Office With a View: Meal delivery, anyone? Yes, the content is important but being creative with the brand is too, says Perkins Miller
Streamers are increasingly looking for ways to attract and retain subscribers and fan platform Fandom, which regularly surveys its 300 million monthly users about their streaming preferences, is happy to share its insights about what users want.
In April, Fandom released its second-annual State of Streaming study. Powered by the results of its global study of users, the report dives deep into fan behavior to uncover why consumers cancel their subscriptions, what it takes to retain them and how streaming services can drive platform loyalty and differentiate themselves to avoid churn (when customers sign up for a specific series or movie and then cancel once they’ve watched it).
Join WrapPRO for Exclusive Content,
Full Video Access, Premium Events, and More!
While we may already know that franchises and genres are important to streaming customers, a unique takeaway from this year’s report is that they also want streamers to extend the experience. For example, 45% of responders want streaming services to offer packages with food delivery services.
“There’s a lot of interest in having the super serving,” Perkins Miller, Fandom CEO, told TheWrap for this week’s Office With a View.
He continued, “For example, ‘Yes, I want to [stream a big movie], but I also want to see behind the scenes, and oh, by the way, we’re all going to watch it tonight. Can you give me the complementary food delivery that comes along with it at a slight discount?’ But the content still matters. It’s not like if you give me the extra stuff, I will excuse you for not having the right genre or the right franchise for me. The icing doesn’t replace the cake. You’ve still gotta have the cake.”
Below, read more from Miller about Fandom’s annual State of Streaming report, what keeps streaming customers paying month after month and the company’s work consulting studios.
How does Fandom work and how do you tap into what fans are looking for?
The core Fandom platform is a group of 300 million folks every month that come because we are the world’s greatest source of knowledge for gaming, movies and television. We have built these massive data sets. We call it Fan DNA. We’re able to tap into the user behaviors in the U.S. and around the world to be able to see what’s happening, what are the trends. And then we also fleet these panels of research.
The last one was several 1000 people where, based on some of the insights we’ve gleaned from the 300 million, we then narrow in and get more surgical, with questions around what’s happening with the streaming services, what’s going on with user behavior. And then that informs these State of Streaming studies. We have this really neat combined massive user base with this surgical research and inspection that we’re able to bring to bear.
What are some of the main takeaways from your 2022 State of Streaming report? Has the streaming market reached saturation point with the number of services?
It’s less about, in the abstract, signing up for too many services. What we see with our studies is that people are willing to pay for streaming services if they can justify the cost. More than 70% of people want exclusive access to entertainment and 60% said if a streamer has the genre they want — sci-fi, action, romance — they’re willing to pay. It really has to do with whether the content matches the interest.”
Your report also emphasizes the need for franchises and genre. With Netflix losing so many subscribers, do you think developing more franchises is something they should focus on?
There’s an enormous volume of content and a lot of diversity on Netflix. And let’s remember, they’re still the largest streaming service. It’s easy to tell the person out front that the back of their shirt doesn’t look good. They still are at the front of the pack. As the rest of the competitors get more of their stride where they’re able to build on their franchises to get that momentum, I do think it’s more important for Netflix to build up some of these franchises more deliberately to give people a reason to say, “Oh, right, that’s a Netflix thing,” [in the way that ] people know Marvel is Disney.
They’re coming out with [a new season of] “Stranger Things” soon, that’s a good example. But they have not been able to build that core foundation, that really relentless commitment to franchise building and understanding exactly how to connect to those audiences with those core franchises. That is probably the biggest takeaway [from our report]: If you want to drive retention, a good base of franchises will give you that strength and leverage.
What other ways can streamers extend their franchises?
The huge numbers for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” represent a real complement [to Disney+ Marvel series like “WandaVision”] where you have this offline marketing giving you a lot of leverage. And that’s an area where Disney and more traditional studios have leverage to complement their streaming service. Netflix doesn’t have a real focused theatrical release strategy, so it doesn’t give them the same amount of leverage when it comes to being top of mind for consumers. Deep franchise bench, combined with the theatrical release offline gives an indirect marketing benefit, helps the streaming services like a Disney+ get a lot more traction and retention then what Netflix is facing right now.
How many reports do you do each year?
We do three. No. 1 is State of Streaming, then we have the State of Gaming, which is coming out in a couple of weeks. And then we do a State of Fandom in the fall, which is a big, holistic one that looks at the state of fandom overall. We also do much more targeted ones independently during the course of the year, depending on what we’re trying to look at.
What’s the nature of your work in consulting studios?
We do work for studios directly. Major studio showrunners are very often on Fandom trying to test whether or not their show is relevant, because if you’ve got a franchise, you’ve got to be authentic. The customers are very expert, they know the canon, they can talk about characters in different situations. And so they have a high value, because they’re actually your greatest advocate and will always seek out the content. So the question is, can you match your marketing to get those folks to be married to your content?
We also work directly with the studios, some on the content development side, but also on the marketing side where they say, “OK, we’re going to market here, tell us about these audiences, tell us about how things have performed, tell us about platforms.”
We’ve actually run in combination with some of the studios’ ad campaigns on their behalf where we say, “OK, here’s the way to target your advertising to have a better impact.” Because not only do we see how users behave on Fandom, we actually take that profile and work with agencies to re-target off our platform using those insights. And we get some 30 to 40% greater performance for studios because we’re able to bring those insights and give them that kind of connection to the fan.