Balancing Your Video Library

With more and more SVoD offerings hitting the market and many more on the way, the competitive landscape is getting cluttered. Services are searching more intensely for ways to attract new users, and maybe, more importantly, keep the ones they have. With the bigger players spending billions of dollars on producing and licensing content, and other big content owners preparing offerings later this year, it is increasingly important to differentiate their service in order to attract and keep subscribers for the long term.

Everyone has heard the expression “Content is King.” That is true in any type of subscription service. If you have the content people want then you are ahead of the game. That said, having the best content is only a piece of the puzzle. A PwC survey has found that cost, ease of use and content are the strongest influencers when users make decisions about subscribing to streaming platforms. The same report showed the type of content being offered was twice as important as the functionality of the service in the decision-making process. On the surface that would make it seem difficult to compete with services with enormous catalogs and unlimited resources to acquire additional content, but a closer look at the data will show there are ways to compete, win, and keep your customers. Striking a balance between those three factors will give you a leg up in a competitive space, helping you focus your spend and resources on the areas that matter most.

In any competitive business, differentiating your service is key to standing out and ultimately winning the day. In an SVoD business, there are 3 main ways to make your service stand out:




Because there are costs associated with securing and delivering content, price can be one of the toughest areas to compete. Costs can be somewhat fixed and with relatively thin margins it can be difficult to win a price war. That is not necessarily a deal breaker. In the same PwC survey, the biggest differentiation for consumers was around the content offering followed more closely be the experience. That said, it is not enough to have a couple of hits to sustain a successful service. The key is a content offering with broad appeal across multiple genres.

A typical method for acquiring subscribers is to offer exclusive content; a great show or movie that you can’t see anywhere else. While this is initially an effective acquisition tool, if you aren’t able to get consumers to the second or third content selection, you will likely lose them. In addition, getting subscribers onto a secondary device has a huge impact on long term retention. Having exclusivity will help get them in the door, but having more content that is easy to surface and can be watched through multiple devices will be what determines whether or not customers stay for the long term.

36% of viewers have subscribed to a new video service just to watch a show only that service had access to, original or not.

Consumers are looking for a wide variety of content (shows and movies). According to the PwC research “36% of viewers have subscribed to a new video service just to watch a show only that service had access to, original or not. Incidence is even higher among 18-29-year olds, of whom nearly half (46%) have done the same.” A deep content offering will keep those subscribers from leaving and repeating the same behavior with another service.

Having a broad content offering also is not enough to keep the users coming back. Many services struggle with getting users engaged on a regular basis. Once I have binge-watched the show I originally came for how do I find more content to watch. How easy is it to find other great content? At Wicket Labs, we make this task a little bit easier for content promoters, let me explain how.

Chart of content explorer

In looking at the top shows or movies across several different services, we see a good degree of correlation to particular shows. Many times that correlation is a result of how the content is being promoted rather than customers exploring more content that appeals to them. When we look deeper into the data, what you want to see is content that people watch and watch to completion. Essentially, rather than saying people that watched this show also watched this, you will be able to tell your customers “People that watched and enjoyed this content, also watched and enjoyed these other shows. We are able to see these patterns by using the Attention Index on the Content Page.

attention index iconThe Attention Index compares the number of dissatisfied viewers, who watch at least 1 minute of the video but do not get to at least 25%, with the number who watch to at least 75% completion. The calculation subtracts the percentage of dissatisfied viewers from the percentage of satisfied viewers, ignoring the ‘meh in the middle’ folks. This allows you to surface other popular content, find and promote hidden gems from your catalog, and delight your user base. You now have the ability to promote broader content options to your users, which we know will be more successful in helping attract and retain new customers.

We know that consumers want choices when selecting what services they subscribe to, you have to have a good balance in the content you are offering. Everyone watches a broad selection of content. Sometimes you want to laugh, sometimes cry, or sometimes to be immersed in gritty action. Potential customers want all of these options and you need to have a content library that delivers. In the Wicket Scorecard, you have the ability to monitor how you are meeting these goals. You can get a breakdown of your content library to ensure you have a balance across multiple genres and viewing options and see how that content is being consumed, where you may be light and where you have an overabundance of content in a particular area. This will help deliver what your customers are looking for.

Chart of library breakdown by genre

A great content strategy with a balanced set of options will help you keep users engaged and coming back for more content. Understanding how viewership is distributed and consumed will give you the tools to differentiate your service, leverage exclusive content to attract new users, but get them to the next great show once they have subscribed.


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