US OTT players persist with trials as onboarding tool | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Highlighting the continued trend whereby the more services consumers try, the more they are likely to subscribe to at least one, research from Parks Associates has found that almost half of US internet households trialled at least one service in past six months, and 78% of those households ended up subscribing.
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The study, OTT: Perception, Use, and Business Models, analysed consumer use and perception across multiple business models, their libraries and features. The analyst said that for consumers, content ultimately drives their decision to stay with a subscription and free trials offer consumers the opportunity to experiment with different streaming services. The study calculated that as many as 40 million US internet households trailed and subscribed to at least one OTT service in the first half of 2021.

Parks suggested the large content providers are planning significant content development expenditures in 2022 and beyond. IT observed that Netflix was set to spend more than $17 billion on content, while Disney+ has committed to spending $33 billion on programming and content. Yet it added that while major services such as Netflix and Disney+ have dispensed with free trials, smaller services find that trials turn into subscribers and help them stay competitive in this crowded market.

“Trials are an effective onboarding tool, with 40 million households trialling and then subscribing to at least one service in the past six months,” said Eric Sorensen, senior contributing analyst, Parks Associates commenting on the OTT: Perception, Use, and Business Models study.

“Consumers who frequently trial different services are highly engaged video consumers in general, so services need to cater to these users. Low-cost barriers drive consumers to sign up for free trials, but the content will keep them. All content creation efforts are focused on acquiring new customers and retaining those who are already subscribed by providing compelling content.”

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