Keep ’em Coming Back with Killer Content

In previous posts we have discussed the importance of measuring and monitoring the churn rate of your subscription video on demand (SVOD) service. We have covered the different types of churn and some steps you can take to lower your churn rate and retain more customers. The SVOD market has become increasingly competitive as users look for more choice, flexibility and accessibility in their service options. The landscape is shifting, Broadcasting and Cable reports:

“a survey of 2,007 U.S. online consumers conducted by IBB Consulting (recently acquired by Accenture Strategy) found that half of paid over-the-top (OTT) users subscribe to two or more services — and nearly a third plan to subscribe to an additional offering within six months.”

Additionally, more and more consumers are accessing content from multiple devices and distribution channels. As the market changes, services will need to quickly adapt and customize experiences to keep users engaged or risk losing them to competitive offerings. Because loyalty can be low and users fairly transient, it is increasingly important for services to leverage data to build loyalty through personalized experiences and with a breadth of content offerings.

Keep ’em Coming Back with the Hits

Video services are a hit-driven business, subscribers will quickly flock to content which appeals to them. But with little to no barriers for switching between services, building customer loyalty can be increasingly difficult. Great content offerings will ultimately win the day in this crowded market space, but the services that are leveraging data to inform their customer experience will likely be the most successful long-term. This is a market worth fighting for, according to Statista:

“the digital video market shows promising figures for the next few years. The number of digital video users worldwide is expected to rise from nearly 472.5 million in 2015 to over 800 million in 2021. Rentals or subscription-based services are expected to account for 30 percent of this total, with forecasted revenues of around 16 billion U.S. dollars by 2021.”

Consumers are more than willing to sign up for a trial if they are chasing a specific piece of content. Once in the trial or service it is important to leverage multiple data points to ensure that customer quickly finds the content they are after, are able to consume it, and more importantly be exposed to additional content to deepen their engagement with your service. At a service level, it is important to know how they consume content. The Wicket Scorecard looks at a few such metrics to understand the viewing habits of your subscribers:

Fig 1 – Video Views Per Session shows the optimal number of videos for conversion. Number of Series Watched can help you find the sweet spot for focusing on retention efforts.

Video Views Per Session shows the number of shows accessed in a single session. Are they here for just a show or movie?  Are they binge watching content? A second view, Number of Series Watched, will help you understand the different number of shows your users are watching and help answer the question of when they are engaged with the deeper content catalog. Both of these views overlay the lifetime value of these customer cohorts and find the sweet spot correlation between usage stats and value of those customers to help focus your marketing and retention efforts.

Why stop there?

Engagement data will help you understand how subscribers use the service and will provide you with baseline success rates for encouraging customers to keep coming back. But getting them to the shows they want and helping them discover the next great show is what is going to keep them using the service.

Your ultimate success with retaining customers will be your ability to predict and recommend the next series or movie that customers want to watch.

Understanding the relationship between the user and the content they consume is fundamental to building a customized experience and will help validate your overall content strategy. As engagement data shows, there is a high correlation between the number of series a user watches and the lifetime value of that subscriber. The more shows they watch, the more value they see in the service which, in turn, reduces their propensity to churn.

Content engagement data will not only help build a better experience and help users find the content they love, but it will also help inform your content acquisition strategy to make sure your service is delivering content people want to see. Key heartbeat metrics will allow you to see the percentage of your content library that has been viewed, who is watching new content, how many of your users are fans, and who is actively binge watching content.


Fig. 2 – Help fans find the content they love with Content Engagement data.

Your ultimate success with retaining customers will be your ability to predict and recommend the next series or movie that customers want to watch. Using your own user data is helpful to understanding the correlations between users and the content offering in your catalog.

Chart of top content by title

Fig. 3 – Top Titles & Trial Drivers are other views that show which content can keep subscribers engaged and increase lifetime value.

In the Wicket Scorecard you can quickly get a view of the top performing shows in your catalog by audience size and completion rate. You can see which shows are driving new trials, and which have a raving fan base. Knowing this information will help you make decisions around content curation and ideally improve the lifetime value of your customers.

there is a high correlation between the number of series a user watches and the lifetime value of that subscriber.

As discussed earlier, there is a high correlation between the numbers of shows a subscriber consumes and your ability to retain them for longer periods of time. Understanding the shows that have the highest crossover appeal will allow you to target specific shows to different cohorts of users delivering a higher propensity to find another show they will love. The Wicket Scorecard has interactive tools that allow you to dig into the relationships between content selections and their respective audiences.

Sometimes these connections are not always obvious at first glance. While hits will always drive new trials, subscribers, and keep people loyal to the service; finding that next show or two is how you create raving fans. Discovering shows with high viewership correlations is only part of the battle, marry that data to additional user data or third party data like reviews and soon you will be able to understand which content is delivering the highest impact.

  • Which shows are the blockbusters?
  • How do you help subscribers find the hidden gems, guilty pleasures, and avoid the duds?

The Wicket Scorecard allows you to break down your content offering and direct your users to the content most appealing to their tastes and will help you avoid spending on content that does not move the needle.

Chart of library breakdown by genre

Fig. 4 – How does your content library break down compared to consumption?

Check back next week to find out how to prevent churn by attracting the right customers.

Combat Churn Whitepaper

You know that churn is a potential hurdle for your service. Click the button below to download the Understand & Combat Subscription Churn Whitepaper to see how the Wicket Scorecard can help you recognize and reduce churn in your video business and begin to maximize audience lifetime value.


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