Parks Associates: 32 Million US Households Are OTT Video “Service Hoppers”

New industry report analyzes latest developments and use cases in data and analytics that support video services

A new Parks Associates report, Data-Based Decision Making for Video Services, finds 36% of OTT subscribers, roughly 32 million US households, are “service hoppers,” defined as OTT subscribers who switched between services and resubscribed to services multiple times in the previous twelve months. The report details the challenges in OTT subscriber acquisition and retention and the latest developments in data and analytics used to improve business operations and better engage subscribers.

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“Data collection and analysis offer new ways to attract and retain viewers, optimize revenue, and create new value,” said Elizabeth Parks, President and CMO, Parks Associates. “Data allows vendors to identify subscribers at risk of churn and can even tag the ‘server hoppers’ who will jump in and out of services no matter what, so that providers do not waste resources chasing them in vain. Advanced data tools help companies make more informed decisions about the content and structure of their services and special offerings.”

Parks Associates finds that all methods where subscribers interact with OTT services, from subscription to platform usage, are rapidly diversifying. In the early market, households would subscribe directly via an OTT provider’s website, but the percentage of households subscribing directly via an OTT provider’s website declined from 41% to 29% between Q1 2020 and Q3 2021. Instead, households are taking multiple paths to video subscription, including through OTT aggregators.

Given the enhanced value of subscriber data, some content providers are seeking to re-establish control over their viewers—and the data about them—by not offering subscriptions via aggregators. In 2021, a substantial group of OTT households subscribed to an OTT service via Amazon Prime Video Channels, but that percentage could drop in the future, as HBO and HBO Max were removed from Amazon Prime Video Channels in September. Likewise, Disney+ is not available through major aggregators, and NBC recently announced it is moving many of its shows exclusively to Peacock and away from Hulu.

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Parks Associates is hosting the Future of Video session “Video Distribution Strategies” today, starting at 11 am CT, featuring a fireside chat with Melissa de la Rama, VP, Distribution, WarnerMedia, and the panels “Shifting Content Agreements: Engaging the Consumer” and “The Role of Sports in Video Choices,” with executives from Samsung, fuboTV, Amdocs, and more.

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