Growing and Engaging your Streaming Audience

After a few years of rapid growth of streaming services and increased time at home due to the pandemic, many streaming services found themselves shifting from focusing just on growth to understanding how to retain and engage audiences on their platform. Competition for attention has never been stronger.

While streaming video will continue to gain momentum, especially with leading services now pursuing global markets, these companies will also need to address churn and retention among diverse segments in different markets, and shift from merely measuring subscribers to understanding how to unlock the lifetime value within their customer bases. - Kevin Westcott, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP in a recent report

So how do you leverage your viewer data to create a strategy around engagement, retention, and churn reduction? It’s possible to build a robust viewer retention strategy, as long as you have the right data. Here, we guide you through the four areas you should be leveraging data to grow and engage your audience.

Know why people joined your platform

What content is driving people to your platform? Understanding what content viewers first watch when they join your platform can be a good indicator of what their expectations are. Did they join so they could watch a playoff basketball game? The premiere of a new drama?

It is also useful to understand if an audience joined for a specific promotion. Evaluating drop off after a trial period or the finale of a specific show can help you to understand the right times to reach out to customers with content recommendations, push notifications, or other marketing tactics to get them discovering new shows and staying past that first period.

Segment your audience to personalize engagement plan

What segments exist on your platform? Segmenting audiences based on their consumption patterns—whether it’s by genre, time of day, or subscription type can help you to personalize both their experience and continued marketing outreach. It can help you understand the groups of people you need to consider when developing or acquiring new content.

What attributes make up your most loyal segments? Understanding what attributes make up your most loyal and high-value viewers can help you determine the best groups to target in growth campaigns. It can also indicate behaviors to encourage. For example, if you see that viewers who engage with at least two series in their initial one-week trial period are more likely to be subscribed in six months, you may want to work to better surface content in that initial week. This can be through content carousels, themed video playlists, email outreach, or push notifications.

Understand viewer journeys

How do you personalize the experience? Once you segment your audience you can start to evaluate the content journeys affinities of different groups. Are people who joined to watch the playoff basketball game likely to watch a documentary series? Surfacing those affinities, which are not always intuitive, can help you create playlists and an app experience more customized to a specific group. This is particularly important for publishers with large back catalogues of content. The easier you can make it for viewers to discover content quickly the more likely they will be to stay on the application. A viewer that scrolls for five minutes without finding anything to watch will likely not be back the next day.

Activate data to continue to engage customers

Do you have the right data? The right insights can help make these actions easy and repeatable as you continue to work to engage and retain your audience. When evaluating analytics solutions, you want one that has the right insights, not just on how a viewer engages with your application, but also on their actual video viewing behavior.

Creating marketing campaigns targeted to particular audience segments is a great way to encourage engagement. You should consider things like push notifications or email campaigns to viewers when they haven’t watched content in a certain amount of time, target marketing for a new show at a segment likely to enjoy it, or create stunts like show marathons promoted in-app to catch a group up before a new season.

Learn more about how you can acquire and energize viewers everywhere you stream.