September 2023

Gently Down the Stream

Merrily, Merrily, Merrily We Watch and Shop

In the late 2000s, Netflix expanded from DVD rentals by mail to online video-on-demand (VOD), but only when they went for streaming original content, did they really take off. Soon, VOD boomed into the recent “streaming wars”, with multiple online streaming services buying for customers’ attention and subscriptions. Despite the current “cooling period”, the streaming market is still a rich and booming area filled with possibilities.

Why so Successful?

Streaming not only draws people in but also keeps them hooked, and many have wondered why. It is convenience, absolutely: open the service on your computer, phone or TV, and the entire content is there, just a click away and it’s available any time – no channel surfing, no prerecording, no pre-empting, and no commercial breaks. You can start watching a show on your living room TV and finish the season on your laptop while waiting for your flight at the airport.

Interested in multiple shows or films? Create a personalized watchlist where you can find them all at a later time. Stopped watching something? Come back to it later and don’t worry, the platform remembers where you pressed pause

You liked something, maybe you even rated it via the service? An algorithm will make note of that and offer you a personalised list of suggestions based on your past viewings, as well as push the newest additions to the library to the top of the main page.

And when you consider the prices of video rental and cinema tickets, there is no doubt that streaming services are still extremely affordable. While cinema absolutely offers a certain experience that even your home theatre can’t compete with, it’s also undeniable that ticket prices have recently begun surpassing monthly subscriptions to a streaming service.

Streaming services have long ago stopped being just the place where you go to kill time for an hour or two and have grown into fully realised experiences of their own. They’re not just entertainment, they are an entertainment business, and if an e-commerce company starts thinking of itself as being in the entertainment business instead of sales business, it might just positively affect its revenue.

Make people think you’re fun to use and buy from, offer them exclusive content no one else has and make a clear promise that there’ll be more of it coming very soon, work on making the customers feel you are making a product tailored to them specifically and you just might reap the same benefits the streaming giants of today have been enjoying.

Streaming services are not just entertainment, they are an entertainment business.