Making the first minute count: how to ‘wow’ new fans with your OTT service


by Editorial Staff

With increasing numbers of people turning to streaming services, how can digital operators ensure they deliver what users want right from the get-go?


by Editorial Staff

With increasing numbers of people turning to streaming services, how can digital operators ensure they deliver what users want right from the get-go?

You only get one chance to make a first impression. That’s true for streaming platforms, too.

Many people are turning to over-the-top (OTT) services at the moment, mostly due to the increased time spent indoors. They may be taking advantage of an introductory offer or free trial, or they could have signed up to a service after weeks of deliberating, deciding now is the moment to take the plunge.

It is estimated that streaming levels have jumped by at least 12%, according to a recent article in Forbes. This presents a challenge for OTT services. Not just in terms of the technical and bandwidth issues that come with increased usage, but also in terms of marketing, design, and content curation.

Who is signing up?

Much of this increased traffic will come from ‘experienced streamers’; that is to say, users that already have access to one or more services, and are now signing up to another to fill their free time. On the other hand, some customers will be those that are making use of an OTT service for the first time. There will be different levels of familiarity with the process, both in terms of sign-up and content discovery.

Consequently, the actual on-boarding process is of utmost importance. With so much competition for attention, it’s crucial that users are wowed by a seamless user experience the first time they use it. Sign-up should be seamless and easy to navigate, no matter which device the customer is using.

You need a clear description of what the user is signing up to, and for how much money, as well as a simple on-boarding process that highlights the key features.”

Kieran Bresnan, SVP, Solution Engineering

Kieran Bresnan, SVP, Solution Engineering, Deltatre believes that: “A great sign-up process should include, firstly, easy input of personal details, particularly if a customer is using an input mechanism like a remote control. Added to that, you need a clear description of what the user is signing up to, and for how much money, as well as a simple on-boarding process that highlights the key features.”

Once the sign-up process is finalized, the focus should be on helping the user find what they want. Huge amounts of content can be overwhelming and sometimes it’s difficult to strike the right balance between discovery and consumption.

Services will want to showcase as much of their exciting drama series, documentaries and films as possible, but there’s a need for the product to be eye-catching and guide the user quickly to the right title.

It’s also important to be aware of where a user has come from. Many are drawn in by marketing efforts focused on a particular program or title. Making sure that a flagship offering is front and centre for that individual user, not hidden away, is another simple way of satisfying the customer. AXIS, our targeted UX management platform, can help with this.

Focus on design

At the heart of this effort to impress your new customer from the outset is design and UX. An overly cluttered service that doesn’t differentiate from rivals, or have an identity of its own, will impact on how the customer assesses the product offering.

Deltatre’s Design Director, EMEA, Richard Mills believes that good UX is “about finding that sweet spot where usability, utility and feasibility meet”. That means any feature should be used for the benefit of the consumer, not just as ‘garnish’. While the finished product needs to be aesthetically pleasing, it must be twinned with strategic functionality.

Talking of design, if you haven’t already, please check out our DESIGN Hustle initiative. Run by a specialized squad of design experts, its purpose is to help identify and solve problems, form and shape new ideas and make things that are otherwise intangible, tangible.

Understanding the user – and personalizing the content offering

It’s important that a service can quickly build a picture of a particular user so it can offer content that best suits their interests and behavior. This may be predicated on a specific demographic, such as age or where the user lives. Additionally, with so many children now at home alongside their parents, there’s an increased demand for ‘family-friendly’ content and layouts.

Over time, it may become clear a user is obsessed with crime documentaries, foreign films or British sitcoms. Identifying this behavior, and then adjusting the user’s experience to reflect these habits, is essential. This should help to maintain interest in a service, keeping them engaged with a regular stream of content that they feel is in-line with their interests. Consequently, customer churn can also be reduced, with fewer customers feeling that the service isn’t for them.

Deltatre’s new SaaS-based platform mtribes is the perfect tool to enact this strategy, as it allows non-technical product owners to identify quickly how users engage with a multi-platform digital service, use that data to create highly personalized experiences, and measure the results in real time.

Tailoring marketing activities

Simple marketing activities can help a user with onboarding and result in a stickier service. That may include a brief ‘how-to’ email or a message which has several recommendations based on what the user has indicated they may enjoy.

In the long term, it’s important to understand how a user is interacting with the service, especially if they were acquired through a free trial or limited offer. Especially in today’s climate, with many sport operators offering free access as a means to deliver value to customers, eventually they will want to ensure that their new users take the final step and become full-time subscribers.

Knowing key details like when a user last accessed the service and for how long, what time of day they use it and on which device, as well as their content preferences and other behavioral traits, can enable editorial and marketing teams to devise retention campaigns that keep them hooked.

Summing up

Services should ensure that the onboarding process is clear, simple, and easy to navigate. Once the customer signs up, beautiful, highly functional design and content curation take over. Underlining everything, though, is the imperative to truly understand user behavior, and empowering editorial staff to act on this data.

We love to hear from you. If you have any questions, say hello over on Twitter or LinkedIn. And if you want to find out more about mtribes, you can do so here.