Agile monetisation will help content providers survive a saturated market: Vijay Sajja

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By Vijay Sajja – Founder and CEO of Evergent

It was not too long ago when we had to choose and pay for video entertainment. Depending on the location, consumers were able to choose between two or three options for linear TV and on-demand video, packaged into bundles most of which were expensive or did not include the customer’s preferred content. However, power rested in the hands of the PayTV providers to whom customers had to abide by. Overtime, they developed a reputation of overpriced offers and poor customer service.  

Ten years later and the power dynamics of today’s video ecosystem have shifted profoundly. The rise of on-demand video services – subscription-based (SVOD), ad-supported (AVOD) and transactional (TVOD) have created an ever-growing market with a multitude of streaming services that are competing for audiences and entertainment budgets. While it may have been an impossible thought at the time, agility is now the name of the game in order for content providers to stay on top. 

Vijay Sajja

Customer is King

Consumers are being given the opportunity to choose from more services than ever before for video entertainment. Similarly, content providers now also have options to choose from when it comes to how to best monetize their content. SVOD structures allow streaming services to leverage the quality of their content library, thinking that customers will commit to a monthly fee. As subscription fatigue dawns over most customers and they reach the limit of their entertainment budgets, AVOD presents an alternative solution for platforms that are unable to stand on their own in terms of content. These platforms have the benefit of using advertising to create customer engagement and dependence in order to transpire into an SVOD function overtime.  This will also allow them to attract viewers through their AVOD and then convert them to SVOD. 

Although these two payment structures offer some degree of flexibility for content platforms, the high-stakes and oversaturated marketplaces does not leave room for competitors to remain idle. Asia is observing a growth in the ‘freemium’ model of subscription. The model allows dual revenue streams into the platform. However, even as freemium gains popularity, users are still making the choice to purchase subscriptions. 

Agility will bring overall solution

Beyond basic AVOD and SVOD structures, streaming services aim to stand out through any number of promotions and products, from free trials and discounts to new programming and content packages. But while these strategies can make a difference in reaching and holding onto new subscribers, a misstep can prove costly. Content providers must be able to implement changes, measure performance and make adjustments quickly to ensure optimal returns.

For even the very largest streaming platforms, agile monetization is essential to stay fluid and nimble in a hypercompetitive marketplace. In the current market, consumers are choosing between dozens of entertainment options based on content and cost. Malaysia-based Astro has rolled out new innovative products to engage with businesses and individuals. Astro has deepened household engagement via PayTV, Broadband, and NJOI, its freemium TV service with options to purchase additional channels and content. At the same time, Astro continues to cost-optimise and pursue capital active management to ensure financial headroom. 

Agile monetization is the act of rapidly introducing, rolling out and supporting new business models, promotions and packaging, all while maintaining the flexibility to respond to customer demand. Agile also means implementing decision making tactics that would have otherwise taken a long period of time as compared to condensing the entire process into a matter of days. The pandemic has spurred digitalisation across all industries and agility is a key sub factor of digitising. 

In practice, agile monetization allows content providers to apply techniques typically associated with digital advertising: AB testing, small sample groups, and decision-making backed by rich data. Whether it’s changing pricing models, exploring new geographies, or tweaking billing cycles, agile monetization enables content providers to make small, rapid adjustments until they hit on the winning formula.

Focusing on more agile monetisation strategies provides platforms the ability to offer efficient and more personalized services to their customers. Whether it is to deploy new promotion strategies to boost customer acquisition or adding functionalities for new payment methods, the ability to seamlessly make changes has a direct impact on boosting subscriber numbers, reducing churn, and improving the bottom line. As the market for streaming services evolves on a seemingly daily basis, it’s up to the platforms themselves to “think quick”, stay ahead of the curve and remain agile to double down on their audience.