The State of Consumers in the Streaming Wars (and How to Win Them Over)

If you’re an organization that is knee-deep in the streaming wars, the one thing you should be laser-focused on to give yourself an edge over your competition is the very basic thing you seek: consumers.

By now, you’re probably no stranger to the streaming wars raging between old and new video-viewing services. From Netflix, DAZN and Amazon Prime Video to Disney+, Crave and everything in between, the fight for consumers blazes across the media-streaming industry. Which services are best set to win this battle? That answer is still very much unclear

If you’re an organization that is knee-deep in the streaming wars, the one thing you should be laser-focused on to give yourself an edge over your competition is the very basic thing you seek: consumers. 

It may seem obvious, and it is consumers are the foundation of every streaming service. They are the ones who will decide who becomes the top platform, and they are the engine that will allow their preferred services to become even stronger. So if you can get into the consumer’s brain, you will be able to use that to your advantage and stand a fighting chance amidst all the competition in the streaming wars. 

Want to know what consumers are really thinking when it comes to streaming services? Rest assured, because we’ve got the answers.

Streaming Subscription Fatigue is a Very Real Problem For Consumers

In October, a survey by TV Time and United Talent Agency dug into data from over 6,000 respondents in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the Netherlands. The results showed that people are getting overwhelmed by the abundance of subscription services that are either available or launching in the near future. 

While 85% of consumers surveyed in the study are already subscribed to one streaming service, only 42% of them expressed a willingness to pay for an additional one. Also, only 20% were willing to pay for two, and only 4% were willing to pay for three. 

With most consumers unwilling to purchase more than two or three streaming subscriptions at a time, it’s becoming a challenge for people to decide what services are worth paying for. In fact, 70% of those surveyed admitted that they felt there were too many options to choose from. 

By juggling several streaming subscriptions at a time, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that most consumers feel like subscription costs are getting out of hand. 

Due to all the video-viewing platforms overwhelming consumers, your best bet to succeeding in the streaming wars is to put your audience at the forefront of your business plan. Here are a few ways to do this: 

Prioritize Audience Awareness

With so many streaming platforms available, and so many more set to launch (Disney+, HBO Max, NBCU’s Peacock and Quibi to name a few), educating your audience is crucial to your success. 

Consider this: it used to be fairly simple to find past seasons of Blossom or Dawson’s Creek when there were only a few streaming services, but now the consumer needs to be a diligent search expert to find what they’re looking for. According to Forbes, “awareness is a first-step indicator to whether or not a consumer will subscribe.”

So be sure to clearly communicate and promote why your platform’s features and content library is unique from the countless other streaming services out there. It may seem obvious to you, but consumers are still unaware of many streaming services that are launching soon. 

Optimize Your Platform for Engagement

On its own, content is valuable, but isn’t enough to retain your audience.

Go the extra mile for your subscribers by embedding an immersive and valuable community experience directly on your platform. Use moderated tools like live commenting, live chats as well as ratings and reviews to build and connect that community of like-minded individuals together. Allow your audience to be part of the viewing experience, not just people who lean back and watch. 

By providing different ways to engage with your content and fellow audience members, you can encourage consumers to build loyal habits and lasting, meaningful connections to your platform. 

Know Your Viewers

We can’t stress the importance of your first-party data enough. When it comes to content-streaming services, understanding your consumers will help you to better serve them. And the best way to do so is with data.

Netflix, for instance, is constantly assessing viewer preferences to improve what content it presents. They even have a cultural anthropologist on staff to gain a deeper understanding of their audience. The result is a highly personalized experience that offers viewers an easier time finding shows and movies that interest them. 

Inc., a magazine for small businesses and startups, also reports that 61% of customers are willing to give their information in exchange for personalized experiences. And with the loss of third-party cookies, your best bet is to look to the data available on your own platform. 

So dig into the data from your content and engagement tools to gain insights into your audience’s behavior, and refine the content discovery and viewing experiences. This highlights how important it is for streaming services to have a vibrant and engaged community where their audiences discuss and share their likes, dislikes and real feelings about the content. 

“As content discovery becomes more of a challenge in this environment, we need to better understand viewership patterns across platforms and how to best serve people the right content at the right time,” says Alex von Kroh, the VP of a video data solution company.

The more personal and effortless you can make your consumers’ streaming experience, the more likely they are to be loyal to your platform. The ultimate goal is to make your platform part of their daily life, not just another transactional stop along the way.

If you aren’t focused on your consumers, they won’t be focused on you. 


RELATED: What We Can Learn From Pirate Sites

Week of Oct. 26th-Nov. 1st: Your Media News Update

During the last week of October, we saw the release of many new technologies that will forever impact the state of content delivery and how we consume content. We now have an abundance of information at the touch of yet another app.

This week’s media news update focuses on the impact that everyone from tech companies to social advocacy organizations has in influencing how we access and engage with digital media, including:

  • Amazon’s and Apple’s foray into TV app streaming services for video news
  • Media executives’ thoughts on the value of reader habit on their owned and operated properties
  • America’s oldest and largest journalism advocacy organization slapping President Trump with cease and desist letters every time he uses the term “fake news”

For more details on the latest and greatest industry news from the past week, read on.

Amazon and Apple Have Been Busy Shaping the Future of TV

Streaming services have revolutionized how we watch TV and consume content. Watching news broadcasts used to be something that was part of your early morning routine as you prepared for work, or in the evening, before or after dinner. 

However, the internet has significantly changed our behaviors by giving us access to news content at any hour of the day. Streaming apps are now gaining speed in overtaking pay-TV services. And with an abundance of pirate sites available to consumers, competition for media streaming services is stronger than ever.

A growing number of platforms that aggregate video news from a variety of services have launched apps this year. Amazon now joins the ranks with the release of an ad-supported video news app designed for Fire TV devices. This app enables viewers to catch up on all the latest current events with both live and on-demand content from the likes of CBS, Reuters and Bloomberg. 

Simply called the News app on Fire TV, this new offering joins the previously launched news aggregator from Plex and other similar offerings from competing companies. The News app is free for Amazon’s Fire TV users. With this release, the company will be in a better position to compete with the offerings of rival services such as Apple News and Google News while at the same time strengthen relationships with publishers such as Sports Illustrated, Al Jazeera and Yahoo.

News-related content within the app will be rolled out to an expanding pool of compatible devices over the next few weeks, including tablets such as the updated Fire HD10. Amazon is focusing its efforts on creating the optimal customer experience so consumers won’t need to create separate accounts to benefit from the content. 

New ad revenue streams to diversify its revenue base are currently in progress, setting the company up to become the third-largest digital advertiser in the US after Google and Facebook.

Meanwhile, Apple is trying to get its TV app on as many devices as possible as it launches its $5-per-month video streaming service. Most recently, the company added its TV app to Amazon’s Fire TV platform. Available as of October 24 for both the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick 4K, the Apple TV app will also be making its way to other Fire TV devices in the coming weeks. 

Media Executives Dig Into Building Profitable Consumer Habits

With print ad revenue in decline and digital ad spending heading towards its first decline in a decade, publishers are now looking to a future where readers are loyal to their own platforms.

At Digiday’s Publishing Summit Europe in Budapest, Hungary, executives shared their plans to diversify their sources of income, and the associated pain points.

One topic that was explored was how to develop loyal reader habits, keeping them on publisher sites for longer. Media executives who attended the event emphasized how the more opportunities to engage readers they offer, such as engagement tools or apps, the more likely visitors are to stick around.

One way that publishers are engaging their readers is through real-time, moderated commenting tools.

In another media news update, Publishing Executive also proposed that an upcoming trend for 2020 will involve publishers focusing on key reader metrics, on a more granular level than ever before. And it won’t just be up to data teams to analyze these metrics. 

The media company goes on to suggest that editors themselves need to understand the metrics that matter. That way, editors can create content that better engages community members, and appeals to advertisers. 

Fun Fact Friday

The Florida Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has had enough of President Trump using the term ‘fake news’ whenever he doesn’t like something the press says about him. 

SPJ is America’s oldest and largest journalism advocacy organization. To help uphold the integrity of the industry, they decided to trademark the term ‘fake news’ in hopes of stopping the president and others from using the term haphazardly. Every time he uses it incorrectly, the organization will send him a cease and desist letter.

In addition to obtaining the trademark, a launch video has been marketed that features a journalist explaining why the term was trademarked. The video drives people to, which has tips on how to spot actual fake news and what journalists are doing to ensure they report the truth. 

It currently has 332,000 social media shares and has been covered by Newsweek, The Hill, New York Post, CBC, CTV and Daily News, among other publishers. The project was created in partnership with Calgary-based creative agency Wax.

If you haven’t already taken a look at it, you may find some valuable takeaways to share with your own company’s editorial team. 

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