Adobe and Antenna partner to bring valuable new insights to the streaming customer journey
The advent of streaming services revolutionized the entertainment landscape, offering viewers a convenient and personalized way to access a vast array of content. However, one challenge that has emerged for streaming platforms is subscriber churn — the rate at which subscribers cancel their subscriptions.
To date, the view of the subscriber journey has been rather binary — either you are a subscriber or not. In truth, a new view of the complex subscriber journey is required to enable more efficient marketing practices.
To delve deeper into the complexity of streaming subscriber journeys, Adobe teamed up with Antenna — a pioneering market data platform helping the world’s leading brands understand the decisions subscribers make through subscription metrics and purchase behavior. The data measures various subscriber behaviors, including new adds, cancellations, service switching, re-subscriptions, and plan tier changes. This collaboration between Adobe and Antenna produced valuable subscriber data insights to understand behavior and unveiled three significant subscriber behavior types — win back, switcher, and plan manager. These subscriber categories represent a combined potential value of approximately $9 billion. Antenna’s data insights coupled with Adobe's deep customer segmentation, real-time journey orchestration, and content acceleration, can empower companies to effectively combat churn and rekindle growth in the ever-evolving streaming world.
Consumers with unique churn behaviors representing a $9B market opportunity are highlighted in colors.
Not all subscriber journeys are equal
In a study completed in Q1 2023, Antenna’s measurement data revealed that the quarterly churn rate averaged 6% across major streaming services and a substantial 22% of subscription video on demand (SVOD) subscribers fell into the category of “serial churners” — those who canceled any premium SVOD service three or more times in the prior two years. With behavioral data like this, streaming platforms have the ability to better understand and manage subscriber segments to increase retention and grow profitability.
Between Q1 2021 and Q3 2022, 219 million gross additions were recorded, yet a whopping 53% of these subscribers canceled their subscriptions by March 2023. Digging deeper into the numbers reveals a very complex set of subscriber journey paths outside that of the typical serial churner or platform loyalist. For example, a significant 35% of those who canceled their service re-subscribed after 12 months, forming a "win back" segment. In Q1 of 2023, roughly 28% of those who canceled switched to a competing streaming service, indicating a dynamic and competitive landscape where subscribers are actively exploring different platforms. We have given this segment the title “switcher.” Lastly, 6% of all gross adds in this same period changed their plan tier by either upgrading or downgrading their existing service. It’s a segment we’ve defined as “plan managers.” The behavior of plan managers illustrates the importance of personalization and flexible pricing strategies, as subscribers who transition from standalone services to bundled offerings often exhibit greater loyalty (i.e., 85% of these subscribers remained engaged after four months).
Segmentation for growth
By engaging in deeper analysis of subscriber segmentation, media and entertainment companies can address the untapped “middle-ground” subscribers who are neither loyalist nor serial churns and can capitalize on a $9 billion (about $28 per person in the US) market opportunity. Crafting personalized experiences that resonate with subscribers on a more intimate level and reaching them where they are in their journey with the right offers at the right time will allow streaming services to drive both growth and retention. Personalized offers and flexible plan strategies, for example, are key to driving subscriber upsells from standalone to bundled offerings, fostering increased loyalty and engagement. The heart of the matter lies in engaging potential churners before they’ve reached the brink of canceling their subscriptions.
How Adobe can help
Adobe empowers streaming services to execute personalized journeys and curate relevant content suggestions in four primary ways:
- Advanced analytics. First, with solutions like Adobe Customer Journey Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and Adobe Experience Platform, streaming services can better understand subscribers in a journey context by analyzing their data across touchpoints like connected TV, web, and mobile.
- Data-driven personalization. Second, Adobe Real-Time CDP can be used to collect subscriber data from disparate sources — first-, second-, and third-party data — to develop unified account profiles for activation. Then, using Adobe Campaign and Adobe Target, streaming services can deploy target offers, content, and campaigns to increase customer retention.
- Optimized audience journeys. Third, Adobe Journey Orchestration can be leveraged to extend the streaming experience beyond owned platforms by delivering truly personalized experiences across the subscriber lifecycle with real-time, targeted, cross-channel interactions.
- Content automation and efficiency. Lastly, Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Experience Manager, and Adobe Workfront can be used to accelerate content creation through streamlined processes, AI-powered automation, and cross-functional collaborative workflows that address the fast-paced and dynamic world of streaming.
By using these types of tools, streaming services can provide proactive interventions and deliver the tailored offers and content necessary to improve customer retention in the competitive streaming landscape.
“Adobe can help streaming services adopt a more sophisticated view of the subscriber journey and better tailor the viewer experience to retain subscribers and achieve profitability.”
— Sam Garfield, Director of Media and Entertainment Industry Strategy at Adobe
In a world where every subscriber matters, innovative strategies combined with the right tools can stabilize subscriber retention and ensure success within the streaming industry.
“If the first act of the so-called ‘streaming wars’ was all about achieving scale from topline subscriber adds, the next act will be about a more sustainable and profitable growth strategy, and it will be driven by smart consumer segmentation,” Antenna’s CEO and co-founder Jonathan Carson says. “In this new dynamic, customer data is the equivalent of ‘brand awareness’ in the old world. Data is the beating heart of these services and the foundation of their brand equity. The customer journey work which Antenna has done with Adobe is a blueprint for success for the next generation of great subscription brands.”
For further insights, join the Adobe Experience Makers webinar on October 24, 2023, to discover how the Adobe Experience Cloud suite of AI-enabled tools can drive sustained growth and subscriber commitment in the media and entertainment industry.
Read the full research report by Adobe and Antenna to understand how streaming services can use advanced marketing techniques to address subscriber churn.