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Meeting these consumer expectations is critical for streaming success

July 28, 2021 | By Rande Price, Research VP – DCN

Consumers have numerous entertainment options when it comes to video streaming. There are many choices to be made — from content and viewing device to whether to access the content from a film studio, a network provider, streaming network, and more. The options are endless and overwhelming. As an industry, we need to understand how consumers feel about these entertainment options and how they are navigating the marketplace.  

PriceWaterhouseCoopers’s (PwC) new research shows that 83% of consumers are happy with their options. That’s up from 73% compared to a year ago. In fact, approximately 40% say they are “happy,” “excited” or “satisfied” with their video viewing experience.

PwC surveyed 1,000 consumers, ages 18-59, to better understand content choices and preferences. They used historical survey findings for data comparisons.

Supplying the ultimate user interface

Consumers report that they now use close to eight streaming services, up from six services the prior year. When asked what they like about their favorite services, key factors include “ease of use” (55%) followed by “being able to find something to watch on the service” (35%). Consumers expect an intuitive user interface (UI). The findings indicate that exceeding expectations in ease of use and finding content can act as key differentiators for streaming services.  

Getting personal  

Respondents like the idea of content recommendations getting more advanced and personal. This includes factors like viewing mood, co-viewing identification, length of the content and other data points.

Using advanced personalization can help the search and discovery process be even more customer centric. However, ensuring user privacy and maintaining consumer trust is non-negotiable in the process. With this in mind, directing subscribers to accessible content with ease and efficiently is a golden ticket.

Advertising context

Most consumers do not mind advertising. In fact, close to two-thirds (63%) of respondents are willing to see more ads if it means a lower cost of a streaming service. Not surprisingly, 72% of respondents report that they prefer to see fewer ads that are not of interest to them. In other words, context and relevancy matter.  

Retaining subscribers

Positive consumer satisfaction supports a growing entertainment marketplace. Nearly half of all respondents (46%) report paying more for video content in 2020 than they did in 2019. Further, 59% of them expect to pay more a year from now. Even with high satisfaction and expectations of a growing market, retaining users is a top priority. Respondents report the top three retention vehicles: a price discount (64%), larger movie library (50%), and less ads (50%).

Significantly, PwC’s research shows that consumers are still adding services in their video service portfolios. In a crowded streaming marketplace, meeting and exceeding consumer expectations to easily find content drives stickiness. Further, new partnerships and tiered models may offer new opportunities to attract and retain users. However, it’s important that these new opportunities align with consumer benefits.

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