Streaming wars in the 2020s: What can marketers learn from the SVoD arena?

October 1, 2020

News & Trends

The new normal won’t look like the old normal. That statement could apply to many things when talking about the global pandemic. But it’s especially true of streaming video.

Streaming, in general, is having a boom period. Industry giants have been gaining ground on the incumbent pay-TV providers for years. But, in the first half of 2020, consumption of overall video content saw a 30% increase in viewing year-on-year, and much of this was due to SVoD services. We have now also reached a point where research suggests consumers are permanently moving away from linear TV, creating a tipping point for a long-term shift in media consumption.

This is great news for the many, many streaming platforms out there. Although it’s expected that Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video will account for half the world’s SVoD subscriptions by 2025, this is an expanding market holding out rich prospects for smaller and niche players. And with SVoD set to generate more than $100 billion in the next five years, this growth will also undoubtedly lead to more platforms and more competition for consumer eyeballs — and their wallets.

More competition, more challenges

This is where a couple of key issues present themselves for SVoD players.

The most obvious one is subscription fatigue. It’s hard to ignore that people are going to be overwhelmed in the future. With so many different platforms to choose from, and a limited budget for media spend each month, what SVoD services beyond the big three will make the cut?

It’s no surprise that AVoD is moving from strength to strength as a result. Granted, AVoD has been a growing segment of the industry for a while. However, the change in overall consumption we’re seeing as a result of lockdown measures could be the catalyst that pushes AVoD into the mainstream. Particularly as 37% of people are willing to try a streaming service with ads in order to watch something new. The challenge here is how to ramp up the monetisation of that viewership.

Then there’s the question of discoverability. With high-quality shows spread across so many services, how can consumers discover what they’re interested in? Even on any one streaming service it can be hard to find something to watch. Consumers often get paralysed by choice. The sheer amount of content out there means they need more guidance than ever navigating the streaming arena.

How do you solve these problems? With data

What’s interesting about all three of these challenges is they share a potential solution: data analytics. The industry has been talking about the power of harnessing data and machine learning for advanced recommendation and personalisation for years. Yet, having a deeper understanding of each subscriber and what makes them tick goes far beyond that.

As more streaming services launch and the market gets increasingly crowded, gaining an edge to better attract and retain subscribers means truly understanding how content is consumed and how the service is performing in order to maximise its perceived value. In short, turning all the data at a streaming service’s disposal into a competitive advantage.

Data analysis is essential to improve content discovery and tackle subscription fatigue. It empowers content promoters and editorial teams to make targeted, insight-backed recommendations that can pull existing users deeper into their ecosystem to increase loyalty and prevent churn. Also, it enables them to selectively find and nurture trial users that are more likely to convert and stick around.

It’s key for addressable advertising too. Approached correctly, the effective use of data will let the industry achieve the Holy Grail of fewer, better ads that consumers won’t get immediately turned off by — and brands will be willing to pay more for.

How data supports content marketing

Among a swelling sea of competition, then, the effective use of data will be what separates winners from losers among smaller and niche SVoD players as they carve out their piece of the pie. And the same often applies to content marketing.

Prospects might not be facing subscription fatigue but, with so much content out there today, they’re certainly facing content fatigue. B2B companies can punch above their weight — and create lead magnet and sales enablement content that cuts through the noise, preventing it from getting lost in the constant content shuffle — by using the internal data at their disposal to inform their content strategy.

We’ve previously written about how data helps tell your story in a new, interesting way. Not only to attract more attention, but to underpin broader marketing and PR efforts for months to come. You don’t need a data analytics platform or dedicated research department to uncover useful insights. But you do need to look at your content marketing efforts through a new lens so that, like players in the SVoD arena, you can pull prospects and existing customers deeper into the ecosystem. And that’s where we can help.

Looking for support in developing and implementing a data-informed content marketing campaign? Get in touch: [email protected].


Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash

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