Encouraging the growth of free and lower-cost ad-supported streaming services will certainly require a measured approach to ad loads and a data-based approach to delivering optimum content mixes.
But increasingly, being competitive will also require that streaming services partner with home service providers that help consumers aggregate and manage not only their video services, but a host of other subscription services.
This week, Hub Entertainment Research released research that underscores how many types of entertainment sources U.S consumers are now using (12.5, on average, and more among younger demos). That — not just the array of video streamers now — is the real scope of the competition for consumers’ time and attention faced by ad-supported (and ad-free) streaming platforms.
Equally important, the survey finds an audio app — Spotify — as being the most-valued source, and documents how few of the sources of any kind are considered “must-haves”:
In that context, separate Parks Associates research that finds 59% of over-the-top (OTT) subscribers preferring a single account and bill for all of their household subscription services takes on added importance.
That survey also found 48% of OTT subscribers saying that they feel that their home internet service providers add more value when online video services subscriptions are offered.
Already, 40% of OTT subscribers report that 100% of their OTT services are bundled through a home service provider, and just 31% report that none of their services are bundled through such a provider.
While some of these consumers prefer to keep their video and home services separate, many are simply not aware of the availability of online video service bundled offerings.
“Consumers are seeing value and simplicity in receiving a bundle of channels and services from a single source, and they are increasingly seeking out options that offer OTT services bundled with their home services,” notes Paul Erickson, research director at Parks Associates.
“Verizon’s newly announced Verizon Plus Play, in partnership with Netflix and other services, is an example of service providers serving these consumer demands for simplicity and convenience, via unified subscription management and billing for multiple OTT services. The addition of OTT services to service providers’ subscription and bundled service offerings is a viable way to add value, increase long-term ARPU [average revenue per user], reduce subscriber churn and increase stickiness with consumers."
Word-of-mouth and recommendations through family and friends are the main avenues for households to discover these bundling options. That means that home service providers can increase adoption, especially among consumers 18 to 44, by encouraging current subscribers to discuss these offerings within their social circles, according to Parks.