Written by: Roshan Dwivedi
No doubt, subscription services attract the most traction for video platforms. Look at Amazon, Netflix, Spotify of your time, where these services started and where are they heading today, adding millions of subscribers with each passing milestone. It definitely takes tremendous amount of hard work and consistency to reach where these giants have reached today; however, if you’ve just started, or maybe just struggling to add substantial number of subscribers to your video platform, here’s the hack. With our years of experience helping varied OTT platforms launch and grow, Muvi has come up with some useful tips on how you can increase your video platform subscribers, without spending much on it.
1. Realize the power of Free Trials
There is a chunk whole lot of audience that is often undecided about what platform to choose when it comes to paying for a service, whether it is entertainment or a service like eLearning. Offering free trials to your platform lets them enter in the first place and there is always high chance that they’ll stick if you actually have what they’ve been looking for. You can then adopt various strategies to keep them engaged such as offering bonus content, discounts, etc. so that they continue paying after the free trial expires. At least you will have a competitive advantage over those who are not allowing free trials. Also a major hack here is to make your subscribers enter their credit card details before the start of free trial, this way the transaction from free trial to a paid user is much smoother for you, and it is then up to the viewer to cancel the subscription. In most cases, the number of “cancellations” are much less.
We at Muvi have noticed a 5x+ increase in our client’s signups after implementation of a Free Trials strategy on their platform.
2. Offer Bonus Content
Your subscribers are more likely to stay loyal if they’re lured with some or the other form of free or promotional content. Everyone loves feeling that they’re in for a good deal. Offer bonus content other than your subscription offering. Bundle up deleted scenes, rehearsal footage, cast interviews, director’s commentary, and others to offer it all in the form of bonus content. A dedicated audience would even pay for such type of content. You can also adopt various pricing and bundling strategies like offering a mix of bonus and regular content at some discounted price thus, upgrading subscribers to a premium pricing. Remember their birthdays and anniversaries and send them free movies or a piece of content that you know they’re going to enjoy. You may also take advantage of special events and seasonal thrills to provide freebies for a limited period. This way you’ll attract new subscribers as well as have return of old ones.
3. Cater across Devices and Platforms
Make it simple for them to find and subscribe to your channel by marking a presence on each platform and device they’re using such as web, mobile, tablet, smart TVs. Traditional means did not provide users the flexibility to access content through whichever mode they wanted to and this resulted into cutting cords and switching over to the modern media that allowed accessing a variety of content through an array of devices and platforms. We have seen a lot of platforms offer their services only on the Web or probably one or two mobile apps like Android or iOS but most of these platforms miss out on a whole new trending gammat of Media Boxes and Smart TVs that has burst the scene in last 2-3 years. Did you know there are over 10 million Roku devices in the market, and Apple TV has seen the largest growth (over 50%) in years 2014 vs 2015.
1. Over half of homes in the US have at least one television set that’s connected to the internet
2. More Than Half of TVs Shipped Globally in Q1 2016 Were Smart TVs
Do you need more reasons to not have a multi-screen strategy ?
Muvi lets you launch your OTT platform across multiple devices and screens, all at once. Check out our range of multiscreen options on the features page.
4. Offer subtitles and Multiple audios
Keep your international audience in mind and optimize your platform on their language preferences, unless you’re only catering to a local audience and aren’t at all targeting global. Your international audience is two times more likely to sign up if they visit your platform and find a subtitle in their own local language. Viewers love personalization and providing them the option to stream their content in multiple languages is sure going to attract their attention. Taking things a step ahead is the option of Dual-Audio. Dual or Multi-Audio tracks allow your international viewers to hear your video in their own language, this negates the need or requirement for subtitles which can sometimes be a hindrance if your viewers are not too keen on “reading”.
Muvi’s powerful Online Video Player lets its customers add subtitles, dual audio, resumer playbacks and various such features that make your platform easy and interesting for subscribers. The video player also offers utmost security though robust DRM and Watermarking capabilities.
5. Stay Updated
Market paradigms are changing fast and it is essential that you keep your platform updated with all new features and offerings the time demands. Netflix has launched its offline feature way past than it should have, and chances are it might have lost a lot of subscribers to Amazon, which already had this feature in place since its launch of instant service. One of the biggest USPs of top OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon is their original content. Constantly creating and updating your content library with original pieces is one of the most engaging ways to keep your subscribers intact in today’s competitive VOD world.
VOD users today demand flexibility, intuitive features that make their viewing easy and are also up for whatever new is coming in. A recent study on the impact of immersive technologies on media consumption found out that 86% of the audience is aware of AR, VR and 360° videos, 29% of them even trying it. This clearly means, how much an OTT platform can benefit if it stays updated of these new means of producing and showing content. Consumer uptake on using different media devices for accessing content is also increasing and thus, it is essential that you keep your platform ready to be accessed on any screen or device. You can even create a unique schedule of live TV channels out of on-demand videos and make your platform run like a linear TV. Muvi provides a perfect tool to do that.
6. Price wisely
You will have to be very careful when it comes to setting price for your video platform. One best tactic is to start off low and then gradually increase your platform pricing based on the viewer’s’ interests and viewing patterns and also based on what they’re most likely to pay for and what not. Provide plenty of options for them to choose their price by creating a good mix of SVOD, AVOD and PPV/Transactional models. Bundle long-form regular content in subscription offer and keep classics, new releases and featured content for transactional model. Make sure you allow some discount for existing subscribers on pay-per-view model and let non-subscribers pay a little higher price for the same piece of content. Allow pre-purchase/pre-ordering of content that is to be added to your platform in future.
Keep checking what the real market price is, what your competitors are offering and at what rate viewers are most likely to subscribe. Your prices must generally vary according to the type of content, mode of accessing it and the video viewing time. For example, eLearning videos have a tendency of selling at a slight higher prices than that of entertainment content. Likewise, Movies sell a little higher than that of series and short form documentaries or music videos. Keep the platform interface well organized and easy for them to use. Make the searching easy. Know your star products and bring them forward for those who might find it difficult to choose from a vast collection of content.
Also in an international market it’s wise to locally price your content, that means your platform may be priced at US $9.99 in USA but instead of converting this into GBP or Euros you can very well price the same service for £9.99 and €9.99 in UK and rest of Europe, thus probably allowing you to not only safeguard your platform from currency fluctuations but also maybe make some extra revenue taking advantage of a stronger currency!
Another great way to monetize and engage subscribers on your platform is to start selling products and physical merchandizes alongside streaming videos. Muvi Kart is a feature that lets you easily list your merchandizes alongside your streaming channel and further monetize on them. Your viewers would definitely love to shop merchandizing T-shirts from their favorite TV show or movie. Likewise, a sports video channel can engage my selling sports merchandizes such as sports T-shirts, protein shakes, and fitness equipments and a fashion video channel may sell products featuring in their videos.
7. Invest in analytics
Attracting subscribers is about understanding what your audience wants and scaling your platform to offer that. Investing in a good analytics tool for your video platform will help you track various data about who, what, when and where your videos are being watched, and based on this information you can easily create strategies to cater and attract your audience better. A good video analytics tool will provide you data in the form of reports and charts, which will let you have a good deal of insight into the platform’s performance as well as help you create better pricing and promotion strategies, based on the viewer data.
Quality of content, constant innovation and consistent promotional efforts are the key essentials to a successful video platform. Create good content and make it easy for your target audience to find it, on your platform, as well as on other places though promotional efforts. Take part in promotional events, create partnerships and never forget to pitch your platform wherever possible. Staying updated with all that is happening in the industry and taking every opportunity to scale and reaching audience wherever they’re shifting will certainly lead your way to success of your video streaming platform.
It is very much essential that you choose your technology partner wisely and ensure that you get good value for your money in this partnership. The base of a good OTT platform is a mix of good technology, good partnerships and good promotion efforts. Make sure you choose the bases of your platform well. A good technology partner is one that has a host of diversified features to enrich the offerings of your platform, provides end-to-end solutions approach and keeps innovating on their technology front, so that their partners never lack behind. Muvi is one such technology solutions provider that has out-of-the-box feature offerings such as Muvi Blue, Muvi Kart, Muvi Playout and Muvi Content Partner Portal, which allows you to scale up your content partnerships without you having worry about managing the content as your partners can add content themselves and even see their separate revenue reports. Muvi also offers multi-lingual, multi-currency, multiple payment gateway and all the possible monetization options for an OTT platform to choose and monetize to the best of their strategies.
Sign Up for your 14 Days Free Trial with Muvi and start your journey to OTT Success today…!!