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Over-The-Top Video Apps Experience a 67 Percent Drop in Subscribers Within the First Two Weeks (Report)

Getting users to engage with an OTT video app may be harder than expected

Over the past couple of years, digital video publishers have looked to own and operate video apps in an effort to have tighter control over consumers and the revenue stream they bring. A successful over-the-top (OTT) video app would allow companies to be less dependent on the algorithms of social media platforms like Facebook in order to reach its an audience.

However, that task may be much harder than expected, according to a new report released today from CleverTap.

The report, which examines performance metrics from some of the most successful media and entertainment apps, found that OTT applications experience a 67 percent churn rate (when users abandon the platform) in the first two weeks after launch. And — just as bad — only 26 percent of new OTT app users engage with the media at least three times within the first month.

For companies looking to follow in the success of Refinery29, Condé Nast, and The Young Turks — all which have launched OTT apps over the past year — the new data may not be encouraging. But with the number connected TV users having risen more than 100 percent over the past year, experimenting with an OTT app could be worth the risk.

CleverTap offered some advice for companies with aspirations to be a leader (or at least profitable) in the OTT landscape. To increase engagement on an app, a company suggests using in-app notifications or emails to suggest relevant content based on the user’s first in-app conversion event. For example, if a user prefers horror movies, it should push them to watch “suggested content” in the same or related genres. It also suggests running personalized push notifications or email campaigns to inform repeat users of new content.

Additionally, CleverTap suggested that companies encourage viewers to add content to their watchlist, and reminding them of the unwatched items already on their watchlist.

CleverTap’s report analyzed 8.7 billion user actions across 100 million devices.