Are You Measuring What Matters in OTT Delivery?

March 28, 2022

There’s no getting around it: the over-the-top (OTT) market is increasingly competitive, and there’s a lot on the line for streamers looking to retain and add subscribers. When you factor in the nuances of customer churn, the quality of user experience, and the pressures of creating one-of-a-kind content, some publishers don’t even know where to start when it comes to data analytics

Still, one thing all streaming providers know for sure is that they need data (even if they don’t know what kind). In a recent Streaming Media webinar, Leveraging Data and Analytics in Your OTT Workflow, industry experts explored how the data analytics world is evolving, the value of getting the right data, and how data can be key for growing revenue.

Why do we need data?

Data analytics is vital to OTT for the same reason it’s vital to every digital business—it provides essential insights for refining strategy and increasing bottom lines. But in today’s competitive market, using strategic data is no longer optional. It’s the bare minimum.

“I’m sure everyone agrees that measuring business performance with analytics is a must. I always say business without analytics is like walking in the dark while you are trying to arrive somewhere.” – Efe Akbulut, Senior Manager of Analytics, BritBox

A moving target

Not all data is equally valuable. In fact, the analytics that mattered just a few years ago may not be all that important today. For example, before and during the early pandemic, publishers were most concerned with acquisition metrics. That’s because, with so many consumers stuck at home, streaming providers were competing for audiences with more time than ever to binge their content.

But as the world continues to recede from the lockdown era, acquisition metrics have taken a backseat to retention metrics.

“The measurements we are doing is changing every day. That’s the exciting part.” – Efe Akbulut, Senior Manager of Analytics, BritBox

The truth is, streaming publishers are shooting at a moving target. And since market conditions are always changing, it’s imperative for companies to stay up-to-date with the most recent best practices for data analytics.

“Eight years ago when I joined Conviva, it was a very different conversation. There was still a bit of a QoS versus QoE conversation. Now it’s really around operationalization, actionability, and solving more problems faster.” – Jose Paulo Caldeira De Jesus, Director of Product Management, Conviva

A solid foundation comes first

The most specific data you need for your company won’t be obvious at first. Instead, start with the basics, before honing your analytics to get the most important insights for your team. Some critical first steps include measuring audience engagement, and gauging quality of experience indicators like buffering and start-up time.

“There are those that come to us where maybe they haven’t really measured their service in-depth, or they’re launching a brand-new service, and this is a new experience for them. That’s where we talk to our best practices.” – Igor Oreper, VP of Solutions, Bitmovin

Once the basics are in place, publishers can tailor their measurements, and monitor data based on their specific strategic objectives. For each task, they’ll need to figure out what kind of data matters most, and how to best leverage that precise data.

“If you lease a new app version, how do you make sure it’s performing as well or better than the previous [one] and across every single device and device model and operating system? If you want to try a new CDN partner, how do you make sure it’s good and it performs in all the ISPs where you have audience and all the locations?” – Jose Paulo Caldeira De Jesus, Director of Product Management, Conviva

What’s important now

For years, companies have analyzed customer acquisition and customer churn separately. But streamers are by-and-large seeking a more holistic approach to measuring performance. By analyzing the big picture, publishers can pinpoint problem areas before they grow, and seize opportunities before their competition.

“That’s why we came out with new metrics to calculate the full circulation performance. One of the metrics, outflow rate, calculates the ratio of subscribers coming as the others are going. This is really important to make this mix, because today there’s no streaming service on the planet having zero churn.” – Ethan Moore, VP of Business Insights, Atmosphere

If OTT providers truly want to grow revenue in a crowded market, they will need this 360-degree view of data. Innovative solutions will be key to leveraging all of these insights.

Conviva can leverage the right data to boost your bottom line

Conviva has developed its Experience Insights solution to continuously measure and optimize viewer experience and engagement. This expansive tool helps OTT providers monitor performance in real-time, so they can proactively identify issues with live and on-demand programming. Best of all, Conviva’s out-of-the-box dashboard is fully configurable, so publishers can view the metrics they want, when they want them, putting full control in their hands.

“Every streaming business that is really making it, the names we know, are all heavily sophisticated, data-driven businesses. The level of operationalization today is why the streaming industry is succeeding.” – Jose Paulo Caldeira De Jesus, Director of Product Management, Conviva

Learn more: Watch the Leveraging Data and Analytics in Your OTT Workflow webinar now.