The OTT TV industry has gone through a period of rapid change in recent years. Broad-based content offerings are becoming a thing of the past and personalisation has taken its rightful place at the heart of video streaming services.
It’s a shift that’s been underpinned by the rise of video analytics technology being incorporated into modern video platforms and has resulted in a fundamental redesign of how OTT TV players are able to track and manage viewer engagement. Just as importantly though, it’s also started to take the notion of individual viewer profiling for the purpose of targeted advertising from concept to reality – which is all the more essential for AVOD.
There’s currently a strong appetite among streaming providers to launch AVOD services, whether that’s as a standalone offering or in support of more traditional video streaming monetisation strategies. In fact, positioning AVOD as a supplementary approach to TVOD and SVOD it’s becoming a cornerstone of OTT TV in certain regions around the world, such as Africa and APAC.
Of course, that doesn’t make launching a new AVOD service straightforward. As is often the case with any streaming platform, the road ahead is littered with potholes that need to be avoided. And a considerably deep pothole when it comes to AVOD is user acquisition and engagement. However, for certain types of service providers, that barrier to entry gives them a considerable advantage over the competition.
The advantage to internet and mobile service providers
Scalability is important for any OTT video service, but it’s essential for AVOD. You need a lot of users on board in order to serve the volume of ads required to drive bottom line growth. It’s why SVOD and TVOD can often be cited as the more stable options for entirely new market entrants. But this is where mobile operators and ISPs have a natural advantage over the competition.
For ISPs and mobile operators, there’s a pre-existing subscriber relationship that can be tapped into to secure a strong foundation of regular users. If a new streaming service is initially offered as a value-add to these individuals, it’s an opportunity to build a base level of engagement that’s needed to quickly make AVOD viable. From there, it’s a case of introducing advertising based on the insights gained, and then reaping the rewards as a result.
After all, you’re not asking users to subscribe straight out the gate. AVOD gives you an avenue to monetise “free” content to viewers that are hesitant to sign up to a monthly subscription or otherwise would be a missed opportunity to reach and engage. If all that’s separating them from the content they want to watch is an ad, you can bet the average viewer would feel that’s a fair trade-off.
Reaping those rewards, however, depends entirely on the quality of the data about those users. When it comes to AVOD, the better the data, the better the advertising, the better the bottom line for those involved. And this is where many of the existing data analytics platforms come unstuck.
Advanced data analytics – rocket fuel for ad targeting
We’d all agree that streaming services need to have a layer of data analytics in order to track and manage viewer habits, tailor recommendations, and adjust the offering to enhance future engagement. That’s precisely what the majority of existing platforms on the market offer. To make AVOD work in the long-term, however, and to drive engagement with the ads being show to consumers, as well as ensuring those ads are of interest to those consumers in the first place, this is where the need for more advanced and highly personalised targeting comes into its own.
It’s not just for the benefit of the service provider. Consumers are calling out for this too. Research from Adlucent shows that 71% of consumers prefer personalised ads. They’re more receptive to fewer more targeted promotions, and three-quarters of those surveyed prefer to be presented with more relevant promotions rather than scattergun advertising efforts.
As a result, being able to go beyond a user’s likes and dislikes to predict their reaction to certain types of content, how and when they’re likely to engage with the service, and what types of advert they’ll be most receptive to, is infinitely more useful than what most analytics platforms can offer. More intelligent big data analytics like this has a role in taking engagement deeper too, since there’s a more extensive pool of data upon which to personalise the experience for the user.
Putting your OTT TV platform to work
Making this a reality depends on having a platform that can pull insights from any consumer regardless of what device they’re using. This depends on being agnostic to any device so that broad-based advertising offerings can disappear altogether and is the key to being able to target consumers at the individual level – thereby completing the industry transition that’s gaining traction and making the data gleaned from OTT video services much more valuable.
When you partner with an OTT TV platform provider that has this technical capability and can also get you up and running without huge up-front CAPEX investment – by operating under a revenue share model – it becomes quick and easy to bring a new streaming service to market. And when it’s powered by deeper consumer insights, AVOD is a monetisation avenue that can be adopted to immediately start seeing a return on investment.