Managing for the Optimized Content Bundle

Cord-cutting has primarily been characterized over time as the path to less cost and more relevant content. So why is it still proving to be so difficult for consumers to create and manage their ideal multiscreen experience?

Darcy Antonellis, Vubiquity

Darcy Antonellis, Vubiquity

According to Parks Associates, over a quarter of millennials subscribe to three or more over-the-top video services, and more than half use at least two. However, a separate U.S. survey from Vanson Bourne claims that 68% of all viewers still aren’t satisfied with the range of content currently available to them, even though they are paying an average of $86 per month (not including the cost of broadband) for access.

With new direct-to-consumer entrants about to hit the market, the options to personalize the viewing experience, and potential complexities, will only increase.

The Millennial Factor

When it comes to millennials, they’ve made clear their willingness to pay for their “perfect bundle” — especially offerings that integrate premium live events (like sports) with a customized on-demand “binge” offering.

However, paying for live a la carte content, on top of recurring over-the-top subscriptions and broadband, begins to reach customary pay-TV cost levels. The further multiplier to this complexity quotient is the management of these bespoke, one-off signups and cancellations, often done to see a particular event or during trial periods that automatically renew.

Without user-friendly ways to manage these subscriptions, customers are more likely to try these services once and avoid them later.

How Can Service Providers Make Sense of This?

It’s clear today that our physical and digital life has become one. Think about the course of your day and the limited number of instances where a connected device, app or other digital tool isn’t part of your routine. From the time you wake up, work out, check the news, schedule meetings, make a reservation or rent a car, it’s all through a digital, connected lifestyle. And managing it can be complicated.

Tools that allow consumers to manage their digital lives, subscriptions, terms, trials, content and valuable data within simple-to-use solutions will become increasingly vital. The same goes for their media and entertainment offerings.

In the case of service providers, combining a unified carrier experience that caters to the consumer’s digital life, and integrated with first- and third-party brands, creates stickiness and value. It creates a platform to try and offer new, contextualized services.

There is an appetite for this approach, too. Almost 70% of consumers surveyed in the Vanson Bourne research stated that they would be prepared to pay (a premium) for a unified and personalized service bundle option. And 69% of consumers said that they would shift services and, in some cases, longstanding brand alliances for this type of package and experience.

Preparing for New Content Business Models

On the content side, the market is filled with new opportunities. Whatever solutions put forward to help consumers manage their digital content need to support the yet-to-be-offered business models of major content providers. After all, a transactional player today could be a subscription player tomorrow, or a subscription service could suddenly offer an ad-supported option.

New approaches, which can also include share of subscription revenue opportunities with service providers, can provide even more content options and solutions for millennials to consider.

Bringing Simple Back to the Content Experience

While cord-cutting was supposed to create an ideal content experience, it’s only becoming more complicated for consumers. To best manage this, we need to give consumers a reason to stay within a single ecosystem. Partnerships, better digital lifestyle management, flexible cost-of-entry, and revenue sharing opportunities are crucial to keep subscribers engaged across a highly dynamic landscape.

Darcy Antonellis is head of Amdocs Media and CEO of Vubiquity.