Focus on the Consumer Experience for OTT Success #TIS18

Networks need to focus on the consumer experience and not use B2B language says Bob Gold, CEO of Bob Gold & Associates. This is one of the pearls of wisdom from Gold’s recent survey of industry professionals about streaming media services like Netflix, Hulu and start-up video brands.

Gold points out that, with so many choices, a strong brand becomes more important than ever to gaining consumer eyeballs. To that point, in an OTT world with a seemingly infinite number of video choices, a strong brand will be more important than ever. This should be to the local operators’ advantage, as they have a recognizable brand in the communities they serve and can provide value by making these services easily accessible with payments integrated into a common billing mechanism.

He likens today’s environment to the early days of cable when people who had “free” broadcast television, asked why they needed cable and its additional channels.

His survey indicates that people are frustrated with the bundle and the seeming chokehold of the traditional set-top box and associated DVR fees. Integrating streaming services into more traditional offerings, as many providers are just beginning to do, could reduce churn and cord cutting and satisfy consumers.

As in the early days of cable when operators would provide free premium service weekend previews, this HBO veteran says that free service trials are critical to showing prospective customers the value proposition of any given service. It goes beyond a free offering, however, as the ease of signing up for and, as importantly, cancelling a service is important. Gold stresses the importance of having a trusted brand in this process.

In the interview, Gold indicates that online and streaming video is at an inflection point, and now is the time to really put the consumer first because they are no longer limited to the traditional linear video bundle.

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