Redefining Engagement for OTT Video Services

Today’s definitions of engagement are not good enough for OTT video services. Metrics such as total hours watched, monthly active users, and total views are interesting but not actionable. We need a better understanding of engagement to catch each audience cohort at inflection points and keep them engaged.

Wicket Labs is redefining video engagement with a focus on the audience lifecycle and a bias toward taking action. The key is setting a new engagement status for every registered user, TV-E member, and subscriber based on their video viewing habits.

  • New – Users with a view in the last week but none in the last year
  • Engaged – Users with multiple views in the last month. Views may not have gaps longer than 28 days from previous views
  • Recent – Users with no views in the last week but at least one view in the prior three weeks
  • Re-engaged – Users with a view in the last week, but no views in the prior four weeks
  • Idle – Users with no views in the last four weeks, but at least one view in the prior eight weeks
  • Inactive – Users with no views in the last 12 weeks but at least one view in the last year
chart of Engagement Status Over Time

Fig. 1 – Chart of Engagement Status Over Time for users of an OTT service.

Once we know where key cohorts of audience members stand, we can better discern their lifecycle with the service and take actions to keep them engaged. Some examples include:

The Disinterested User

chart of engagement by disinterested user

A disinterested user signs up watches a few videos over the first few weeks, and then their interest began to wane until they became inactive. This is a common pattern for any video service and identifying this cohort as their usage begins to drop is critical to keeping them engaged and avoiding churn.

We recommend a weekly outreach to audience members with a “Recent” status via emails or app notifications. Promoting new hit shows coming into the window as well as hidden gems is a great way to get these users Re-engaged.

The Spotty Viewer

chart of engagement by spotty viewer

Intermittent viewing can be a healthy usage pattern for your video service. They signed up for the service, explored the catalog for a week or two at the beginning, and then fell into a cycle where they use the service every several weeks.

These audience members may be picked up in your messaging to Recent users or your regular outreach to engaged users.

Seasonal Viewing

chart of engagement by seasonal viewer

This cohort is best described as a seasonal viewer. They signed up as a subscriber and were highly engaged until they finished all of their favorite show or the sports season ended. When the next season picks up, they re-engaged with the service. Understanding these fans is critical in driving them back to the service as well as marketing other relevant shows or off-season content to extend their viewing past the current season.

Subscriber Export with Engagement Status

These three examples provide a glimpse into why we’re redefining engagement to give Wicket Scorecard users a more comprehensive understanding of the level of engagement across their whole subscriber base. Beyond just understanding, we are adding the engagement status to each subscriber as a standard field in our data export. Marketers, editorial teams, and even your sites and apps can react to this data to drive a healthier, long term relationship with each audience member.

Learn how your video service can take advantage of the evolution of defining engagement for OTT video services and really understand the shifting patterns of your subscribers. Contact us today for an online demonstration.

Employing an Audience Insights Platform

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