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Using content analyses to guide streaming business strategy

January 10, 2023 | By Rande Price, Research VP – DCN

There are over 300 streaming video services in the U.S. – and that number doesn’t include FAST channels. Consumers have a plethora of OTT services and access points across connected devices. So, how do media companies attract and retain viewers in such a large and fragmented marketplace? Parks Associates partnered with SymphonyAI Media to identify core analytics to help guide market strategies in the OTT ecosystem. Their new report, Optimizing Video: Enhancing Content Performance for OTT Success, looks at data solutions to best optimize content investment and performance.

Marketplace snapshot

According to Parks Associates, 87% of U.S. internet households now subscribe to one or more streaming video service, and 20% subscribe to eight or more OTT services. Consumers are adding new hybrid-model and FAST channels to their viewership mix. Netflix and Disney+ are two examples of media businesses launching ad-supported business models to attract new viewers to monetize content.

New niche streaming services are also popular among select audience segments. While appealing to a smaller audience, they offer unique and often obscure content. Sixty-one percent of consumers added other subscriptions in addition to the big three – Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Interestingly, very few consumers have an exclusive single-service subscription.

Content continues to be a key driver of subscriptions, with 48% of consumers referencing content availability as the primary reason for subscribing to an additional service. However, while churn appeared to stabilize last year, nearly half of streaming subscribers leave one service for another multiple times within a year.

Content performance

Media companies continually invest in content to attract, engage, and retain viewers. Content analyses offer a direct link to profitability. They are essential to understand viewership and forecast the revenue generated by a specific property, series, or partnership. They also help assess workflow efficiencies and revenue opportunities across SVOD, AVOD, and FAST.

Internal data necessary:

  1. Content data – genre, series, season, episode, asset I.D.
  2. Distributor data – terms, avails, distributor I.D., distributor type
  3. Revenue data – subscribers, transactions, units sold, forecast
  4. Advertising data – impressions, CPM, fill rate, minutes streamed

Measuring content performance helps quantify consumer engagement. Each of the essential analyzes offer important metrics and insights to assess performance across business operations.

  • Content performance provides a foundation to assess spending on content. It allows objectivity when looking at program performance.  
  • Assessing workflow metrics, from managing content libraries and editing ad breaks to costs associated with programming FAST channel schedules, offers insight into revenue optimization and deal terms.
  • Predictive content analytics are important to understanding what to charge or pay across the customer lifecycle. These analyzes assess the consumer value of the content investment and provides insight into pricing strategies.
  • Content ROI assesses content value across different business models ‒ subscription, ad-supported, and even transactional. It allows media organizations to understand and optimize the impact of business decisions on financial metrics.

Analytics are essential to evaluate content performance and optimize operations across revenue models ‒ ad-supported and subscription businesses. Investing in automating, standardizing, and normalizing data structures in an organization are important next steps to streamline the analytic processes.

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