Why Your OTT Subscription never Works Out the Way You Plan

20 years ago, one monthly subscription of satellite TV was all you needed for your viewing experience. Today, it’s a drastically different picture. The OTT subscription explosion has been a game changer in the business of media, entertainment and sports throughout the world. Not only has it influenced an entire generation’s viewing pattern, OTTs have also posed an existential threat to traditional satellite televisions and their programming.

However, as consumers of the world make a sub-conscious switch to OTTs, platforms continue to have teething issues with churn management, subscription billing, etc, even years into their existence.

Here are a few reasons why your OTT subscription never works out the way you’d planned.

The irregularity of high-quality content

While our favourite show or a sports tournament may get us to subscribe to a specific OTT platform, most of us find it difficult to renew that subscription once the said show or tournament is over. Most OTT platforms suffer from this irregularity of high-quality content. In a world where hundreds of OTT platforms are fighting for consumer attention, discontinuing an OTT subscription becomes as much a trend as subscribing for one. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this irregularity of high-quality content directly translates to irregularity in consumer retention. A big reason for it is that there’s a continued tendency among OTTs to focus on consumer acquisition over consumer retention.

Glitchy streaming experience

This one’s a no-brainer. The biggest turn-off for an OTT consumer is glitchy and lagged viewing experience, specifically during travelling or during premiere events. Missing out on action despite having the required OTT subscription keeps getting in the way of long-term consumer subscriptions. Barring a few, majority of platforms still struggle with maintaining the stream without dropping. Most consumers don’t account for tech glitches while subscribing to a platform however this is increasingly becoming a reason for users dropping out of a service. With a focus on the right tech and customer experience platforms can tackle OTT churn management.

The bane of choice

In India itself, over 40 OTT platforms have been launched, each offering original media content. The increasing number of OTT choices leads to high-quality content being scattered across various platforms. The absence of one reliable platform that offers everything from original content to sports to vintage makes it necessary for consumers to opt in to multiple platforms at once, which does not necessarily make financial sense for a majority of users. The ever-evolving catalogue of platforms and the hype around their programming is the number one reason why people subscribe to a platform. With so much newer content across platforms, viewer-fatigue is real. Platforms cannot address the issue of recurring OTT billing monetization without regular catalogue updates.

Given the stakes and the cost of customer acquisition in the highly competitive environment, it is crucial to deep dive in to the data to understand your customer, fix errors and find the best ways to keep them engaged. It is vital that platforms zoom in on the trends that point towards the cause of any and all issues. OTT providers can take these few steps to identify the problems and find fixes before mistakes turn costly –

  1. Review errors from individual sessions: Is the bandwidth of the users low? Is there frequent buffering? This information can help identify is the issue is continuous and can also pin point if the issue is internal or external.
  2. Track user presence and behaviour over web and app: Has there been a spike during holiday season or a specific content launch? Are users not being recommended follow up content to keep their interest? This can help identify newer opportunities of personalization and engagement with subscribers.
  3. Leverage the power of data to advertise at the right time and place: Tap in to the extensive analytics offered by services such as the Magnaquest OTT subscription billing software to gain deep insight into the subscribers and how and when to target them to keep them constantly engaged and drive the LTV.
  4. Be agile and flexible: At the end of the day, customer is king. With detailed insights into the customer behaviours and patterns, OTT service providers also need to have the agility and flexibility to look into what is the need of the market and how they can address it with speed.

In such a competitive landscape service providers cannot afford to overlook any incidents that hamper the customer’s viewing experience. With the right OTT Monetization system and data they can identify and fix errors to ensure subscribers stay engaged and entertained.


  • Yamini Kumar Dasari

    Yamini is one of the Magnaquest’s building blocks and is an integral part of the Sure product. He joined Magnaquest in the year 1999 and has been playing a crucial role in the organization ever since. With over 25 years of experience in technology and business applications across multiple domains, he contributed immensely in product design, development, solution architecture and implementations for various clients across the globe. His involvement is marked in almost all the phases of the software/product development, implementation, and delivery life cycle.