DALLAS—Streaming services are facing a growing challenge in retaining what a new Parks Associates report is calling “Service Hoppers” who switched between services and resubscribed to services multiple times in the previous twelve months.
Park’s new “Data-Based Decision Making for Video Services,” report found that 36% of OTT subscribers, roughly 32 million US households, fall into the category of “service hoppers.”
“Data collection and analysis offer new ways to attract and retain viewers, optimize revenue, and create new value,” said Elizabeth Parks, president and CMO, Parks Associates. “Data allows vendors to identify subscribers at risk of churn and can even tag the ‘server hoppers’ who will jump in and out of services no matter what, so that providers do not waste resources chasing them in vain. Advanced data tools help companies make more informed decisions about the content and structure of their services and special offerings.”
Streamers, however, face challenges in establishing closer ties with subscribers. The Parks research found that all methods where subscribers interact with OTT services, from subscription to platform usage, are rapidly diversifying.
In the early market, households would subscribe directly via an OTT provider’s website, but the percentage of households subscribing directly via an OTT provider’s website declined from 41% to 29% between Q1 2020 and Q3 2021. Instead, households are taking multiple paths to video subscription, including through OTT aggregators.
Given the enhanced value of subscriber data, some content providers are seeking to re-establish control over their viewers—and the data about them—by not offering subscriptions via aggregators.
In 2021, a substantial group of OTT households subscribed to an OTT service via Amazon Prime Video Channels, but that percentage could drop in the future, as HBO and HBO Max were removed from Amazon Prime Video Channels in September. Likewise, Disney+ is not available through major aggregators, and NBC recently announced it is moving many of its shows exclusively to Peacock and away from Hulu.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.