It seems as though every month or so, a new competitor joins the streaming wars. Even ordinary publishers, like Food 52, are stepping beyond the boundaries of text to create their own OTT platforms and streaming content. 

This increase in OTT players can be largely credited to the shift in consumers cutting the cord with traditional TV. And this trend doesn’t seem to be letting up, regardless of the pandemic.

As lockdown measured eased towards the end of June [2020], the uplift in viewing to video streaming services and other non-broadcast content held steady, at 71% higher than the year before,” reads an article on the IBC website

Clearly, the consumer’s desire to stream content is growing. So how can you ensure your platform remains engaging, resilient and profitable as new industry players continue to pop up? 

If you’re getting ready to enter the video-streaming space, or if you’d like to improve your current services, there are valuable lessons we can take away from the lucrative ideas other OTT platforms already had.

Here are some of the intelligent actions and strategies that are propelling streaming platforms toward success.

A Shift to Social Tools

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Disney+ have all launched some form of watch party feature over the past few months. And now, HBO Max has revealed how plans are in the works to upgrade its platform through social tools as well.

“Several months after launch, we have plans to start integrating [social watch features] into the platform,” says Robert Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer.We do think that’s an important aspect now more than ever.” 

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Little by little, streaming companies are beginning to recognize the importance of encouraging human connection around content

Allowing consumers to participate in real-time conversations as they watch videos together can build loyal habits and connections among community members. Plus, social features that enable consumers to chat with friends give OTT platforms an additional edge over other platforms.

Revenue Diversification

When we talk about publishers in general, we know that there’s been a growing trend to create as many revenue outlets as possible. But OTT players can also activate several revenue streams to maximize their earnings. 

For instance, Peacock has set up free and premium-level subscription tiers that are generating revenue in a few different ways. There’s a free-to-watch option with ads, a paid-for subscription option with ads for a premium experience and a paid, ad-free option.  Senior TV Analysis Tom Harrington from Enders Analysis explains that this type of subscription tier is highly enticing to the average consumer. 

“It’s very, very competitive,” states Harrington.

Since its launch, the video-streaming platform has earned 10 million sign-ups. That means the company is profiting off its vast audience thanks to paying subscribers and paying advertisers looking for interested audiences. 

Discovery will be following suit in 2021 by launching a streaming platform with similar membership options.

According to Digiday, “Discovery+ will feature an ad-supported and an ad-free tier, and the ad-supported tier will carry a maximum of five minutes of ads per hour of programming.”

Both of these OTT platforms are not only supporting consumers by giving them premium experiences, but they’re also expanding their ability to earn revenue. After all, the more ways you can monetize your audience, the more revenue your company is likely to make.

Putting Consumers First

As of April 2020, Netflix has singlehandedly earned 182.8 million subscribers around the world.

So what is it that viewers love so much about Netflix compared to the other platforms? 

It all comes down to how users have become connected to the platform. 

Netflix excels at putting the consumer in the center of its growth strategy, encouraging viewers to feel bonded to the platform.

In addition to serving viewers highly personalized and relevant user experiences, the streaming platform will even cancel a subscription if the account holder doesn’t use their service within a year. 

According to Robbie Kellman Baxter, bestselling author of The Forever Transaction, “it’s not just about subscriptions, but about long-term relationships with the customer.”

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of these successful companies?

By replicating these strategies, you can help perfect your platform’s user experience and amplify its revenue-generation capabilities. 

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