Why Should You Invest in User Research for OTT Platforms?

Unlock the potential of your user research for the OTT platform. Discover valuable insights, enhance user experience, and drive engagement, ensuring an unbeatable edge in the market.

Author

Kham Chakhap

Date

December 26, 2023

Picture this: It's a Friday night, and you've just settled onto your favorite spot on the couch, ready to find and watch a movie of your choice through your preferred Over-the-Top (OTT) platform. As you scroll through the seemingly endless content library, you find yourself overwhelmed by choices—comedies, dramas, documentaries, and so on. At this point, you might be frustrated and contemplate switching to a competitor with a more tailored content experience. 

This is a common concern for OTT platforms where the competition is fierce among the players in today’s digital age, leading to a loss of viewership. Everyone is scrambling to grab user attention through increasing clicks, scrolls, and watch time. How do you ensure your OTT platform stands out in this vast sea of content providers? Here is where taking a strategic approach to content becomes very crucial, and user research can step into play.

This article will explore why OTT platforms need to invest in user research today and how it can mean the difference between success and failure in this competitive space.

Understanding the OTT Landscape

OTT platforms provide content to users directly through the internet. It is the era of on-demand content, and these platforms have become the go-to source for entertainment. While broadcast television is losing to OTT, new players are regularly entering this market. According to recent studies, the global OTT market is projected to reach $332.52 billion by 2025. This explains why there is an urgency for platforms not just to survive but thrive in this competitive ecosystem.

Need for User Research in OTT

1. Unveiling User Preferences

SEO-optimized user research is the cornerstone of success for any OTT venture. By uncovering user preferences through data-driven analysis, you gain insights into the types of content that resonate with your audience. This knowledge allows you to curate a content library tailored to their tastes, driving higher engagement and watch time.

2. Seamless OTT Experience

A study conducted by Nielsen found that 53% of viewers are likely to abandon a streaming session if they encounter page loading issues. User research enables you to identify pain points in the user journey, enabling you to optimize the user interface for a more seamless experience. An improved interface leads to user retention and increased loyalty.

3. Customer Acquisition and Retention

SEO is not just about search engine rankings; it's about attracting the right audience. With user research, you can define your target demographic and attract them by creating content that directly appeals to them. A survey by HubSpot found that personalized content was 42% more engaging. This engagement is not just a metric—it's the foundation of customer acquisition.

Lack of engaging and relevant content leads to an increase in churn rates. According to a study by Deloitte, 17% of consumers churn due to a lack of content relevance. Conducting user research studies helps you understand why users leave and enable you to take steps that reduce churn. By addressing content gaps and improving recommendations, you build a loyal user base that contributes significantly to your SEO metrics.

4. The Data-Driven Advantage

Data and decoding user analytics is key to building a successful content strategy. By analyzing viewing habits, preferences, and search patterns, OTT platforms can be optimized for search engine algorithms, improving discoverability and organic traffic. But with the rapidly evolving digital landscape, user preferences change rapidly as well. Hence, user feedback should be regularly revisited and updated to change trends to stay relevant.

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Key UX Considerations for OTT Providers 

User research can amplify crucial considerations for OTT platforms. Let's delve into essential ones for OTT providers aiming to up their UX game:

1. Intuitive Navigation: The more easily users find their way around a platform, the more they are encouraged to explore further. This is why intuitive menus are crucial. User research should be conducted to ensure clear navigation and a simple layout that is easy for users to understand.

2. Responsive Design: You should make it easy for users to access content from any device. A responsive design means your OTT experience would be seamless across smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and desktops. Ensure it is tested across all these devices to ensure consistent performance and interface.

3. Personalization: Users are more likely to stay when they feel the content is tailored to their preferences. Utilize user data and algorithms to provide personalized content suggestions and enhance user engagement and satisfaction.

4. Loading time: An earlier stat mentions how page buffering and loading time can lead to frustration and abandonment of a streaming session. Minimize these for a smoother streaming experience and increased user engagement time.

5. Accessibility: Accessibility means your OTT platform is inclusive, and users with different needs can use it. A research study with accessibility testing can give you an idea about features you must incorporate, like closed captions, audio descriptions, customizable font sizes, etc.

These are some of the key UX considerations on OTT that create an experience that resonates, engages, and fosters long-term loyalty.

Conclusion

As the OTT landscape expands, investing in user research should be a strategic imperative. By navigating the seas of user preferences, optimizing the user experience, and leveraging data-driven insights, OTT platforms can unlock insights that can make or break a brand. Remember, it is not doing big things but doing small things well that can propel you to greater success.

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Author Bio

As an intrepid explorer of both physical and intellectual realms, Kham seeks to unravel the intricacies of the human experience and merge them with the transformative power of AI. On odd days, she can be found wandering around trying to find that elusive scenic and quiet café where she can sip on matchas and get lost in the written word.

Kham Chakhap

Product Marketing Specialist

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