The Subscriptions Services Playbook: How to Increase Acquisition, Engagement, and Retention  

During the outbreak of COVID-19 in March, Roku saw a 92% lift in Roku Pay trials as streamers tried out new channelsIn our Cord Cutter Survey last year,  we asked cord-cutters how their streaming habits have changed. Half of streamers said they were binge-watching more and 26% said that they were streaming more paid content. Just about a quarter (24%) said they were trying more free and extended trials. 

Streamers are trialing, streaming and binge-watching more than ever. And they're open to new services, too. In a survey of subscription video on demand (SVOD) habits, we found that one in three streamers are likely to sign up for new services in the next six months. 

Most importantly, when streamers sign up for new services, three in four are likely to sign up for a new subscription without canceling any existing services.    

Today, there are more than 14,000 TV streaming channels on Roku to watch. From Netflix, Disney+ and fitness channels like Peloton to the genre-specific channels, there’s something for everyone.  

So, given the growing appetite for SVOD services, how can entertainment marketers convert the right audience and make sure that they keep coming back after they’ve subscribed? 

First, you have to understand the streamer’s journey.

How Streamers Subscribe

We categorize streamers by four different personas: prospects, trialists, subscribers, and churned users. Each requires a touchpoint to drive interest in your streaming channel. There are three key streaming moments during a streamer’s journey: setup, search & discover, and sit back & stream.   

Prospects, for example, may be new to Roku. That’s a good opportunity to ensure that your channel is shown front-and-center during the setup moment.  

If your audience is already established on Roku, you’ll want to think about how you can show up on the Roku homescreen while streamers are searching and discovering content. With a native display ad on Roku, you can see 3x the number of incremental sign-ups when compared to organic sign-ups.  

Finding the Right Audience  

When Frndly TV wanted to connect with new viewers looking for family-friendly content, the team worked with Roku to connect with audiences based on what viewers had already been watching and who was most likely to sign up.  Those users were served with two different ad experiences: a featured tile and native display ads.  

Frndly TV also programmed ad experiences during a key content discovery moment on the Roku home screen to convert streamers actively looking for new content.  

By offering ads across the streamer’s journey, Frndly TV saw a 15.6x incremental lift in sign-up rate and achieved their subscription goals for the year in just seven months. This strategy is a great example of how to align the ad experience with the streamer’s journey, from start to finish.  

Streaming, Subscriptions, Retention  

To really understand what subscribers want – and how to reach them – you first have to take a look at the latest subscription trends in the streaming market. We’ve done the research and broken down what our major findings mean for advertisers.  

In Roku’s Streaming and Subscriptions Playbook, we’ll take you through:  

  1. Why Subscription Trends Matter 

  1. How to Own the Streamer’s Journey  

  1. What are Best Practices for Streaming  

  1. How to Drive Performance Outcomes