In the last quarter of 2020, we saw streaming reach new heights across the Roku platform. Overall, Roku reached more than 51.2 million active accounts, and consumers watched 58.7 million hours of streaming. Meanwhile, the number of channels available to Roku users now exceeds 14,000.
All this growth has made competition for viewers fiercer than ever, so here are three proven insights that will help you add and retain customers so that your channel is the one they keep streaming:
Premium titles, such as Wonder Woman 84 (HBO Max) and Hamilton (Disney+), can effectively boost subscriber growth. Viewers are willing to bypass free trials altogether and start subscribing in order to access topflight content.
In this chart from Antenna, we can see daily sign-up growth numbers as media companies release premium titles. Notice the spikes in new sign-ups when Hamilton and Wonder Woman 84 released, respectively. This is a significant increase, especially considering free trials weren’t available as part of the launch. While these big titles drive large spikes in users, it’s important for streaming services to re-engage those users early on to ensure retention of these audiences.
Without the right engagement strategy, streamers are more likely to cancel. Cancellations represent what we call the “churn rate” for subscriptions. Churn is a growing challenge and, in our surveys, represents when a user cancelled a service in the last year.
In March 2020, we surveyed Roku users and saw a 24% churn rate. When we asked users again in September, the churn rate had risen to 48%.
The main reason?
Viewers likely watched the content they wanted and saw no reason to stay subscribed. Research from Deloitte found that almost two-thirds (62%) of viewers said that they canceled their subscription because they had finished the show or movie they wanted to see.
To reduce churn, build a relationship with subscribers – especially in the critical 7-14-30 day periods. By recommending other titles throughout the streamer’s journey, you can reduce the likelihood that they’ll cancel after watching a specific movie or show and ensure that they are subscribed every month after.
In December 2020, we saw more streamers tuning into ad-supported channels than ever. In fact, ad-supported content channels were the fastest-growing segment of the year. This shows that streamers are willing to watch ads in exchange for the right content.
The growth of ad-supported content shows that many streamers will watch ad-supported TV streaming in return for access to free content to watch in a lean-back environment.
As much as this industry grew in 2020, we expect even more TV streaming viewers and publishers this year. This will make acquiring and retaining subscribers more important than ever. If you’d like to attract and keep more viewers on your channel this year, we’d love to hear from you.
Reach out to us to learn more, or download Roku’s Streaming and Subscriptions Playbook. In it, we’ll take you through:
Why Subscription Trends Matter