5 Keys to Streamlining Subscriber Retention

• Apr 20, 2021

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Churn is a universal problem among OTT streaming services, and more so for those offering subscription video-on-demand (SVOD). Due to the pandemic, customers have had to shrink spending budgets, especially when it came to entertainment subscriptions. To cut on costs, many hopped from one subscription service to another, sampling free trial options at their own convenience.

Such consumer experimentation has led to a surge in churn rates industry-wide. High churn rates have also been attributed to poor user experience. Simplifying subscriber retention strategies can go far in minimizing these rates.

Here are 5 ways OTT streaming services can streamline their approach to subscriber retention:

1. Keep Onboarding Low-Touch

This first stage of onboarding is crucial to minimizing churn. High-touch onboarding is old news. Today, low-touch onboarding is the customer expectation. When users first try out new streaming services, they don’t want the fuss of high-touch onboarding. They don’t want to be taken through the platform bit by bit, preferring instead to self-serve and explore the platform on their own. Of course, hurdles are bound to emerge in a self-serving model, which may undoubtedly contribute to subscriber turnover. The way services treat customers at this stage can make or break customer relationships.

Evergent’s lifecycle management solution has a self-service support portal that gives customers a top-down view of their account information. This way, bottlenecks are less likely to occur as subscribers have all the information they need to be laid out before them. Evergent’s Customer Service Representative (CSR) interface also brings in a human touch element, allowing customers to manage their accounts through a call center. This added human component personalizes the customer experience, and can successfully guide customers through their individual challenges.

By pushing for low-touch onboarding with a human touch, streaming services are prioritizing subscribers’ comfort and convenience, all while building greater subscriber loyalty along the way.

2. Personalize Customer Experiences

Beyond personalizing customer care, services must also personalize the customer journey from start to finish. This includes personalizing the way subscribers discover content, the way they use the platform or even the way they pay the monthly fees. This is crucial as, according to PwC, half of the viewers are likely to unsubscribe to a streaming service when faced with a convoluted content discovery system or an overwhelming volume of content.

Through advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, Evergent’s lifecycle management solution pushes timely content recommendations to prevent churn. Its revenue management solution also personalizes the payout experience by offering subscribers different options for payment according to their geographic location. Subscribers in China, for example, can pay through Alipay while those in the Philippines can pay via GCash. This way, subscribers can choose the payment method most convenient for them, simplifying the overall process.

3. Launch Differentiated Products and Promotions When it Matters Most

When personalization efforts aren’t enough to keep subscribers loyal, services can roll out differentiated products and promotions to reel at-risk subscribers back in. And when that doesn’t work, streaming services can push out win-back promotions through the Evergent solution to customers who have unsubscribed from the platform. This is highly customizable, giving service providers the power to dictate criteria such as the minimum paid subscription period, subscription gap, and link expiry periods.

Offering tiered pricing can also help with subscriber retention, handing the power of choice back to the customer. Many streaming services are venturing into hybrid models, merging ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD), with a premium SVOD. Adding an AVOD element to the mix can help reduce subscription fatigue, and can simultaneously help bring in new subscribers.

4. Reduce Involuntary Churn

In some cases, churn is involuntary. Subscribers may want to continue streaming but unprecedented issues surrounding payments occur, kicking them out of their subscription. To reduce such instances, streaming services must be equipped for payment retries.

When faced with failed transactions, Evergent’s system can carry out payment retries at intervals defined by service providers. It pushes out notifications to customers through email or SMS and can reconfigure payments based on customers’ new preferences.

Among all the other factors contributing to churn, involuntary churn contributors such as failed payment transactions can be avoided if dealt with early on. Working with experts to automate this process ensures it never falls through the cracks.

5. Work with the Experts

For many streaming services, this race is their first, and they’ve yet to manage a direct-to-consumer relationship. Working with expert partners can help them minimize wasted time and revenue, and can quicken the overall process. Services must capitalize on market opportunity to engage viewers by launching in days, not months, to shorten time to revenue. Evergent can help them do just that.

Evergent simplifies subscriber retention for OTT streaming services by bringing subscriber retention solutions to them conveniently, all in one place. Through its lifecycle management platform, service providers are able to provide low-touch onboarding, personalize customer experiences, launch diverse promotions in a timely manner, and reduce involuntary churn.

While subscriber acquisition is key in the industry, reducing churn and retaining existing customers is just as important. Simplifying subscriber retention can lead to quicker time to market, and low churn rates result in higher customer lifetime value. As the streaming wars intensify, OTT streaming services are neck and neck when it comes to subscriber retention. The answer to getting ahead of the game? Keeping churn numbers in check.


Jenny Overbaugh
Jenny Overbaugh

Jenny Overbaugh has built her career marketing high-tech SAAS, hardware and professional services products in organizations spanning from B2B start-up environments to Fortune 50 companies. Her experience is rooted in strategy and execution of portfolio go-to-market plans including demand-generation, customer marketing and advocacy, events, webinars, and product marketing initiatives to drive growth around the world.