Personalization to define the next era of streaming

FKT Magazin 8-9/2021
Technologien & Lösungen

VOD platforms and streaming services that wish to succeed in an increasingly competitive market must redouble their efforts on personalizing the user experience. Why is personalization so important? Today’s consumers have more choice than ever, and content alone is no longer enough to keep them subscribed to a service. When the introduction of new OTT services began accelerating, much of the success of a service hinged on compelling, exclusive content.

However, to stay competitive in a crowded marketplace full of great content, service providers must also deliver top-notch viewing experiences that complement the content. Streaming service providers should now place equivalent emphasis on evolving the viewer experience and providing hyper-personalized experiences tailored to individuals that become naturally differentiating. Personalization can help content providers maximize viewer engagement and minimize churn.

Every viewer wants a personalized experience
As anyone who uses popular social platforms knows, consumers are accustomed to getting curated content, whenever they want and from the device of their choice. Personalization will be a hallmark of the next stage of the streaming era as content owners evolve experiences to meet this consumer expectation with personalized content packages and creative new ways of viewing.

With so much choice available, consumers are also looking for value for money. Offering tailored content packages will provide subscribers with a viewing experience that is more appealing because it better reflects their interests and preferences. A better experience drives engagement which drives subscriber retention which drives business health.

The solutions required to unlock the next stage of streaming
In order to meet the viewer’s expectations of more personalized viewing experiences, providers must invest in the right tools. OTT is uniquely positioned to provide a seamless, personalized viewing experience for individual viewers through innovation and technological advancements. As a result, viewers can now enjoy fully personalized streams or virtual linear channels as soon as they sign into a service.

Data underpins all of these new personalized experiences. The wealth of data available makes it possible to generate a manifest for every user that presses play. Content, advertising, and delivery can be tailored to a consumer’s habits and preferences based on specific user insights. This information is the key to unlocking truly differentiated user experiences because it provides a holistic end-to-end view of each consumer’s behavior. Having access to this vast amount of data provides service providers with the knowledge they need to revolutionize the viewing experience.

Having a platform that supports the viewing experience from end-to-end is an essential requirement to enable personalization. By spanning the entire video lifecycle, service providers can easily leverage the actionable information necessary to deliver high-quality, seamless, personalized video experiences to every viewer on any device.

Reaching the right viewer at the right time
Content owners constantly manage the data necessary to create personalized OTT experiences and provide unique insights into audience behavior and content value. Because it helps broadcasters understand what their audiences desire and how likely they are to engage with it, this data is crucial for informing content acquisition and creation decisions. Reaching viewers with the right kind of content at the appropriate time will result in increased engagement and subscription renewals while lowering churn. As a result, OTT players with a clear focus on hyper-personalization are bound to outperform the competition.

The opportunity for advertisers
Personalization goes beyond content and into ads. Broadcasters can use individual viewers’ habits to create highly targeted ads, which is particularly important for hybrid or ad-based streaming services where advertising revenue is essential. Historically, personalization in advertising has focused on delivering a relevant advertisement to a consumer. However, now personalization has evolved, and service providers also need to consider the placement of the ad and its length. For example, during a high profile sporting match, a consumer may rather see a couple of advertisements that only lasts a few seconds as opposed to after the game when a longer advertisement might be more well received. This allows service providers to provide next-generation viewing experiences that are much more engaging than anything we’ve seen before. The technology to do this is available now, and it can be done at scale.

What does the future hold?
Changes in customer behavior and data rules has meant OTT services have needed to realign many of their strategies. As new streaming services continue to enter the market, personalization will be the primary way content providers will be able to differentiate their service and become the first choice for consumers.

Global streaming providers should make next-generation personalisation tools and programming capabilities a priority. These solutions will help them unlock the next stage of streaming and increase stickiness to their service by providing viewers with individualized experiences that resonate with their viewing behavior and preferences.