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Video: How to Engage With Viewers So They'll Engage With You
Streaming Video Alliance Executive Director Jason Thibeault discusses data-driven personalization and other strategies for providing a custom experience to keep viewers engaged in this clip from Streaming Media East 2018.

Learn more about audience engagement at Streaming Media's next event.

Watch the complete video of this panel, B102: Keep 'em Coming Back for More: Best Practices for Online Video Engagement, in the Streaming Media Conference Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Jason Thibeault: So you have to do two things with your content. First, you have to be willing to ask questions of your viewers: “What do you want to see? What are you interested in seeing? What's compelling to you? What will drive you to watch more content?” You have to be willing to do that. Lots of content providers are not. They don't want to engage with their viewers. I don't know if they're afraid of what they're going to find out.

The second thing you have to be able to do is to get friendly with the data. You're collecting data. From your player, from your server, from your origin, from your CDN. Who's watching what, when, where, how and why? Mining that data, combining it with asking it questions will provide you a roadmap about the kinds of content that your viewers are interested in seeing. You might be surprised. Maybe Crunchyroll started with the idea of doing cartoons, and then they started looking at their users, and their users started emailing them and they started having feedback and started looking at data, and they're like, “Wait a minute. They don't just want cartoons, they want anime.” Which is really specific. Then boom, Crunchyroll gets super popular.

The other thing that really need to be careful about is content discovery. How do you make it easy for your users to find the next thing to watch? Because if there's a pause; if your user is on your site, or your application and they're watching content and they finish, if there's nothing next, what are they going to do? They're going to go somewhere else. “Oh, hey. I'm on Netflix, I'm done. I can't find anything. I wonder what's on Prime? I wonder what's on HBO? I wonder what's on Showtime?” I'm moving on to the next service. So Netflix has just lost my viewer information. That's really important that you make it simple and easy for users to find the content they want to watch. Again, personalization and recommendation services are fantastic for that, but you have to be willing ask users questions, and you have to be willing to look at that data.

Jason Thibeault:                So you have to do two things with your content. First, you have to be willing to ask questions of your viewers: “What do you want to see? What are you interested in seeing? What's compelling to you? What will drive you to watch more content?” You have to be willing to do that. Lots of content providers are not. They don't want to engage with their viewers. I don't know if they're afraid of what they're going to find out.

 

                              The second thing you have to be able to do is to get friendly with the data. You're collecting data. From your player, from your server, from your origin, from your CDN. Who's watching what, when, where, how and why? Mining that data, combining it with asking it questions will provide you a roadmap about the kinds of content that your viewers are interested in seeing. You might be surprised. Maybe Crunchyroll started with the idea of doing cartoons, and then they started looking at their users, and their users started emailing them and they started having feedback and started looking at data, and they're like, “Wait a minute. They don't just want cartoons, they want anime.” Which is really specific. Then boom, Crunchyroll gets super popular.

 

                              The other thing that really need to be careful about is content discovery. How do you make it easy for your users to find the next thing to watch? Because if there's a pause; if your user is on your site, or your application and they're watching content and they finish, if there's nothing next, what are they going to do? They're going to go somewhere else. “Oh, hey. I'm on Netflix, I'm done. I can't find anything. I wonder what's on Prime? I wonder what's on HBO? I wonder what's on Showtime?” I'm moving on to the next service. So Netflix has just lost my viewer information. That's really important that you make it simple and easy for users to find the content they want to watch. Again, personalization and recommendation services are fantastic for that, but you have to be willing ask users questions, and you have to be willing to look at that data.

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