBora integration, among other analytics services. It can help you to monitor the health of your service, from tracking an individual user’s downtime to viewing how a service is performing in a specific region, to tracking the number of hours spent watching specific content.

What’s on the horizon?

Data analytics will continue to impact the world of streaming and OTT, becoming the necessary foundation to stronger design strategies, deeper user experience, and new monetisation opportunities. As technology brings more and more opportunities to fine-tune the user experience on its many layers, data analytics will represent the real ace in the sleeve to determine success.

Data analytics sits at the heart of your ecosystem, and is the only lens you can use to look – with some perspective – at understanding your audience, improving the LTV of each user, enhancing the experience, targeting adverts based on preferences, and making predictions for the best actions to take next.

Manual processes are progressively turning into automated ones, as the convergence between technology and data analytics brings to surface new capabilities and, in general, an easier way to analyse what’s happening on a platform, in real time.

Closing thoughts

At the end of this brief journey across the intricacies of successful D2C services, we certainly have a clearer idea of what the main pillars for solid foundations are. Customer-centricity, experience, research, data analytics are just a few aspects of the multi-faceted world of streaming and OTT. ‘Big data is not about the data’, Harvard Professor Gary King once said. It’s about extracting insights – and making them work – within the context of your own platform. With all the challenges that the modern viewer’s demands and expectations add to the picture. 

Any questions on how we can help you build a next generation service? ➡️ Get in touch here, we’d love to hear from you! 

Click the links below for the previous chapters of our blog series:

#1. Be customer centric
#2. Focus on the experience
#3. Research is key