What we learned from: “The Future is Interactive: Increasing engagement in OTT with LiveLike and Deltatre”

07.07.21

by Editorial Staff

We recently hosted a webinar featuring Miheer Walavalkar, CEO and co-founder of LiveLike, and Kieran Bresnan, SVP Delivery, Video Experiences at Deltatre. Below, you can find some of the key learnings from the session

07.07.21

by Editorial Staff

We recently hosted a webinar featuring Miheer Walavalkar, CEO and co-founder of LiveLike, and Kieran Bresnan, SVP Delivery, Video Experiences at Deltatre. Below, you can find some of the key learnings from the session

To watch the webinar, click here.

Interactivity in over-the-top (OTT): Is it “just” a gimmick or a fundamental part of the next generation of OTT viewing experiences?

Alongside the increased multi-device accessibility that the shift to streaming brings, there’s a whole host of additional opportunities to exploit that simply wouldn’t be possible as part of a linear broadcast. Personalized experiences, instantaneous catch-up, and, most pertinently for this session, offering viewers the ability to interact with the broadcast in a rapidly increasing number of ways. Indeed, it can be argued that we’re still to even scratch the surface of what might be possible: As technology evolves and connectivity improves, we can expect to see even greater development.

As Miheer noted during the session: “The way we think about it is that today’s audiences are conditioned for interactive participatory experiences. Most of us spend a lot of time on social media or group chats while watching games or TV shows, and while most of the live viewing experience has shifted from TV to mobile, the interactivity element hasn’t yet caught up. So it’s still primarily a passive viewing experience … but we’re trying to fix the ‘community’ aspect.”

What does “interactivity” actually mean in an OTT context?

Kieran Bresnan: “We’ve always seen it as two different parts: Interactivity tied to media and data… and fan engagement or community-led interactivity.” By addressing both of these elements simultaneously, it allows OTT platforms to offer an all-round experience for their users.

It was this balance between areas of expertise that prompted the formal integration between Deltatre and LiveLike: Deltatre with the expertise in offering data-led interactivity, and LiveLike specializing in fan and community engagement-focused functionality.

It’s straightforward to see an objective, quantitative benefit to introducing interactive functionality to an OTT service

Miheer outlined some empirical evidence from previous work LiveLike has implemented:

“On average there is a 6x multiplier in the gaming industry when you go from single-player experiences to multiplayer experiences … [Interactivity] unlocks a whole world of monetization options; the moment you expand beyond subscription and mass advertising, you start creating experiences that are conducive to microtransactions and peer-to-peer challenges.”

“We haven’t yet ‘exploited’ that enough, because currently in most cases the vast majority of this activity is happening off platform on Twitter or Reddit. We believe at least some of that interaction should be happening on an OTT platform … It’s better because you have more attention from your audience, and you can start monetizing in a different place.”

Kieran agreed: “It’s about increasing engagement and enjoyment for the end user, and I think you start building up that cadence where they’re spending more time on your application ... which increases advertising revenue and allows you to utilize more data to recommend more content to individual users. The more they use the application, the more personalized it can become, which in turn decreases the chance of churn and increases acquisition.”

The future of interactivity is extremely exciting

From both a short- and long-term perspective, there are exciting things happening in the interactivity pipeline. However, to truly tap into the potential benefits, it’s arguable that organizations may need to think differently about the way they allocate their budgets.

Kieran: “There are some user trends that have happened over the last 18 months in regard to interactivity that I think will stay. I think we're still on the incline of the innovation curve in regard to interactivity … and I think everyone is currently updating their roadmaps to take this into account.”

From a longer-term perspective, Miheer expects to see a significant shift in priorities and approach from content providers:

“The amount of money that's being thrown at content is staggering. Only a fraction of that is being invested into creating digital experiences, which I believe can unlock so much more ROI.

Maybe I'm biased, maybe I’m not moving beyond the world that I've created for myself, but I fail to understand why you have to spend billions on content and not spend smaller amounts on experiences where you can significantly grow the ARPU [Average revenue per user]. The traditional rights acquisition model will mean you will always be worried about subscriber churn, because the moment those rights finish, and if you don't overpay for those same rights, people will go away.

Instead, why don't you create a stickier experience for them, and try and reduce the importance of this endless cycle of throwing more money at more content, so those people don't leave.”

To learn more about the power of interactivity, and how a Deltatre x LiveLike partnership can help OTT platforms better engage and monetize their customers, click here.