How to Win the Streaming Wars
Who is winning the streaming wars? That’s been the question on everybody’s lips for nearly three years now.
Even with Disney announcing in August that it had overtaken the king of the streamers, Netflix, with its undefeated number of global subscribers (reference: Financial Times, 2022), it’s nearly impossible to know WHO is winning the streaming wars. This is due to the services sharing their wins differently for favourable reporting of subscription data. These companies are not opening the vaults to their top secret internal data just yet.
What we can do at least is say who’s increasing their chances tenfold. This ties us to the question that we’re able to help you answer; HOW can you win? Or at least how can you maintain a position in the race, or even just ensure you’re saddled up for it in the first place?
The answer is better marketing of good, quality product.
Saddling up for the races
So, how do you make sure you are getting the right coverage on all of the platforms, to market your content in the best way possible? First and foremost you can’t improve if you aren’t measuring. So measure everything you can that relates to the following…
You need to know how many placements you are obtaining on the digital platforms. Why, you ask? How else are you going to know how you are doing relative to your competitors in terms of how often you are being seen by users. Are your potential customers even being served up your content offering at all, are you present on the crucial and most popular digital platforms for your target market? Sure, you may have done a deal with the likes of Apple TV, Fire TV or Google TV, who have assured you promotional space on their platforms, but what bang are you actually getting for your buck.
And, it’s not just the size of your promotions that count. You’re on the platforms, but are your promotions being displayed in the areas of the digital storefront that will drive the biggest return in new subscriptions? Knowing where you are is a start, but knowing where you should be is the finish line. It’s important to remember that all of these ‘digital shelves’ are different, so this space will look different on Apple TV versus a Samsung TV and will vary by the territory where the device sits. This means constructing a different promotional strategy per store and territory. A good amount of coverage, paired with the best promotional real estate is a sure winner? Not if you aren’t using this to its full advantage, falling to the back of the pack because what you’re offering isn’t tempting users to take a bet on your service.
This starts with impossible-to-ignore promotional artwork that is customised to each platform for maximum impact. With 800 new films released each year in the U.S. alone (reference: Looper Insights), all trying to get over the hurdle of grabbing user attention to cross the finish line first, it’s a pretty treacherous arena to get into. This is before you even consider the new Apps, TV series, and catalogue title campaigns that take place on the digital platforms. You need to ensure coordination with Marketing and Account Management teams for the most optimised materials per storefront and negotiation for the best digital real estate. You’d be surprised how often we notice content getting lost amongst the crowd, over promotional artwork that doesn’t work for the storefront in question, which could have easily been avoided.
Then we move onto the question of customer retention and how you can help to maximise this. You can start by understanding what sort of promotions your competitors are doing. For example, are their marketing materials taking the spotlight away from your content, are they offering discounts that are taking the edge away from your own offering? You need to make sure that you are getting ahead of your competitors on the digital platforms to promote your best content, better than they are.
How can you even start to measure all of this?
The first step is to automate data gathering so that you can see all your titles in one dashboard. Then, with knowledge of parameters like sales data, merchandise, artwork, positioning and availability you can start to build a causal relationship of consumption and fine-tune adjustments like placement and text or initiate promotions to boost return on investment – at the click of a button, globally.
Then you need to pair this with our proprietary Media Placement Value (MPV) metric, which helps you understand the value of a digital platform placement according to its position on the digital shelf. The higher your MPV score, the more you’re capturing the majority of user attention on the digital platform in question, with your merchandising efforts. If you’re increasing your MPV score, you’re increasing your chances of gaining attention on the digital storefront, this will help you secure more subscribers and a chance of winning these so-called “Streaming Wars”.
The final step is understanding your competitors in terms of their MPV score. If they are doing better, how can you ensure you out run them? Let’s say you have a New Release on it’s way out to the public and your rivals have recently done the same with a similar type of content; you can see what space they obtained and what materials they used to secure their MPV score, then plan a campaign that will ensure you snatch up a higher score.
And here’s an example on how quickly things can change on the digital storefronts. Let’s have a look at Apple TV in the U.S. August 2021 vs 2022 – who was winning then and who’s winning now?
It is evident that Apple TV+ will always take the top spot on its own platform, but it is beyond impressive that HBO Max, a year later, is still coming in close second and has managed to almost double its MPV score. You can see the likes of Disney+, Prime Video and Showtime falling in the ranking’s, Discovery+ losing its place entirely. In the meantime, Peacock, Paramount+, Bravo and AMC+ have been picking up the pace with an impressive stride by increasing their performance. The question is, what has happened on this digital platform that led to this shift in power amongst the streamers? What has HBO Max been doing to obtain such an outstanding performance on Apple TV? Have some of these giants been focussing their efforts elsewhere? Wouldn’t you like to find out…
We’re placing our bets on the streamers who somehow manage to juggle all of these important steps required to come home in first place with a tonne of new subscribers. Whoever that is will need our help to drive revenue in the CTV and VOD space. We can help you with all of this, just get in touch with the team here.
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