The SVOD realm of presents a world of opportunity for the consumer, the broadcaster and the provider - but like any thriving sector - it does come with its fair share of challenges. Opportunistic viewers are one of them.
At present, the challenge falls in the face of the provider. And the source of the issue? The opportunistic SVOD user.
How did this phenomenon happen?
This trend, or problem, recently emerged after the big Game of Thrones finale.
Despite the large volume of people signing up to HBO's online streaming app to revel in the action of GoT, and witness the conclusion of its latest and perhaps most dramatic season, as soon as people found out the show is taking a break until 2018, droves of people decided to take a hiatus from their subscriptions.
Cost-conscious and driven by the internet's convenience-at-a-click model, these opportunistic consumers take advantage of free trials, no-contract commitments and the media industry's struggle in the wake of technological shifts to help protect their wallets.
Ignoring the piles upon piles of in-house teasers and promotions for other closely related content, these ‘SVOD skippers’ go against the grain of the siren song of TV networks that, now more than ever, are being forced into an almost GoT-like battle for attention, dominance, and monopoly.
As you might have guessed, this new trend in consumer behavior has its consequences.
Due to an eagerness to get new subscribers on board, SVOD providers make it easy to cancel or opt out, which in turn, has helped to facilitate the actions of the occasional user or sometimes streamer.
As a result of this, the increased and relentless churn has destabilized the revenue streams of SVOD providers the world over - and this has also spilled over into the sports streaming domain: platforms or service providers offering comps or leagues with limited time frames are also feeling the pinch.
This erratic and opportunistic phenomenon also skews a provider's ability to plug and promote their service or content as not only is a target audience harder to define, but in some cases, advertising or market efforts could be rendered redundant, wasting time, efforts and budgets.
What can SVOD providers do?
But, ultimately, there are ways to tackle the problem…
- Measure and track popularity and satisfaction levels to make data-driven business decisions.
- Diversify your content to encourage loyalty and offer value that other providers can't. If there is more for a user to enjoy and explore, they'll be far more likely to stick around.
- Develop creative and well-promoted loyalty schemes and ongoing incentives for users that keep their subscriptions.
It may be true that implementing the above solutions could be easier said than done but by adopting the right mindset, thinking outside the box, offering added value and taking immediate action, you could help stop the trend of the opportunistic SVOD viewership and reap the rewards of long term custom.