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Boosting User Engagement for Streaming Apps: Grab Their Attention

Subharun Mukherjee 18+ years of experience leading product strategy, Go-To-Market (GTM), new market entry, value-based sales, analyst relations, and customer experience programs. Expertise in Financial Services, eCommerce, on-demand services, and the SaaS industry.
Boosting User Engagement for Streaming Apps: Grab Their Attention

Our recent Streaming Media App Engagement Benchmark Report highlights just how challenging it is for over-the-top (OTT)/streaming marketers to boost in-app user engagement. According to our research, 65% of new streaming app users engage with an app at least once in the first month after consuming the initial content they were seeking. In the fintech industry, this figure is significantly higher, with 95% of new users performing at least one transaction in their first month.

Strategic emails and push notifications can be highly effective in boosting user engagement. For example, sending trailers of upcoming releases via email to users who have been inactive on the app for 30 days can draw them back. Push notifications, on the other hand, are effective in communicating with users who are about to subscribe, encouraging them on their journey. By tailoring communication to your users’ unique needs, you’ll significantly improve in-app participation and increase your ROI.

Let’s look at what this entails, along with how to go from mediocre engagement to outstanding, high-value engagement. And we’ll examine some common pitfalls that could drain your resources unnecessarily.

Boosting User Engagement: Metrics to Consider

To improve user engagement, you need to understand the way in which users interact with your app. The following metrics should give you a good indication of your app’s strengths as well as features that hinder engagement.

Session Length

How long do users spend on your app? If you’re offering a variety of quality content but user sessions are short, this could indicate usability or navigation issues.

Frequency of Use

how often users return to the app. If they love it and find it useful, they’ll be back regularly. By looking into the demographics of light and heavy users, you should get a better idea of who finds the app most useful and what content is most popular.

Exit Rate

Do users tend to exit your app at the same point? You’ll need to consider why this is, also taking into account the device used and type of connection. Is the interface problematic or perhaps confusing? Maybe it’s specifically affecting users who stream from a tablet, or those connecting via 3G? Work with your developers to identify and fix any anomalies.

User Engagement Strategies That Work

Markets, technologies, and user needs change frequently, requiring you to adapt your engagement tactics accordingly. The following strategies have proven successful, with significant gains for some of our top customers:

Suggest Relevant Content Through Email and In-App Notifications

Communicating on a personal level via email or in-app messaging is a powerful way to boost user engagement. By leveraging user data and preferences, streaming apps can send notifications and suggestions tailored to each user’s tastes and interests.

Aha, the SVOD app that caters to a Telugu-speaking global audience, has a huge content library of movies, original web series, and shows. In the past year, they’ve gained one million subscribers. Their team employs a mix of channels including email, in-app messages, and push notifications, to engage inactive users and build anticipation for upcoming content releases.

Boosting User Engagement for Streaming Apps: Grab Their Attention

To increase user engagement for your streaming app, remind viewers what they’re missing via push notification.

Leveraging viewer behavior analytics, they segment users according to what type of messaging yields the strongest response. This allows them to personalize recommendations to suit every user’s needs. For instance, some subscribers react best to messages about specific actors or genres, while others appreciate intriguing and exciting plot-based messaging such as for a thriller campaign.

Encourage Users to Sign Up for a Subscription

Users often take a while to decide whether an app is worth signing up for. Therefore, you need to make sign-up simple—for instance, via a user’s Google or Facebook accounts.

Provide a compelling reason to subscribe, such as a free trial to show them what they’re missing without a subscription. Other benefits might include early access to new releases, exclusive content, customizable subtitles, video playback, and partner discounts or rewards.

Offer a login-free experience for first-time users. If you require fence sitters to create an account before seeing your app’s true worth, you risk losing potential customers—and their revenue.

Improve the App’s User Interface

If users feel frustrated while trying to navigate your app — or while searching for specific content or taking certain actions — it spoils their experience. Streaming apps rely on a user interface that’s simple, clear, and easy to search. The layout should be consistent and predictable, with no confusion as to what the user’s next step should be.

Caution: Strategies That Look Like They Work… But Actually Don’t

Offering Too Many Options

While providing a wide selection of content seems like a good idea, you need to be strategic about it. When presented with too many choices, people may feel overwhelmed and struggle to make a decision at all—often referred to as option paralysis.

To avoid this, consider categorizing content to streamline decision-making. Categories help organize a user’s options into buckets that can be more easily scanned and chosen from.

Boosting User Engagement for Streaming Apps: Grab Their Attention - don't send them too many options

Too many options paralyzes the user instead of promoting engagement.

Alternatively, make content available for certain periods only. Although there might be slightly less content at any given time, new material will continually enter the system and thus keep users engaged without bombarding them with lots of material all at once.

Autoplaying Content

Autoplay technology may initially capture users’ attention. However, it can lead to binge-viewing, which could result in user burnout and, ultimately, disengagement. To promote long-term engagement, offer suggestions for other content to explore. Personalized recommendations based on user history help to keep users engaged while also introducing them to new content.

Effectively Boost User Engagement With CleverTap

CleverTap helps you increase streaming app conversions by offering a sophisticated user experience tailored to your customers’ preferences—at scale.

Our comprehensive platform automates your personalization efforts to match users’ interests and in-app behavior, allowing you to optimize every touchpoint. This elevates the UX, increases engagement, and drives maximum results.

Find out how your streaming app’s conversion metrics compare to industry standards by downloading our Streaming Media App Engagement Benchmark Report.

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Last updated on May 9, 2024