The Streaming-viewing Game

kristiane E.B Ekrheim

In today’s media landscape end consumers have a wide range of options on how they want to stream video content. Netflix changed the way we watch TV and from thereon several streaming services have been born. Only in the US, there are more than 300 streaming video services to choose from. This has left consumers drowning in content trying to map together what streaming services to choose from to access their preferred video content. So — what is the end user looking for when choosing between streaming services? 


The content
Safe to say there are several factors influencing consumer choice.  It’s hardly any doubt that consumers in the new world of technology appreciate their level of autonomy when choosing what, how, where and when they want to view video content online. We all like the freedom of getting home from a day at work or school or whatever and simply watching our favorite TV-show or movie.

A recent Digital Media Trends survey conducted by Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice states that there are few things more annoying than canceled TV-shows. This same survey states that consumers primarily choose one streaming service over another because of the content. By providing original content you can not access elsewhere, 57 percent of the participants said they would subscribe to that paid streaming service, and among millennials, the number is even higher at 71 percent. It also notes that 44% cited no ads as the top reason for subscribing to a new paid streaming video service. 

Recommendation engines
While good content pleases the streaming audience it’s not the only key to attract customers. The same survey stated that video consumers get frustrated when having to look for content to watch - and will indeed give up trying to find it in a few minutes. So not only is the content important but promoting the right content to the right end user. Recommendation engines are enabling content personalization to showcase a range of content options tailored to what the user wants (but who are unlikely to discover by themselves)

Lucikly for you, me and everyone else looking for a good TV-show or movie to stream, recommendation engines are being improved like never before with the mission of serving us the perfect content we would love to spend hours watching. 

Content delivery
While “content is king”, we must not underestimate the importance of content delivery quality. No streaming user ever has benefited or cheered when they are unable to stream content because of poor streaming quality or low bandwidth. We all recall the last Game of Thrones season where users marched to social media, not to talk about the show itself,  but about the poor streaming experience where streamers were unable to actually see what was happening on the screen due to lack of quality. According to a study by Verizon Digital Media Services, they found that better quality video means increased viewer loyalty. The study shows that OTT providers can increase video viewership by 25%  if they are providing a high-quality viewing experience.

Take care of data 
With great power comes great responsibility. By subscribing to any streaming service one will give up some sort of confidential information in order to get customized content and pay for the service. The study conducted by Deloitte states that consumers are concerned about the misuse of sensitive data, financial loss, and identity theft.  

Naturally, there are several factors influencing a consumer’s opinion when choosing between streaming services, and they can be hard to determine and generalize, but what we do know is that the end-consumer is getting more and more critical to what, where and how she wants to experience streaming services in this rapidly changing market. 

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