Video: How Do You Get Millennials to Adopt OTT Services?

In this clip from his presentation at Streaming Media East 2016, Jason Thibeault of Streaming Media Alliance discusses results from a recent survey of 1200 online video consumers worldwide, with particular emphasis on the critical millennial viewership demographic for OTT services, and the viewing habits, likes, and dislikes that make millennials more or less likely to adopt and continue to subscribe to OTT services. The survey yielded insights into three key factors in milliennial viewers' buying decisions: the video experience, choice, and advertising.

Watch Jason Thibeault's complete presentation from Streaming Media East, Lessons Learned: How to Succeed in the Exploding Market of Over-the-Top Video.

Read the transcript of the clip above:

Jason Thibeault: You have to ask yourself: How do millennials feel about video? We took a survey, and that survey was about 1,200 consumers across 4 countries, lots of demographics. What we found out was really startling. We found out three things. We found out stuff about the video experience. We found out stuff about choice, and about advertising.

Really quickly, the video experience: I told you before, and I showed you that graph before about what people found most frustrating about watching online video. I showed you before the everyone else graph. Now I've got the millennial graph up, and you can see that video buffering is a little different, pretty much the same statistically, but what's interesting as you look at that top green bar, and you go from 2.59 to 2.79. You go from a much more concern about video quality. It's got to be broadcast-like. We call this, in the industry, broadcast quality. In order to really get millennials to come on board for OTT services and stay engaged, they have to be feeling like it's watching TV. Remember, they grew up with cable television. They grew up with sitting down on the couch and turning it on and it worked beautifully. That's something you have to keep in mind when launching OTT service.

All right. This was interesting. This was about choice. We asked them to how many OTT services do they currently subscribe? You'll see on the left is everyone else, and you'll see on the right is millennials. The key difference is that top bar. With everyone else, lots of people don't subscribe. About 50% of people don't subscribe to OTT services, but millennials, only about 28% don't subscribe. What does that mean? You can see the distribution goes all the way down. Everything picks up speed. Millennials are subscribing to more OTT services. They really want choice of content. They're going to multiple services to find the content that they want to consume. Choice is king.

The last thing we found out is about advertising. We asked this question. "I will generally abandon a video if ..." What we discovered was, if you look at that red box, that first choice is, "There's an ad before the video." About 12% of everyone else said, "Yeah, yeah, I'd abandon a video if there's an ad before it." About 25% of millennials said they would. Millennials have a hypersensitivity to advertising. There's a reason for that. They don't like to be interrupted. You have to stop the interruptions.


What did we discover today? We discovered that to build an OTT service, you have to make it broadcast quality. You have to provide choice. You have to avoid interruptions. To do that, you need a CDN to help you deliver at scale, to give you that global reach. You need to create an experience that people are going to want to come back to.

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