Over the last couple of years, OTT platforms have recorded extremely high growth rates. An over-the-top (OTT) media service refers to a streaming media service provided via the Internet, like Netflix or Amazon Prime. Their growth was accelerated during the pandemic as people were forced to stay indoors due to successive lockdowns. Globally, the OTT market is expected to touch $1.039 trillion in revenue by 2027, as stated by Allied Market Research. Additionally, the Asia Pacific region is expected to register maximum growth, according to the same report.
Ongoing trials to introduce 5G technology in the area and changing customer expectations mean more companies will launch streaming platforms rather than license their content to other platforms in the future. Even during the pandemic, existing platforms have made heavy investments into adding more content on their platforms to keep users engaged.
But is that enough to keep users engaged in times of increasing competition and cheaper subscriptions? Besides content, it’s also imperative to focus on user engagement to make sure your OTT platform stays on top in viewers’ minds.
This post shares powerful tips for improving user experience on an OTT platform to drive more engagement and end the choice paralysis that could cost you bored customers.
1. Create an Omni-channel User Experience
Today, subscribers stream content on different screens. Multiple screens also allow users to share the same streaming service while enjoying their favorite shows. Therefore, your platform must be compatible with a broad range of devices while also supporting multiple profiles for users. It’s also necessary to personalize the entire user journey by taking information from various devices while ensuring the experience is seamless at every touchpoint. Here are some tips for creating an omni-channel experience for users on your OTT platform:
Intuitive UI and Simplified Viewing Experience
Watching TV was simple. One just had to press a button and start watching. But, when it comes to OTT, new users require an onboarding experience to exploit the app properly. However, this experience must be straightforward, so users continue paying for their subscriptions.
Netflix is the leader when it comes to onboarding. If you open the landing page, you’ll be greeted by a simple line, spelling out the benefits clearly:
“Watch anywhere. Cancel anytime.”
The next tab simply asks for your email id to get you started.
Doesn’t get simpler than that, right?
Netflix also provides a one-month free trial that gets users on the platform risk-free. The next step asks for your email, password, and payment details, followed by your preferences, to start feeding you relevant content immediately.
Compatibility With Multiple Screens
Device management is a vital aspect of creating a personalized experience. By allowing users to choose multiple devices, renewal options, and streaming quality, you can elevate the user experience by giving them greater control over what they want to see and how they want to see it.
Multiple Profiles on a Single Account
If you remember fighting over the remote control with your sibling, it’s time to let peace prevail by enabling multiple profiles on a single account. For instance, OTT media apps like Netflix and Disney+ allow multiple user-profiles and different devices on a single account. As a result, each user can access personalized content on numerous connected devices.
2. Personalized Recommendations
Personalization refers to customizing content for your users through explicit or implicit inputs.
Think about it – you come home after a long day at work and want to watch something nice before you turn in for the night. But you don’t know what you want to see and spend the next forty minutes searching for something you’ll like. With personalized recommendations, OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime make it easier for users to discover content they’re likely to enjoy.
These recommendations are based on direct user inputs and derived by applying complicated machine learning algorithms to user data. Overall, it helps in creating a personalized streaming experience and improves content visibility as well. Personalization also gives you access to video analytics to drive a better user experience.
In general, you’ll come across various types of recommendaton engines, such as candidate generation (based on a query), demographic-based recommender systems, knowledge-based recommender systems, content-based recommender systems, hybrid recommender systems, and ranking and scoring systems.
Most platforms include a knowledge-based system that suggests content based on a specific characteristic, like ratings. However, a content-based system is more popular, based on user preferences as recorded on social media. Perhaps a hybrid system is even better, using two or more combinations to give more relevant suggestions. Modern recommendation systems go several steps ahead by using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for making recommendations.
While traditional systems relied on factors like queries, keywords, and ratings to suggest content, modern content-based recommendation systems like Argoid analyze catalog by its thumbnail or artwork, closed captions, and even movie trailers. Progress in Natural Language Processing enables comprehensive text analysis as well as better context interpretation to improve accuracy. Besides, Deep learning and Neural Networks are crucial to enhancing scoring and candidate generation through improved data analysis. Such recommendation systems are available through APIs, like Argoid, to facilitate easy integration and automate personalization on your platform.
3. Use Push Notifications for in-App Engagement
Using in-app push notifications can ensure continuous engagement but sending too many notifications too close to each other can trigger uninstalls. Therefore, to ensure the success of this strategy, only send relevant and personalized notifications to users. Here’s an example by Netflix:
Note that this notification wasn’t sent to every user but only those who enjoyed Season 1 of the show and might be waiting to view Season 2 or are likely to enjoy it.
It’s also vital to send push notifications according to a user’s time zone to avoid disturbing or annoying them.
4. Create an Intuitive UI to Elevate User Experience
An intuitive UI simplifies content discovery and makes it seamless to watch content on the platform.
Simple features like the option to resume where a user left off, information about data consumption, a simple yet attractive layout, mood-based typography and artwork, relevant push notifications, and quick buttons to start, stop, rewind, forward, and also on-and-off subtitles can significantly elevate the viewing experience. Offering app previews through products tours also elevates user experience by introducing users to the key features or functionalities in your platform.
5. Flexible Subscription Models
Subscribers’ demands are not just limited to personalized content. They also want more control, highlighting the importance of flexible subscription models that give users freedom of choice.
On the business front, a subscription model promises predictable and recurring revenue. However, subscription plans must cater to the requirements of a diverse range of users. From free trials to monthly and annual subscriptions, your subscription packages will depend upon your user base. New platforms might also consider a freemium model with unlimited access to regular content and additional fees for premium content.
As OTT increases in popularity and more media firms develop their own platforms to engage the viewers, UI/UX will remain key in acquiring and retaining users and reducing the choice paralysis. Integrating a modern recommendation engine with AI-based capabilities can equip an OTT platform with the ability to crunch millions of data points and eliminate customer frustration in finding the right content for the right moment. It’s also imperative to manage millions of users and a large content catalog, with highly personalized recommendations, search, and segmentation.
Argoid empowers customers with API-driven analytical tools for AI-based personalization at every touchpoint. Argoid’s recommendation system uses leading trends in machine learning to offer businesses insights into consumer analytics and seamlessly integrates into existing platforms. Get in touch for a quick chat to discover how Argoid can turn around your customer experience.
Why does OTT user experience matter?
OTT user experience is essential to engage the OTT audiences for a long time in your platform and boost user engagement. The only way it is possible is through in-depth personalization.
How personalization can improve OTT user experience?
Personalization can help OTT users with the right set of content recommendations from their preferred genre and reduce their time spent on search. OTT personalization is the best way to reduce choice paralysis and increase user engagement.
How a recommendation engine can boost OTT user experience?
A recommendation engine can display content recommendations based on the preferences of the users and accordingly engage them for long. The application of OTT personalization can help you maintain a low churn rate for your OTT platform.