17 MAY 2024

Growing streaming fatigue is increasing the risk of churn

A research by Ampere Analysis revealed that almost half of consumers feel overwhelmed with the number of online video services.

17 MAY 2024

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As of Q1 2024, 45% of consumers are becoming increasingly overwhelmed with the number of online video services they have access to, an increase of 25% in the past year, as reported by Ampere Analysis. While the increase has not been as sharp in Western Europe and North America, these regions have still seen a combined rise of 17% in those agreeing with the statement. At a time when yearly net additions for subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services are declining in many of these markets, increased churn as a result of subscriber fatigue is not something OTT platforms want to add to the mix.

Generally, the sentiment is felt most strongly among online respondents aged 25-44, who make up 50% of the cohort agreeing with the statement. A key factor driving the feeling among this demographic is the sheer number of SVOD services they have access to: Nearly a quarter have five or more SVOD services in the household, compared to 19% of all those who agree. Having access to so many platforms is creating confusion among consumers about where to access the content they want to watch.

According to Ampere, SVOD platforms can utilize a couple of solutions to stop this cohort from churning. Firstly aggregation, or more specifically re-aggregation, whether between pay TV and OTT platforms or via OTT resellers such as Amazon and Apple, which has been growing in popularity as a means of addressing OTT market saturation. 79% of those who feel overwhelmed by their online services want to be able to search for all the content they have access to in a single place. Given that nearly 80% of this group have pay TV in the household and a similar number have access to Apple devices, either of these providers could be considered as effective aggregation partners. Depending on their presence in the market, other players such as Amazon or Roku could also be part of the mix in helping OTT platforms both extend their reach and make their content more easily discoverable.

The second solution, linked to aggregation, is to optimize the recommendation engines on viewers’ OTT platforms. Among the factors that drive viewing choices, these overwhelmed consumers over-index for "recommendations from my streaming platform". If OTT services can optimize algorithms to serve users with the content they really want to watch, they will stand a better chance of keeping the at-risk cohort engaged. Aggregation could further help online video services provide recommendations, because it means that instead of viewers having to go into individual apps to see recommendations, they can see them for all the services they have access to in a single interface. This not only makes the discovery process easier, but will help audiences feel less overwhelmed as content is housed in a one-stop-shop.

As the SVOD market continues to fragment, so will consumers’ attention, so it is going to become even harder for platforms to keep audiences engaged. That nearly half of consumers now feel overwhelmed by the number of online video services they have access to represents a high risk of churn, particularly in the current economic climate where consumers are looking for ways to reduce their spend. Given the large appetite for aggregation among this high-risk group, exploring a solution should be a priority for subscription services seeking to limit churn. Meanwhile, optimizing recommendations, both within an app and via an aggregator’s interface, should also be considered to keep viewers engaged and to demonstrate the value of the content available.