For many OTT businesses going global is the end goal. OTT companies will work together with specialised partners to navigate each market effectively in order to achieve optimum success. Finding the right partner is crucial to achieving global success but it may prove to be a challenge, especially in the arena of revenue management.
To find the right partners, businesses must first ask the right questions. Here are five questions we suggest OTT businesses should ask their revenue management provider to ensure they’re on the same page:
- Are there options for flexibility in pricing and billing of products?
- Do they offer a diverse range of payment methods?
- How many languages do they speak?
- Can they segregate their data based on different considerations?
- Do they have teams and infrastructure geographically close to the users you plan on serving?
- How do you engage with your customers before and after launch?
The ability to offer flexible pricing and billing in multiple currencies is fundamental to a successful global strategy. To ensure bespoke payments for each market, OTT businesses need to first be confident that their revenue management providers support the option for flexibility. The truth of the matter is, subscribers don’t have the patience to convert the price of a monthly subscription to their local currency on their own, nor should they be expected to. Adding an extra step in the buyer journey adds unnecessary friction and pain to the path to purchase. An inflexible payment infrastructure limits growth, constrains the user acquisition funnel, and more importantly, irritates users.
Each market has a preferred mode of payment, and in Asia, a region consisting of diverse nations with multiple levels of tech penetration and access to financial instruments, the range of payment options is a lot wider and a lot more complex. Because of the low credit card utilisation across the region, OTT providers need to offer options beyond credit card billing and will need to have the ability to accept other forms of payment such as cash or physical gift vouchers. Online debit cards, digital wallets, and bank transfers are also popular choices across the region, but what Asia seems to favour more than elsewhere is the ability to offer payments through telco providers. Offering = telco billing as a payment option (both pre-paid and post-paid) may reap benefits beyond customer satisfaction for OTT providers. It creates a larger and potentially more profitable distribution channel and offers opportunities for revenue sharing and joint marketing activities.
If OTT providers want to connect with subscribers, they need to be able to connect on a more personal level and speak the mother tongue of their customers. Similarly, their revenue management providers should have the capacity to offer local language options. Presenting buyer journeys in commonly used languages or in a Latin character set just doesn’t cut it anymore. In the path to going global, the option of multi-language is critical.
When it comes to data, it is important to ensure revenue management providers have the ability to segregate user and revenue data based on specific geographies or business units. This allows regional marketing teams to effectively manage the business against their own user and revenue targets. It also gives regional leaders the flexibility to create products, offers, and promotions that make sense for their particular region, allowing them to better connect with local subscribers.
While remote working is king these days, geographic distance still matters, notably in regions like Asia or South America. Latency and user experience play great weight in this industry, especially when it comes to critical moments such as registering a new user or capturing valuable user and payment data. When OTT providers host their subscription management infrastructure halfway around the world, click-throughs may lag or provide a subpar user experience.
One of the most important considerations for media and communications providers to consider when going OTT is how their technology partners engage and how they get you up and running. After signing, do the tech partner hand you the keys to the car and ask you to drive and remain at arm’s length from your project and goals? Or, do they get in the car with you, hand you the keys and ask you where you want to go? Fundamentally it’s about finding partners that are passionate about making their customers successful and who are invested in their success every step of the way. We’ve found that larger media and communications providers that are going OTT prefer the latter approach and the most successful embrace their tech providers as true partners.
When looking for the right revenue management provider, presence in the region you plan on targeting is essential to ensuring the best possible customer experience for OTT subscribers.
Going global is a challenging endeavour, one that is laden with technical and business challenges. For this reason, it is important to make sure that the partners you work with offer enough flexibility to adapt to your business as it evolves. Ensuring you have the right revenue management provider may be tricky. The first step to finding the right fit is by asking the right questions. Once you’ve got the right partner, it’s all about investing time and resources to set your platform up for global success.