The Pressure is On: 3 Ways to Boost Content Discovery and Engagement on a Crowded Playing Field

Customers are wading through a sea of brands, devices, and streaming services, with more added to the already vast mix each day. It’s not just in the saturated North American market, either. International publishers are increasingly joining the battle for market share, and competition is tighter than ever before.

To gain an understanding of how, exactly, viewers discover content, Conviva partnered with Dynata to survey more than 2,500 consumers. In the recent ARF OTTxScience webinar, Content Discovery and Engagement, Conviva Vice President Nick Cicero discusses the survey results and the insights they reveal about streaming preferences.

The results demonstrate that it’s critical for streaming providers to focus on engaging their viewers, fine-tuning their promotion strategies, and leveraging social media so they can gain a competitive edge and grow their market share. Here are three ways to get started.

1. Invest in personalization and recommendation algorithms

The Conviva survey revealed that 38% of respondents say they discovered content by chance through browsing, while 28% said that they discovered a new show on a platform by having it recommended while watching a streaming service. On top of that, 41% of all streaming viewers, and 90% of the most heavily indexed ones, confirmed that they frequently watch the programming their streaming services recommend.

“It’s clear that there is a lot of receptiveness from the viewer to actually be served recommendations.” – Nick Cicero, Vice President, Strategy at Conviva

In order to provide viewers with different types of recommendations, carousels, or curated playlists, publishers need data—and plenty of it. By investing in technology to capture the right data, such as Conviva’s Viewer Insights, publishers can understand consumption segments and content affinities and use that information reach the right viewers with the right content to keep them engaged—and subscribed—over the long run.

2. Leverage synergies between social and streaming video

Both social media and streaming video have become ubiquitous in society, so it’s natural that the two would be intertwined.

“Since the pandemic started, you had two things you could do online. You were either communicating with friends through social media and connecting with people, or you were watching streaming video on your different devices.” – Nick Cicero, Vice President, Strategy at Conviva

Over the past year or so, there has been a surge in the amount of activity on social media that crosses over with so many other traditional marketing means. In the past, there was competition between social platforms and streaming platforms for eyeballs, but today there is a truly synergistic experience.

Conviva’s survey demonstrated that there is a direct correlation between the amount of social media usage and the amount of streaming video a person watches. In fact, high social media users are more than twice as likely to spend more than eight hours a day streaming.

“Some of the key sources of content discovery in our survey that we found really do rely on word-of-mouth signals, like recommendations from friends and family, or seeing posts and social media.” – Nick Cicero, Vice President, Strategy at Conviva

Savvy marketers understand this powerful connection and invest their resources accordingly to drive viewers to their platforms.

3. Master audience segmentation

Streaming publishers already know that not all viewers are the same, but how well do they appreciate their nuances?

“It’s important for publishers to understand the different consumers that exist and be able to apply insights from these different buckets to maximize the engagement and promotional strategies for each of them.”  – Nick Cicero, Vice President, Strategy at Conviva

Conviva’s study found distinct segments of viewers, which were identified based on their demographics, media consumption habits, streaming preferences, and method of response. With most subscribers only willing to pay for four or five streaming services at a time, it’s important to know exactly which segment you’re targeting to make the short list.

“Segmenting viewers on content genres or content categories, demographics, consumption habits, or other attributes can easily be achieved by having the right analytics and data system in place.” – Nick Cicero, Vice President, Strategy at Conviva

Conviva’s Viewer Insights can help publishers methodically gain a solid grasp of their different segments based on a broad range of attributes. Then, they can apply these insights within their own marketing strategies to attract and retain viewers and boost their profitability.

Watch the ARF OTTxScience webinar, Content Discovery and Engagement, for more on how to reach and keep new viewers.