To Win Audience Loyalty, Personalization Is Your Best Differentiator

To Win Audience Loyalty, Personalization Is Your Best Differentiator

Many of the questions our client service and marketing teams discuss with customers every day center around personalizing the viewer experience with targeted and relevant content that engages and retains subscribers.

This past fall, we wrote about how to approach personalizing viewer experience in a meaningful way in our article Digging Deep For Personalization Success. This month, we take a look at the business case for doing so – the role of user experience in subscriber retention, and the rising bar for personalization in a world of viewers jaded by endless options.

It is not a coincidence that personalization is being discussed. Among viewers 18-54, complaints of difficulty in discovering relevant content are constant. Viewers even report feelings of alienation upon realizing their own disinterest in most of the shows listed as ‘popular’ or ‘trending’.

In 2019, TiVo released study data showing that beyond price, difficulty in discovering content interesting to me is a leading cause of subscription cancellation. Specifically, the study revealed that video service providers who implemented technology to personalize recommendations saw a 140% increase in subscriber retention over six months. All of this is why it is so important to understand that to win audience loyalty, personalization is your best differentiator.

Personalization is simply tailoring a viewer experience to connect them with content they love.

But the bar is high. Viewers are fatigued and put off with legacy “personalization” because it was based on groups, not individuals. Grouping is the practice of combining segments of the population into categories based on demographics. It is literally the opposite of personalization, and believe me – viewers noticed. So any successful future personalization must be state of the art: powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and leveraging superior analytics and psychographics in real-time – like Firstlight Media’s Personalization Engine. Firstlight is leading the way in viewer data capture, and in harnessing that information to understand not only “what” content will be most appropriate for the viewer, but the “why” behind those decisions. We also understand the fine line between effective personalization and “echo chambers” that don’t expand viewing horizons.

Markets have evolved since the adage “content is king” became popular. A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study underscored the point that in terms of subscriber loyalty, viewer experience is now equally important as content. Our customers rely on Firstlight Media to provide the engagement and personalization that complements their attractive, sticky content catalogs. Shouldn’t you have the best, too?

We cannot say this enough: a viewer experience can be personalized only to the extent that the metadata structure exists to support personalization. Unlike next-gen OTT platforms, OVP’s were never architected for the data capture required for modern, effective personalization with high-traffic/high-volume services. And when we are talking about subscriber retention, you don’t have that kind of time. Firstlight Media is the only OTT platform ready now for personalization that is accurate and powerful enough to win viewer loyalty.

Since viewer loyalty is the foundation of profitability, the SVODs that personalize best will emerge as the winners of the content wars. But you’re going to need the proper usage data and some good AI in order to really understand and identify what users are watching and/or may watch in the future.

Make sure your viewers stay engaged by making sure they are always served content they love based on personalization levels never before achieved. Contact us for more information.

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