Subscription Fatigue – The Red Herring in Binge-and-Churn Culture

Chip Canter, CRO, Massive Interactive, recently commented on the anomaly of ‘subscription fatigue’, following new research from Hub that shows the tipping point for OTT subscription fatigue, saying: “Subscription fatigue isn’t the problem that the industry thinks it is. Content discovery and engagement fatigue is the real issue. The stats show consumers regularly sign up to new services but do not always stick around after getting their fill of top-line content. Fighting this binge-and-churn culture means breaking the current cycle of perceived value from OTT.

“Most consumers only ever watch a fraction of a streaming service’s total content library. Let’s call it 20 percent. Take away half the remaining content because it does not fit their tastes, and half again for content they’ve watched before, and that still leaves a fifth of viable content unwatched because consumers aren’t exposed to it. To them, they’ve seen everything of value the service has to offer.

“OTT means instead of competing for business it’s a competition for attention, which is made worse by the fact personalisation for many services is still woefully close to a generalised offering. If a consumer isn’t being exposed to new content during the trial period, or worse still only signed up to a streaming service for a specific show and isn’t engaged to try something else while there, they’ll drop off. And a lumpy, irregular user base that’s built on the binge-and-churn culture is no way to design a sustainable business model.

“Personalised content is the baseline for beating this, but a fully personalised experience is where the real winners will be in the future. Bundled services and the re-aggregation of content will be major part of that. In the age of acquisition and growing risk of churn, OTT service bundles that can be swapped in and out easily will put new platforms on the starting grid for sustainability. And cross-personalisation between those bundles will get them on the winners’ podium.”

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