Consumer services

Streaming bundles can fix consumer churn

As streaming services continue their constant stream through homes and devices, viewers increasingly use over-the-top (OTT) services. However, many already subscribe to pay TV services, and it is difficult to know what to subscribe to, which gives consumers pause.

Such considerations are not in the best interest of streaming services competing for subscribers. This is not a zero sum game. With the right customer experience and the right distribution partnerships, streaming services can unlock bundles that make it easier for customers to take more and more services at a lower cost.

This is where subscription packages can work wonders, delivering more value for the dollar of streaming with more channels and content. But as Jeremy Simon, vice president of global streaming partnerships at VUBIQUITY, puts it, “we haven’t seen a real take off in bundles yet…”.

In a recent conversation with Karen Webster of PYMNTS, Simon, who oversees partnerships for VUBIQUITY, said that bundles that include non-content services are also a key part of the future of streaming.

However, space is still shaking as stand-alone channels vie to be one of three streaming services in the average household, according to PYMNTS research. This causes a deluge of cross-marketing and promotions as streaming services compete for the same consumers.

“I see Roku offering new customers HBO Max subscriptions – or Best Buy offering Apple Music or Apple TV + subscriptions,” Simon explained. “I see Disney using ‘Good Morning America’ to promote a Hulu offer, or ‘The Today Show’ used by NBC Universal to promote a premium Peacock offer.

“What we see is not just the properties, but the way you offer it, how you offer it, what you offer, who you offer it to, really captures this ecosystem where we have platforms, streamers. and distributors all come together.

Anyone who dabbles in value-added streaming can be confusing to consumers now, Simon said, but scratch the surface and you’ll find clues as to what’s to come.

“The bundles that we see in streaming or [direct-to-consumer] the space is quite different depending on the partner, and we don’t see a ton of it, ”said Simon. “There are pioneers [companies] like T-Mobile which offers a multitude of streaming services and offers to new customers of Netflix, Paramount Plus, Apple Plus, Google Storage.

For telecommunications operators (telcos) and other industry players, these measures are aimed at attracting new customers and retaining loyalty, not at providing entertainment. However, they suggest a near future where standalone channels merge into bundles that consumers enjoy – avoiding the sticker shock of so many individual streaming charges hitting users’ accounts separately.

Saying that’s where partnerships will shine, Simon told Webster, “When I’m talking to streaming services and they want to make deals with distributors, what are they looking for? It’s often a lower churn rate, and that churn rate doesn’t just come from being on the phone company, but deep within it, almost invisible, and they really get it at from deep bundles.

In other words, if your TV plan is just one item on your phone bill, streaming services may be less afraid of being selected for cancellation.

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Reduce the churn rate through partnerships

Simon said VUBIQUITY helps businesses partner with streaming services where they add the most value.

“One of the areas where we’re adding value is not just doing integrations, but doing matchmaking, trying to upgrade the expectations of the network on either side and trying to find people who can work together because they can align with who they are. We deliver, ”he said.

“If I put something on my telecom bill, it’s probably going to provide a lower churn rate for most streaming services. It’s very valuable to them… and something worth a lot of money.

While telecom operators are an obvious place to start, as they offer active networks of millions of video-enabled devices and corresponding eyeballs, the consolidation has implications for other industries.

As Simon told Webster, “What we are seeing is that [this] can go beyond the telecommunications industry to other companies that have customers and wish to provide more services to their customers. These can be financial service providers, credit cards, utilities, banks, [and any] companies that have these customer relationships.

He notes, however, that “it is difficult to find this value because the streaming margins are probably not yet as generous as those for television. [margins].

“If I’m trying to build a package, I want to make it profitable and I want to give enough discount to attract customers,” Simon continued. “It’s a part of the industry that hasn’t quite [been] understood, but I think it’s coming.

See also: Streaming Wars Heats Up As Consumers Do The Math On Subscription Services

Meta-aggregation and more

To get there, Simon describes an incremental process where partners – from TV operators to banks, merchants and more – bundle channels with their products and services, bolstering promotions with the spice of streaming, without necessarily offering all channels equally. à la carte. .

The benefit of streaming services goes beyond being in the package to finding new, loyal fans, he said.

“One of the things that always interests me in the streaming space is the asymmetry between a new customer who has no idea what a service’s content is before signing up, versus an existing customer who is very familiar, ”said Simon. “Our industry can do an even better job of enabling customers to browse, try, sample, discover – and I think channel partners really play a very important role in that, as do operators of television did so in the content space. “

As customers come out of the lockdown mentality and find they have less time for all this streaming entertainment, Simon said, “There are a lot of services out there and some of them will evolve. Some of them will merge. Some of them will change.

Taking the example of Roku’s acquisition of Quibi content, he said, “We are seeing different forms of evolution and we are seeing a meta-aggregation, with streamers looking to offer content to other streamers. We have Peacock and ESPN + distributing [World Wrestling Entertainment and Ultimate Fighting Championship] content in their application. I think it will evolve.

“There are many other partnerships that can be made,” he added, “but the offer has to be right, the price has to be right, and the customer experience has to be good. “

See also: Disney + Subscription Slow Reflects Wider Streaming Trends

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