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  • January 24, 2024
  • By Greg Morrow General Manager, Streaming Media Group, Bitcentral
  • Blog

Rekindling Consumer Satisfaction With D2C

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Despite what appears to be a thriving market, streaming viewers are no longer satisfied with what’s on offer: according to our latest consumer survey, nearly half* (46%) of streaming service viewers believe they are not getting good value from their subscriptions. At a time when there has never been more streaming content available, this suggests a new approach is needed for streaming companies to maintain and grow their audiences. The unique benefits of Direct-to-consumer (D2C) business models may be the key to winning back audiences no longer satisfied with the subscription models that have dominated the industry in recent years.  

Solve pain points with customer profiling

One of the most common problems reported among streaming viewers is their challenge in finding things to watch. The answer is to maintain a diverse content volume and craft a tailored offering that caters to specific customer profiles. It’s essential to accommodate differences in what customers are looking for; these factors range from different tastes in content to pricing and advertising models. Many pain points can be solved simply by increasing the range of available options.

Musical fans, for instance, are underserved by today’s streaming services, whereas 67% of superhero fans* say they receive good or fantastic value from streaming. Blanket solutions, such as adding more content or lowering costs, will miss the opportunity to target pain points specific to certain customer profiles but not others. A D2C approach that addresses specific gaps in content offerings (such as musicals, documentaries, and independent films) is more cost-effective from a business perspective and more rewarding for the paying customer.

Revisiting the FAST gold rush

The Free Advertising-supported Streaming Television (FAST) phenomenon has recently dominated the streaming industry. Now that the dust has settled on this breakthrough innovation, it’s time to assess FAST through the lens of customer profiling and D2C offering. As with content offerings, FAST is not all things to all viewers. Baby Boomers are more open to having three ad breaks an hour* (44%) than Millennials (32%), which tells us that FAST, despite its runaway success in recent years, is not a one-size-fits-all solution. FAST isn’t going anywhere, but a D2C approach will get the most out of FAST channels going forward.

As a further refinement of FAST offerings, targeted advertising applies the principle of D2C business models to provide viewers with highly relevant ads. 56% of streaming subscribers* reported being more willing to watch FAST services if the ads were “highly relevant” to them. With FAST becoming commonplace in today’s business models, media companies will seek a competitive edge by building their FAST offerings around clearly defined demographics and preferences.

Follow the audience to prevent churn

Apart from the growth and engagement opportunities that come with D2C, there is also the consideration of preventing churn. Today’s viewers are understandably wary of the cost, with 66%* reporting that they would try a new service because it is cheap. This fact, coupled with low levels of consumer satisfaction, puts media companies at significant risk of churn. If audiences do not feel they are being well provided for, they will look elsewhere. The best defense is to build a service that cultivates a loyal following, and the first step to do this is to understand the highly personal tastes of your customers.

*Download our streaming market survey report for a full overview of the challenges and opportunities in today’s streaming market.

[Editor's note: This is a contributed article from Bitcentral. Streaming Media accepts vendor bylines based solely on their value to our readers.]

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