Traditionally, TV industry has been data-poor environment. The data gathering required volunteer individuals to faithfully record all of their view activity into little black boxes. They have relied on a small sampling of the overall audience in order to make business decisions with the probability of sampling biases.
In the internet age where online video usage data is abundant, video streaming service providers now have the capability to collect and analyze tremendous amounts of data about online video usage. The emerging technology like real-time big data system has the ability to leverage video usage data to obtain a more holistic and detailed understanding of online video consumers by integrating subscribers, mobile devices, set-top-box, OTT (Over-The-Top) platform. It enables video streaming service providers to reach consumers more effectively and accurately across various viewing devices and to have more practical consumer segment insights in real-time.
Data underpins everything in online video monetization. It’s a fuel that drives Content ROI maximization, Churn reduction, QoE(Quality-Of-Experience), and Ad revenue maximization. Everyone knows video streaming industry needs data-driven system to stay competitive in the crowd market.
However, analysis of abundant video usage data and converting them into values is one of the greatest challenge. Tim Connelly, Hulu’s SVP of distribution, described this big challenge :
“We collect 4 petabytes of user data a day on what consumers are doing on our service. 1 billion events a day… There’s a zillion ways we can use data. We are 7 years into it and we’re just scratching the surface.”
Sadly, video streaming industry hasn’t made much progress over the recent years in processing the mountain of data they now have into valuable information.
These 6 key values will help you to establish an edge in the competitive landscape of video streaming and OTT industry by leveraging data-driven streaming service.
1. Content ROI Maximization
Contents you are acquiring are the most valuable asset of your video streaming business. As content acquisition cost is becoming more expensive than ever, there is significant pressure on content buyers to make accurate content selection and acquisition decisions.
If you are launching a SVOD (subscription VOD) service, how are you going to decide which contents you need to acquire to air on your service?
Currently, video streaming service providers are facing challenges in a rapidly evolving industry.
Firstly, as more content becomes readily available on the internet, video streaming service providers are struggling to maintain content differentiation and identify new growth drivers. Making strategic decisions is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s fragmented windowing and measurement landscape. Faced with investment decisions with which content to acquire from contents providers, video streaming service providers needs to ensure their launched content show-cases for the highest return on investment.
Luckily, data-driven streaming system has been developed to help businesses determine the type of return on investment they are getting to maximize content ROI.
Content A may cause more churn since low viewhour per user means user may abandon in the middle of playback. Investment in this content might not lead to a profitable long-term content ROI maximization.
2. Churn Reduction
“Customer acquisition costs for an OTT subscription service are relatively low, particularly compared to pay TV, but OTT video services will eventually have to capture and retain their customer bases over time in order to survive in the long term.”
Video service providers are under increased competitive pressure with more services available for viewers to choose from than ever. To succeed in the current environment, it is crucial that they are able to retain subscribers on their platforms. Of course, offering quality content and delivering a strong user experience is at the heart of effective retention, but focusing solely on making these aspects is not sufficient, churn needs to be properly measured and understood to be reduced in the most effective way.
Key drivers and paths to churn can be identified by analyzing key factors (such as engagement levels, user experience metrics and content preferences) against historic churn patterns. Armed with this, video streaming service providers can prioritize service improvements that mitigate churn. Adopting data-driven approach can also help you to be proactive in addressing churn. By developing predictive models that calculate the chance and likely causes of near-term churn for individual subscribers, video service providers can remedy any issues before a subscriber takes any action themselves.
3. Persona / Personalization
It’s a well-known business axiom that repeated customers drive current profitability while new customers drive current growth and future profitability. Yet, acquiring and retaining customers is harder than ever before. That’s because consumers are expecting personalization―experiences tailored to their needs and preferences based on their implicit behavior―across all their interactions within video streaming service.
Growth in the age of personalization is critical for gaining an advantage in an increasingly competitive environment. Video streaming service companies need to think about how to deliver personalization for customers across their video consumption journey within the video streaming service. They should also focus on creating unique customer personas using the huge number of data they have gathered. And they should apply analytical models to finely segment customers. Data-driven approach can shape innovative models and develop data-driven systems to deliver an excellent experience that meets consumer expectations and drives growth.
Data-driven streaming service allows video streaming service providers to understand how viewers really act, and drive higher engagement with personalization. It has ability to track what viewers really do, ensuring the offerings you present have the highest likelihood of increasing their engagement.
4. Ad Revenue Maximization
As online video ad buyers become more sophisticated about using targeting to drive media buying decision, the value of video usage data has grown. It creates an opportunity for video streaming company (publishers) to develop their own customer data and use it to increase ad revenue.
Different business models have different needs for actionable analytics.An ad-supported online video business might target a specific demographic or geographic population, or go a step further to hyper-target viewers by location and filter by time of day. For particular times in a day, the provider can infer the best set of devices on which to reach a user. That kind of granular detail is the way for brands to find and target the “right” consumer most efficiently.For brands hyper-target customers with video, big data becomes essential to fulfill video ad campaigns.
The analytics that data-driven streaming system provides are considered the most accurate measurement of Internet/online advertising revenues since the data is compiled directly. Data-driven streaming system should include data reflecting online advertising revenues from Web sites, mobile devices and OTT devices.
Even though video streaming service providers employ adaptive streaming and Multiscreen/TV everywhere technologies, there’s a key quality assurance barrier to video streaming service providers’ ability to exploit the surging demand for premium service.
Poor video quality can be detrimental to the success of over-the-top (OTT) services. In a recent Verizon Digital Media Services’ survey that explored the behavior of 1,000+ U.S.-based adults watching 14+ hours of streamed video a week, they found
86 percent of viewers say it is very or extremely important to receive a TV-like quality experience every time and on every screen.
It’s clear that poor video quality results in high rates of viewer abandonment. With more viewers watching video online than ever before, it is critical that data-driven streaming service should focus on improving their overall video quality so that they don’t lose viewers to higher-performing OTT services.
There are four key performance metrics for quality-of-service : availability, startup time, rebuffering delays and video bit rate. Data-driven streaming system can help video streaming service providers identify their audience’s tolerance threshold for each metric—that is, the tipping point at which audience engagement behaviors begin to change.
By enabling publishers to pinpoint key performance thresholds for their own categories of content, data-driven video streaming system helps quantify the business costs of inferior performance and assess the ROI of providing a better viewing experience through advanced capabilities like adaptive streaming — which is designed to deliver the highest quality, interruption-free streaming possible based on real-time conditions. With advanced real-time performance analytics, video streaming service providers can also monitor end user performance levels and proactively avoid potential problems. This helps them grow their audiences by delivering the most compelling quality of experience possible.
Therefore video streaming service providers definitely need data-driven streaming service to be monitored. It will allow video streaming service providers to drill down into detailed and various data acquired from the monitoring solution, and accordingly they need to troubleshoot and address issues in proactive ways.
6. Up-sell / Cross-Sell Potential
Whether you choose to cross-sell, upsell, or both, strongly consider tracking your data. Which of your products pair well for cross-selling? What features drive your upsells? What moment in the purchasing decision process is the best time to suggest a cross-sell or upsell?
Tapping into the wealth of data that video service providers have access to can help them obtain a better understanding of their existing consumers, and in turn, identify up-sell or cross-sell opportunities. For most video streaming service providers, the opportunity lies in how to up-sell existing consumers into premium content or covert free users to paid users effectively. The key is to accurately identify up-sell and cross-sell opportunities across viewing devices (e.g., activation on multiple devices; premium contents) through analyzing behavior and demonstrated consumer needs. This, however, requires deep insights into customers.
Video service providers are now able to use data-driven streaming system to identify and segment customers with highest up-sell or cross-sell potential. For example, upselling existing subscribers the ability to watch on multiple devices may be most attractive to younger subscribers demonstrating low video consumption on traditional viewing devices.
Data-driven streaming system can help you fine-tune this portion of your sales or inbound marketing plan, and carefully developed cross-selling and up-selling initiatives can enable you to dramatically increase your company’s growth.
As video streaming consumers have more choices, video streaming service providers are a facing big challenges to differentiate themselves and establish a loyal customer. They must find innovative ways to reach their audience and stand out from the crowd competitors. It is crucial that they should have the right technologies to use and analyze data in an intelligent way to differentiate their streaming service. In order to achieve this, they should have deep insights to develop new products and services.
The key issue is not the lack of data, but the ability to collect, analyze, interpret and convert data into actionable insights that can derive value and deliver contents in a personalized and targeted way. With more data available than ever before, video streaming service providers stand to benefit from more advanced, sophisticated, and real-time data-driven video steaming service in order to make better decisions quickly and improve business results.