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OTT Video and lessons from Netflix: It’s time to stop churning and start engaging

Let me tell you something you already know - eight years ago the mobile app market experienced a boom with 2.52 billion app downloads worldwide. And now, mobile app downloads are expected to reach 268.69 billion by the year 2017.

With 36 apps installed on the average smartphone, your users engage with only 26% of the apps they download. So unless you’re already as embedded in their mind-space as Facebook, Instagram or Youtube, the competition to stand out in the app business keeps you up at night.

With 2016 predictably seeing the drying up of ridiculous VC dollars, ‘post acquisition user retention’ and ‘engagement’ are the buzzwords for the year ahead. And if you’re still going strong on the VC burn, perhaps it’s time to turn off the gas and batten down the hatches; there’s a storm coming.

According to a study conducted by Neosperience, nearly 90% of users discard an app if it fails to engage them.

An app’s notification system is a cheap, efficient way to keep users engaged and in-app systems are a marketing team’s best friend. But here’s the catch: high user engagement for an app is possible if and only IF it is supported by data-led decisions.

Netflix built towards this right from the beginning.

“The foundation of the streaming business was analytics,” says Dave Hastings, Netflix’s Director of Product Analytics. “Our catalogue was extremely limited when we started streaming. We had to be right in what we were trying to deliver.”

While it’s content is applauded today, from ‘House of Cards’ to almost 60 series seasons in 2016, a culture of analytics is what drove decision making. Their ability to consistently engage users, drive average viewership time and keep churn down stems from this data-led culture. Most importantly they know what their customer’s want to watch.

“You do not make a $100 million investment these days without an awful lot of analytics,” says Hastings when talking about Big Data. “You integrate all this together, and you really get to know who your customer is.”

But for everyone else, there’s no need to re-invent the wheel. Armed with deterministic data instead of probabilistic, along with a strong nose for analytics – a lot of the gap can now be bridged by new Indian OTT players.

The following scenario is something we’re executing for a large Indian TV network with a strong OTT play:

ZAPR’s technology maps the TV shows (via offline TV, not just in-app) a user watches. Building a comprehensive profile of each user’s viewing behaviour, we create flags and use their TV habits to drive In-App engagement.

Users often miss TV shows that they’re loyal to. Our platform allows the app’s notification system to flag that and trigger a notification on the user’s mobile device.

“Watch the latest episode of XYX show. Click here to Play for free”.

Simple, unobtrusive, very relevant and Highly Effective! This system even feeds into the upcoming content recommendation engine, ensuring relevant content when the user opens the app.

The chances that a click event occurs is very high and voila! you have not only re-engaged with your expensively acquired App User, but you have also increased content loyalty.

As the largest media consumption repository in India; Zapr Media Labs profiles the TV viewership behaviour of over 40 million individual mobile users and cross-targets them for various brand-related campaigns. So if you are a TV broadcaster with your own mobile app, an OTT player or any Content app, ZAPR helps you constantly engage your users via targetable segments based on their interest and TV views.

Our clients use the ZAPR platform to compare the viewership trend of their TV shows and channels with competitor TV networks, shows, brands etc. and gain various geo-based viewership insights (cities and states), even compare TV viewership habits of app and non-app users.

This is just the tip of the Big-data iceberg. There’s a lot more we can do to ensure your business intelligence teams have truly unique data points; that your marketing teams have device level targeting and that your users get the most relevant content served to them.


Zapr Media Labs
Zapr Media Labs
Latest resources on TV Advertising, Cross-media Marketing and Consumer Research.

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