17 DEC 2020

NEARLY 70% OF FREE TRIAL US SUBSCRIBERS PURCHASE AT LEAST ONE OTT SERVICE

Less than half of total US broadband households have opted for a free trial, with the majority later agreeing to pay for the service. Overall churn rates are at 40%, while the average household spends USD 16 per month on OTT services.

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Parks Associates unveiled its most recent study, “Improving OTT Customer Engagement with Smart Data” on its final day of the virtual conference Future of Video: OTT, Pay TV, and Digital Media. The whitepaper, found in cooperation with Salesforce indicates that 40% of US broadband households trialed at least one OTT service during the COVID-19 crisis and nearly 70% of these households ended up subscribing to the service. “The use of free trials, promotional offers, and bundled packages has accelerated through the first part of 2020, during the initial stage of the COVID crisis,” said Steve Nason, Research Director, Parks Associates. “The conversion of those trials to paid subscriptions has also increased, but to keep those subscribers long term, providers need to deliver a continually evolving and personalized experience."

The overall OTT churn rate hovers around 40% and US broadband households spent an average of USD 16 per month on OTT video service subscriptions in Q1 2020, based on consumer-reported spending. “Companies that effectively integrate smart data are leading the battle to engage the ever-elusive digital media and entertainment consumer,” Nason said. “The overall OTT churn rate has dipped some, but if the economic impacts from COVID-19 pandemic linger, households will continue to scrutinize their spending in entertainment services and determine which ones to keep and which ones to cancel. Smart data usage can give an advantage to a provider in keeping their service at the top of a household’s entertainment equation.”  

The whitepaper also examines how data can be used to enhance strategies in each phase, showing how media and entertainment organizations can efficiently use data and consumer engagement platforms.“Taking in and leveraging the data gained from viewer habits and actions offer OTT video service providers an opportunity like never before to engage subscribers through every phase of their journey with their services,” Nason said.

Salesforce, which recently announced its acquisition of Slack for USD 27.7 billion, serves as the research partner of the third annual Future of Video, which took place to address new strategies for service providers to provide high-quality customer service, retain subscribers and attract new customers, and design bundled options through new distribution strategies. Christopher Dean, VP & GM Media & Entertainment, Salesforce Industries discussed how to acquire and retain customers during the virtual event.

The use of free trials, promotional offers, and bundled packages has accelerated through the first part of 2020, during the initial stage of the COVID crisis. The conversion of those trials to paid subscriptions has also increased, but to keep those subscribers long term, providers need to deliver a continually evolving and personalized experience.” Steve Nason Research Director, Parks Associates