nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

SVOD churn 35% and rising. Downloads can help!

Impact of the availability of downloads on subscription behavior

Winning a new viewer is only half the battle for Internet TV providers. With almost 2-in-5 churning away from a service, providers need a better way to make them stay. Downloading could be the answer.

New service choices and poor quality could boost churn in 2020

It is tough enough for Internet TV providers to win a customer, but it is even harder to hang on to them. Parks Associates says that churn among SVOD services increased from 25% in 2018 to 35% in 2019. It seems like providers are stuck. They must offer one-month commitments, or people won’t subscribe. However, with just one month’s commitment, it’s all-to easy to leave.

Hub Research drop one SVOD service for anotherIt could be that churn is about to increase again in 2020. New services from Disney, WarnerMedia, and NBCU are placing more demands on consumer wallets. Hub Research found two-thirds of consumers interested in subscribing to these new services will drop an existing service to get them.

Another problem could be the quality of the video experience online TV service users are receiving. A new European survey from Penthera found that 85% of survey respondents in five European countries had experienced frustration with their services. Problems they encountered included video re-buffering (52%), long video start times (49%), and annoying advertisements (48%).

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Allowing video downloads can help

The Penthera data suggests adding video downloads can help combat churn and improve the experience for consumers. Downloading a video removes problems like buffering, and 29% of survey respondents said they used downloads to avoid buffering.

The ability to download also delivers the ultimate in portability. 46% of survey participants said they used it because it allowed them to watch whenever and wherever they want.

frequency of using downloads in EuropeMoreover, downloading is one of the most popular features an Internet TV service can offer. Half of the European consumers said they used downloads at least monthly, and 13% are daily users. What’s more, two-thirds expect their streaming service to include the feature.

Download with ads important too

According to a test of 80 Internet TV services by nScreenMedia and VideoNuze, no ad-supported Internet TV services supports video downloads. Hulu promised the feature in 2018, but only enabled it for ad-free viewers late in 2019. Certainly, keeping ads up to date in a downloaded video is challenging. That said, technical solutions do exist.

Moreover, according to the Penthera data, failing to offer downloads with ads is a missed opportunity. 85% of survey respondents said they would use the feature if it were offered. 43% said they were excited at the idea and would use the feature regularly.

If you want to understand more about the features and functionality that make for an excellent download facility you should sign up for the free webinar The Do’s and Don’ts of Mobile Video Download. I’ll be discussing best download practices with Will Richmond, Editor in Chief of VideoNuze, and Josh Pressnell, CTO of Penthera. The discussion happens at 11 AM Pacific, 2 PM Eastern on Tuesday, March 24th.

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