How to prevent your subscribers from churning? Start by analyzing your customer base each day. If you know what each type of viewer watches, you can figure out what content people like, search for, or avoid.

A VOD service’s customer base can be categorized into new and existing subscribers. Both groups are crucial to the development of a streaming business, and different content strategies are typically applied to each.

VOD services keep the fire burning by constantly working to attract new subscribers while minimizing churn. This has typically been done via DTC promotions but, increasingly, is accomplished by bundling the SVOD services in B2B partnerships with telco (ie. T-Mobile, Orange) and MVPD companies (ie, Sky, DISH).

But what really gets new subscribers to sign up in droves? The answer is simple — access to the original content everyone’s talking about. Thus it comes as no surprise to anyone in the industry that we're now seeing stratospheric investments in original productions, such as the US$300 million Netflix recently set aside to invest in Mexico for 50 originals scheduled for 2021.

However, studies have shown that an “original” only adds fuel to the proverbial fire for about 4–6 months, keeping subscribers engaged until they’ve clicked through all the appealing recommendations in their carousels. At this point, beloved and memorable content like Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, and Seinfeld comes in to do the heavy lifting.

One of the metrics market researchers use divides viewers based on their Time Spent in front of the screen, which then gets further divided into Heavy Viewers, Medium Viewers and Light Viewers.

Base on our Showlabs data, we’ve defined each group in this way:

– Heavy Viewers: an average of 2:25 hours per day (viewers watching 27+ hours per month)

– Medium Viewers: an average of 37 minutes per day (viewers watching 7+ hours per month, but no more than 27 hours)

– Light Viewers: an average of 7 minutes per day (viewers watching up to 7 hours per month)

We found that Heavy Viewers generate as much as 77% of all video streams; Medium Viewers 20%; and Light Viewers only 3%. When we looked more closely at how series and movies were being viewed, the numbers didn’t change much. 

What this means is that understanding the behavioral changes of these 3 groups and their viewing preferences can make a huge difference in keeping the fire burning.

We recommend keeping an eye on:

– How do their numbers change over time?

– What are their demographic profiles?

– What are the main differences between Heavy and Light Viewers?

– What do Light Viewers watch?

See our infographic below for more information.


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