9 keys to increase your subscription revenues


Worldwide, SVOD subscriptions are expected to increase by 409 million between 2017 and 2023 to reach 777 million subscribers.

SVOD is practiced on average on 2 screens. The television is the screen of choice for accessing the platform. However, three quarters of Svodists use at least one other screen, whether it is the computer, smartphone or tablet.

Source: Médiamétrie

In the successful world of video subscription services, the question of return on investment for SVOD platform owners is a recurring one. It is natural to want to increase your income, but how do you do it? Here are some tips to build subscriber loyalty and acquire new ones.

Key 1: Provide new and recurring content

Over the years, streaming service users have become content savvy and uncompromising. However, one of the main criteria for subscribers is the quality of content. To attract and retain users, it is imperative to have exclusive content. It is also vital to feed your platform with new content on a frequent basis to ensure its sustainability. Regularly negotiating broadcasting rights if you do not own content is essential. The user should not feel as if they have gone through all the content, especially in the case of a subscription package, since it could lead to immediate unsubscription.

Indeed, major platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and OCS already have vast catalogues with different types of content, but in order to keep their subscribers, these SVOD giants are embarking on the search for exclusivity and the creation of original content. According to the latest figures from the Los Angeles Times, Netflix original content has grown by 88% in 2018.

Netflix's annual expenditures on international content acquisition and production increased from $64 million in 2009 to $5.8 billion in 2015. According to a report by The Economist, Netflix had spent $7 billion on its productions in 2017. In 2018, it increased to $13 billion. By 2022, Netflix may have an annual expenditure budget for its production of $22.5 billion. That's almost as much as the total expenses of all US channels combined!

Source : statista

Key 2: Use statistical data

Video statistics are essential to enable the collection, analysis and interpretation of data. Knowing your audience is essential to be able to send them a relevant and targeted message, adopt the right editorial line and guide their content production or acquisition.

Viewing statistics, which is possible by monitoring data via a dashboard, is an invaluable tool for growth. It makes it possible to display statistics and relevant indicators in real time. For example, you can keep an eye on new subscriptions, compare growth rates according to the different strategies you implemented, monitor your advertising campaigns, and finally get an overview of what works and what doesn't...

Moreover, in order to make the right decisions, awareness of user behaviour is an important factor. To do this, it is essential to carry out a complete analysis of all the data.

Thanks to this information, you will be able to:

  • Optimize your marketing and communication campaigns.

  • Send more targeted messages to your users.

  • Improve the presentation of your catalogue by highlighting the trendiest content that best suits the preferences of each subscriber.

  • Adapt your content production and acquisition strategy.

Key 3: Focus on existing customers

To thrive, it is crucial to increase your user base by investing time in finding new users. But be careful, this should not be at the expense of existing subscribers, to whom you must devote significant attention in order to build their loyalty. Remember that word of mouth or sponsorship comes from your users.

There are many ways to keep or retain your subscribers, such as automatic renewals ( with an unsubscription option). In addition, some lucrative tasks are only performed by existing customers, such as changing subscriptions to more comprehensive offers. In the end, existing customers are a great source of income, so it is essential to pamper them.  

In order to build customer loyalty, you can grant them special offers (discount on an additional subscription, VIP access for events, goodies for films, etc.). It is also important to solicit them for recommendations and to thank them for their participation. In this way, they will feel recognized and involved in your community. Sharing features such as the "gift" feature, allow your subscribers to offer a movie to their loved ones:

Key 4: Offer different subscription packages

Your subscription offers should be highlighted on your home page, preferably in the upper left corner, where users naturally look up when they first visit a page.

Indeed, it is wise to have several subscription packages in order to satisfy the greatest number of people. For example:

  • A 1st starter subscription: an inexpensive package that provides access to the basics of your platform.

  • A 2nd intermediate subscription: a option that offers access to most of your platform at a moderate price.

  • A 3rd subscription would offer a complete package: a more expensive package that offers access to your entire platform with bonuses for example.

These different subscription options make it possible to avoid unsubscribing and mobilize as many customers as possible. Another good way to minimize losses is to offer the first month for free or a 24-hour discovery subscription.

As an example, here are the different subscription packages offered by Netflix as of April 11, 2019:

Key 5: Be unique!

With the current competition in the subscription services sector, it is essential to offer unique content that subscribers will not be able to find elsewhere.

SVOD platforms must create envy, create a dependency on a service that customers will no longer be able to do without. More effort is needed to convince customers that your product is unique and valuable enough to justify repeated purchases ( = subscriptions). This can result in a platform with an original design and a differentiating editorial approach, a demarcation by the price offer or content relevant for the target audience. In this spirit, niche SVOD services must ensure that they present their film catalogue in an intelligent and easy to navigate way, as these platforms do:

Tënk: association of producers, directors, technicians or schools to broadcast documentaries by authors.

Bref : published by L'Agence du court métrage, the magazine Bref creates a link between those who make short films, those who broadcast them and those who watch them.

LaCinetek: VOD (video on demand) site dedicated to the greatest films of the 20th century. The films that are broadcasted are the result of advice from leading directors from all over the world.

KWA films: platform for the distribution of films and short films from the Indian Ocean and elsewhere, which have been awarded for their excellence at major festivals around the world.

The same applies to generalist platforms. Netflix owes part of its success to the production of new and exclusive programs. Among Netflix's original creations, there are indeed some of the most significant television creations of recent years. The House of Cards series, which has already won many awards around the world. Orange is the New Black, based on real facts, is another award-winning Netflix series. The Narcos series, inspired by Colombian cartel drug traffickers, as well as Casa de Papel  series are huge successes... And the list is not exhaustive!

The series have the first place on Netflix, but the American platform also gives way to the cinema. In 2017, the year of all records for Netflix, is also the year when the first major film produced by a SVOD giant was selected in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival!

Another element that makes Netflix so unique is the power of its design. Netflix recently deployed a redesigned homepage that makes the most significant change to the desktop version of the video streaming platform since the removal of Microsoft's Silverlight plug-in in favor of HTML5 with Safari for OS X Yosemite last year.

The revised design behaves much more like an application for iPad or iPhone with fewer page changes and much more information and interactions on a single web page.

Netflix now presents several lines classified by genre with relevant films and series listed below in a presentation that makes the content more easily identifiable.

Key 6: Caring for your community

Beyond the sense of community, you must also give your subscribers the feeling that their subscription has value. Offering exclusive discounts to subscribers is a valuable action and gives them a sense of recognition.

Your community must feel concerned and involved in your project through small actions such as the possibility of exchanging between subscribers, giving their opinion on the film catalogue, rating films... which will create a certain dynamic on your platform. Actions like these will help you maintain your subscribers and strengthen your customer base through word of mouth. From then on, a real intra-community proximity can be built!

Key 7: Reassure subscribers

Some customers are suspicious of subscription services because they are afraid to subscribe to a long-term contract. Many are also concerned about the administrative complexities of cancelling the service.

To solve these concerns, offering a guarantee to your subscribers is essential. For example, a money back guarantee if they are not satisfied with the service or simply by promising them that cancelling the service is easy and hassle-free.

Customers should feel confident when subscribing to the platform and know that they will not be stuck with any activity that does not suit them.

Key 8: Suggest different payment methods

Publishers are now able to offer customers the ability to pay for their transactions in different ways. Since the goal is to offer your subscribers several secure payment options, focusing on security will appeal and the subscriber will be more confident in your brand.  

Here are some of the secure payment methods that our customers trust: Paypal, Stripe and Authorize.net .

For example, Tënk offers 4 different payment methods thanks to Kinow:

Offering several payment methods helps to optimize the conversion rate of users into paying subscribers. The card is a useful payment method, but other payment methods such as Slimpay also offer direct debit, which is an efficient way to send recurring payments.

If your platform has an international reach, it is important to provide payment methods that foreign customers will trust. For example, in Africa, the population is used to using mobile or prepaid card payments rather than a credit card.

Key 9: Offer an optimal quality of service

Technical problems with your service can lead to a worsening customer experience and a significant churn in your subscriber base. It is therefore imperative to rely on a reliable and scalable infrastructure. SaaS and cloud solutions guarantee very high availability rates and the ability to absorb high traffic peaks. Find more information on the benefits of SaaS in this article: The benefits of SaaS software for your business.

Here are some essential elements to ensure a good quality of service and a minimum churn rate:

  • A compatible solution for all media to allow the user to watch movies on different devices.

  • Uninterrupted quality streaming viewing to ensure quality of service through adaptive streaming (HLS or DASH) that will automatically load the most appropriate resolution based on the user's connection speed.

  • A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool to monitor subscribers activities and thus better segment the audience, address more targeted content and anticipate the churn of users who have been inactive for some time.

  • Content available in multiple languages (audio and subtitles) to allow the user to listen to the content in their native language or to learn a new language.

  • An e-mailing tool to maintain the relationship with its subscribers via newsletters adapted by segment (age, country, viewing habits, seniority, etc.).

Do not hesitate to contact us to boost your own SVOD service or to benefit from support to improve your existing platform. Contact Kinow!