In 2021, the over-the-top (OTT) market will be primarily shaped by the consumer response to COVID-19 and their experiences throughout the pandemic. New digital experiences will lead to a more diverse partner ecosystem, providing consumers "optionality" of best-of-breed subscription offerings.
With this landscape as a backdrop, Amdocs Media released the findings of its New Streamer 2021 Report, which surveyed 1,000 consumers in the U.S. about their preferences around streaming and subscription services. The data revealed that competitive pricing alone isn't the primary driver supporting retention and new subscriber acquisition. Consumers have specific criteria that determine value.
Here are some of the key findings:
The pandemic and stay-at-home requirements triggered a diversity of new services
More than a third (34%) of consumers stated they added a new video streaming service to their viewing catalog. Interestingly, this increase took place while Pay-TV subscriptions only fell by 8%, indicating these new services were more accretive to subscribers’ existing packages versus a typical cord-cutter migration.
Media OTTs weren't the only winners. Subscription services for telehealth and well-being (35%), and remote learning (34%) are examples of adjacent segments that gained subscribers due to the pandemic.
Price takes a back seat to a steady stream of relevant content
While cost is still a factor with consumers, it's no longer the most significant reason they stick around. When asked what drives their loyalty to video streaming services, almost half said the amount of content (49%), followed by the quality of the content (45%) and pricing (38%).
The encouraging news for these consumers is that the production pipeline shows no signs of slowing down. More than $100B per year is expected to be spent or committed by top producers' aggregate, depending upon clearing COVID concerns to fully regain production capacity.
Flexible content bundles and subscription models
The research also reiterated that 34% and 25% of consumers don't feel like they are getting the right cable and video streaming programming options, respectively. The study shows 59% want programming à la carte optionality from their cable provider, 44% from streaming services and 33% from gaming.
Gaming and virtual gatherings continue to grow
Online gaming has shown a dramatic increase, with 49% of those polled saying they are playing more than before the pandemic. 45% also spend at least $25 per month on services like PlayStation Plus, Xbox All Access and GamePass, Stadia and Nintendo Online. This growth allows more creativity by communications service providers within their bundling and broadband plans.
Virtual viewing parties are also becoming mainstream, with several OTTs and service providers offering relevant apps. Greater than 50% of those polled had participated in a party or plan to.
Experiences like these, coupled with bundling optionality and rationalized pricing, signal what could be the next iteration of creative, digital offerings.
This survey from Dynata targeted 2,000 consumers interviewed in January 2021. 1,000 consumers were interviewed in U.K. and U.S. markets.