Report: Where Streamers Place Shows in App, Advertise New Releases Key to Content Discovery
Content discovery is one of the most important factors for streaming services to get right. Users are spending over 11 minutes trying to find a show or movie to watch on average, and the more streamers make them search for something, the more likely it is that they’ll simply start scrolling on their phone instead.
A new report from DIRECTV highlights what streamers should be doing to combat content discovery issues. The report cites an FX Research survey, which indicates that 599 new English-language TV shows made for adults were released across broadcast, cable, and streaming in 2022 alone. So how can streaming services make sure that their shows are go-to programming for viewers when they turn on their TVs?
The easiest method of achieving this is by simply putting the content in front of viewers’ eyes first. DIRECTV’s report found that 78% of respondents said seeing a show on a streaming service’s home screen was very influential in determining whether they watched the next episode of that show or not.
Obviously, most (if not all) streaming services are aware of the importance of this type of positioning. By offering users the chance to jump instantly into the last show they were watching via a “Recently Watched” content row on home screens, they highly increase the chance that a viewer will return to that show. But many streaming services could build on this by moving “Because You Watched Show X” content selections closer to the top of the screen, aiding users in content discovery and helping themselves by keeping users engaged.
Where users see ads for new shows also makes a big difference as to whether they engage with that show or not. Seventy-five percent of respondents to the DIRECTV survey said that seeing an ad for a show on their TV made them more likely to watch it. That’s key for streaming services, many of which don’t use traditional linear advertising as often as they use digital and web outlets to reach consumers.
That statistic is doubly important because viewers are more likely to discuss a show they saw advertised with friends as they used to be. In the study, 64% of respondents said that seeing an ad for a show on TV made them want to discuss the show with their friends. That’s up 10 percentage points over 2021, and it shows that the more content is available, the more audiences will want to discuss it with their peers in order to whittle down their choices and identify what their friend groups will be watching too.
Perhaps more importantly, seeing a show advertised on TV makes 76% of viewers more likely to research the show. That indirect engagement often leads to more viewers overall, as audiences will have added knowledge about a title they can circle back to when they run out of content even if they decide not to watch it right away.
Issues with content discovery will continue until streaming services begin to aggregate more fully. Until then, however, streamers should use resources like DIRECTV’s survey for guidelines on how to keep users engaged with their service and watching their content.