What are some of the best ways to measure what is both effective and ineffective in OTT user experience (UX) design? Four leading industry figures discuss how their streaming companies measure what is working and what isn’t regarding the quality of their UX.
Nadine Krefetz, Consultant, Reality Software, Contributing Editor, Streaming Media, commences the discussion by asking Eileen Jackson, Director of Product, Vevo, how Vevo measures the quality of their UX.
“When we added linear programming, we obviously increased our session time dramatically,” Jackson says. “Return visitors is a big one for us. And that’s a matter of we’re going to increase that by giving trust that they can have a stable app or they can find whatever content is needed, whether that be from the curation standpoint of our linear programming or our shelves in our browse section, or they can find it in their search.”
Krefetz next asks Thijs Lowette, Product Lead, Philo, “What about you? What’s your KPI that really resonates?”
“There are a lot that I’m interested in,” Lowette says. “But maybe a good one is being able to measure the stickiness on a streaming service. Every OTT service suffers from it. We have Yellowstone on file at the moment, meaning a lot of new signups. And when the season is over, they will all be gone, or a lot of them will be gone. So I think it is important to be able to measure that. And one way we do that is [by looking at] what is the unique number of shows that a user watches? That is one means to measure such stickiness.”
Solan Strickling, Senior Director of Streaming, Hartbeat, says that they look at UX KPIs in two different ways: the number of unique visitors and the level of retention. “What we’re thinking of from a KPI standpoint is how many unique visitors come to watch our content, especially if there’s been any type of major changes,” he says. “We want to see how many people are coming in. When we measure our own performance, we’re looking at engagement, and that’s based on how long people are staying on our channel, how long before they click off. And the other thing that we’ll look at will be retention. If people are coming back, we’re seeing a consistent high level of repeat viewers.”
Jason Williams, Senior Director of Product and Design, Plex, talks about how they focus on length of engagement. “Once we really started rolling out OTT and FAST within our ecosystem, we kind of started hinging on minutes watched,” he says. “Obviously, it’s easier to protect your ad revenue if you’ve got a gauge on that, and being able to see what content is performing. So while we looked at…total playbacks, retention, like minutes watched, was where we focused for a while. Although I think now in some of the other services and features that we’re offering, it’s going to be repeat visits…because right now we’ve got the watch list, we’ve got the ability to discover content in other places, so I think it’s a lot harder to discern in the metrics, like what everybody’s doing on the platform.”
Williams says that to gather a complete picture of UX performance, it is essential to monitor repeat visits. “I think at least if we see that they’re coming back twice a week, three times a week, five times a week, we can start understanding what our trust level is with the consumer, that it’s something they want to look at on our platform every day or twice a week. And I think that is now more of a sign for how much they’re beginning to trust us. Plex is solving a problem for them no matter what their particular problem may be.”
Learn more about OTT UX design and KPIs at Streaming Media East 2023.
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