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Matching OTT Metrics to User Behavior to Reduce Churn

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Learn more about OTT and streaming metrics at Streaming Media West 2021.

Read the complete transcript of this video:

Tony Stott: When you've got an ad in, customers are going to be even more sensitive. So it's vital that we make sure that there's no interruption, no buffering when an ad happens. At Sky, we look at all the metrics, both within the ads themselves and then across the aggregate and make sure there's no Delta between the two. And we're trying to make sure that, from a customer perspective, the ads are rock solid and, and they behave just as well as the content. That's my target.

Nadine Krefetz: What metrics are you looking at?

Tony Stott: Metrics-wise, we've been going through a big journey at Sky. When we started, we looked at loads of papers, loads of research. Akamai has done a lot, Conviva's done a lot, Bitmovin were just starting off, but they've done a lot more recently. Loads of companies have done this kind of stuff, matching QoE back to customer behavior. Everything kind of agreed that buffering was the most important. So our first KPI was just solely around buffering, and we tried to define what an acceptable experience was from an unacceptable experience. And then just make sure that more and more customers were getting that acceptable experience. And we saw a huge uptake in engagement, and we've taken buffering down 80% over the last seven years with hundreds of improvements.

Then what we found was that we hit the law of diminishing returns. We were putting more and more efforts to get marginal improvements. And so we used all that data, we got matching QoE back to churn, and we came up with a new KPI, which we call a next-gen KPI, which is really around flawless streaming. And this is really well correlated to churn. It is also is quite understandable. So we're looking at percentage of streams without interruption at 720p. We're making sure that customers have at least good visual quality and no interruptions. And so this is a KPI we've been running for a couple of years, and we've had huge success with it over the whole of Sky. They've all bought into it, and we're making great decisions based on it.

So the idea was, it of simplifies all those different metrics and makes them just turn into one. And if you've got Conviva--and I'm sure that other guys are doing the same kind of thing--but it's just recently released the Streaming Performance Index (SPI), which is a kind of equivalent of the next-gen KPI. Quite a similar setup. If you don't want to do all of the statistics, that's a good place to start.

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