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How to Generate Demand for Your Streaming Service

What's the best way to draw subscribers and viewers to your streaming service and maintain the audience numbers that keep subscription services profitable and satisfy brands? Christina Chung, VP Business Operations, Estrella Media, and James Lauzun, VP of Product, MagellanTV, discuss this topic with Jonathan Hurd, Partner, Altman Solon, in this clip from their Streaming Media East 2023 panel.

Hurd begins the discussion by asking Lauzun about MagellanTV’s processes for generating demand and acquiring customers. “Whenever we do one of our original productions, we're usually allocating dollar for dollar for the actual production [costs] into marketing that production,” Lauzun says. “We view those two things as essential because we believe that you're not just going to have viewers because you have some come content. In terms of the marketing itself, we got our start with YouTube influencers. That's a really effective way to shortcut that sales and marketing conversation.” He notes that doing Facebook or pay-per-click ads requires a more hands-on approach with the service provider to ensure maximum effectiveness, while working with the right influencer can bring instant brand credibility. “All the influencer needs to talk about is what kind of documentaries [the audience] is going to find really appealing,” he says. “And that kind of shortcut originally was how we had our first phase of explosive growth.” He notes, however, that it can be a gamble to find an influencer who is the best fit for your brand.

Lauzun talks about MagellanTV’s current marketing tactics now that they have become more established and do not have to rely too heavily on the more unpredictable influencer route. “Now it's about taking all of those things that we've learned about our positioning, our marketing, the data that we have around usage, the interviews, the surveys…it's now [about] how can we come off of the influencer roulette table and repeat some of this messaging [with] online advertising on Facebook and Google?” he says. “But again, staying specific to the kinds of users we're looking for. That's actually a big part of our revenue generation, the fact that we are really aggressive with securing new FAST positions…not only [with] primary SVOD releases, but we actually have a pretty short exclusive window for that a lot of times, unless it's like a really high marquee value film. But we'll immediately start syndicating that out to different AVOD platforms, so really pushing that content out and making sure that users can easily find you anywhere.”

Hurd asks Christina Chung of Estrella Media to discuss their approach to demand generation. “All your users, they're not subscribers, they're viewers, right?” he says. “But you still have to make them aware you exist. So how do you do that?”

“We actually have a wholly dedicated team [for] customer acquisition,” Chung says. “They pull data, and they work with our partners.” She says Estrella Media’s highest views are on FAST channels, which handle much of the marketing and promotions. “So we work hand-in-hand with these partners of ours to make sure that our consumers are understanding what content [is] coming up next month [and] in the Fall,” she says. “These are things that we work very closely with our marketing partners over on the distribution ends. And on top of that, we also make sure that our content is relevant for each of these different platforms. What we're working towards is developing curated experiences by platform.”

Chung expands further on how Estrella works explicitly with different platforms. “For example, we have the Roku Channel, and we have Samsung TV Plus,” she says. “Each of these channels has different audiences associated with them. One of the things that we're working towards is maybe creating a curated experience for the Roku channel, a curated experience for Samsungs TV Plus, just so that we are able to really capture our audiences and keep it sticky and engaging. Because, at the end of the day, Estrella is founded on fandom. Our Tengo Talento [is] in the 27th season. And it's because people keep coming back to watch the show because they're very dedicated and obsessed with our content. So we want to make it readily available for them on a curated experience by platform.”

Learn more about a wide range of streaming industry topics at Streaming Media Connect 2023.

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