Over the last decade, subscription video on demand (SVOD) has quickly become the preferred way to consume video content.
Still today this popularity is only increasing, making video subscription platforms a smart investment for content creators. Yet, SVOD platforms are highly complex. So how do you get started?
We have compiled all the essential steps required to set up an SVOD platform:
- Obtain the content
- Find a way to deliver the content
- Monetize the content
- Set up the payment method
- Set up customer support
- Publish and promote the content
- Set up a subscriber retention strategy
Follow this 7-step guide to learn how to start a video subscription platform.
1. Obtain the content
Before even considering the technicalities of a video subscription platform, you will need to obtain the video content.
This could either mean producing the content yourself, or obtaining the rights from another producer. Whichever you pursue, be sure to consider: How is my content different? To compete with the many other video platforms available today, you will need to stand out in some way. One way to stand out is by offering unique content that viewers cannot find elsewhere. It’s time to find your niche!
2. Find a way to deliver the content
Once you have acquired your content, the next step is bridging the gap between the video and the viewer. There are two requirements for this stage:
- User interface - Website builder or smart apps
Firstly, to give subscribers a way to access the content, you will need some kind of user interface. This can be achieved by hiring a website builder to create your personal platform website. Or you can exclusively use apps to share the content, which will require an app developer or outsourcing to an app specialist provider.
- Video management - Online video platform
Once you have the front end covered through the chosen user interface, the next step is the back end. This step requires finding a location to store and manage your video content. This is best done by selecting an online video platform (OVP). The OVP will host the video content, and provide you with a link to the video player, to embed in your platform.
3. Monetize the content
After setting up your video consumption platform, you will need a solution to monetize your content.
In order for subscribers to purchase access to your content, you need to create offers. For example, the simplest offer setup may be 2 offers: a monthly subscription and an annual subscription. But you may be interested in more flexibility with your offer setup, for example, if you require seasonal offers.
To simplify the complexity of monetizing content, we recommend using a subscriber management system. This means using established software to create and manage your offers.
Cleeng’s Subscriber Management System, Cleeng Core, is made up of robust APIs that allow broadcasters to build and manage a comprehensive video platform. Amongst others, some of the features covered by Core include:
- Identity, Access & Entitlement, to manage the customer’s registration, login, and content access experience
- Multicurrency offer creation, to accommodate an international audience
- Coupon campaign management, to easily run and manage incentive campaigns
4. Set up the payment method
Once the monetized offer has been created, the next step is establishing a payment method.
This is an essential step in the setup process of a video platform, as it has both financial, legal, and commercial implications. Broadcasters may run into significant legal issues if the tax management is not handled correctly, or suffer poor conversion rates if the checkout experience is inadequate.
Through Cleeng Core, broadcasters have access to Merchant, Cleeng’s payment and checkout solution. Merchant handles every stage of the payment process, to put broadcaster’s minds at ease. This includes:
- Seamless, user-friendly checkouts to maximize conversions
- Built-in local compliance, for comprehensive tax management
- Automated dunning actions, for thorough and effective recurring billing
5. Set up customer support
After the content offering is established, payment methods are prepared and the content is protected, the next step is setting up customer support.
As soon as customers have access to the content, support requests will begin to appear. These could be for anything from problems registering, to platform concerns, to difficulties accessing content. Any broadcaster hoping to grow their platform will need to be able to respond to all customer concerns in a timely and supportive manner. This can be highly demanding on any team, and will only become more challenging as the platform grows.
Cleeng’s customer care solution, Hi5, is available to any video platform looking for an easy solution to customer support. Hi5 offers a 24/7, global customer care staffing with:
- Real-time analytics, to identify problem areas and improve subscriber loyalty
- Pre-built FAQ center, so you can offer professional support immediately
- Efficient chargeback management for greater customer satisfaction
6. Publish and promote the content
Once completing steps 1 to 6, you will be all set to offer the full customer experience, from purchase to viewing to support. All you need to do now is publish and promote.
Before making the platform available, we recommend selecting an official launch date. You can then build your pre-launch promotional campaign around this launch date, announcing the upcoming platform and marketing its value proposition.
On launch day, publish the platform to the public and announce to all channels that the platform is live. We recommend using a combination of social media and advertising campaigns to promote the launch.
7. Set up a subscriber retention strategy
With the content accessible, and out in the world, you are now able to start acquiring subscribers. That means there’s only one step left in the setup process: establishing a subscriber retention strategy.
Setting up a video platform to be appealing to new customers is only half the challenge. Even the most advanced platform with the best content cannot survive without a retention strategy.
An effective retention strategy requires careful data aggregation and reporting to help you understand your subscribers. You also need the ability to act on the available data using marketing actions. Lastly, you will require automation so that the customer engagement actions can happen continuously without lengthy micro-managing.
Given the highly complex, time-consuming and software-dependent nature of the processes described above, we recommend partnering with specialists.
Cleeng’s subscription analytics platform, ChurnIQ allows broadcasters to understand, predict and prevent churn. Key features include:
- Consolidated data lake to offer a single view of the subscriber base (no matter how many tools are involved)
- Detailed dashboard of subscriber data, to understand subscriber’s behavior
- Machine learning algorithm to predict which subscribers are at risk of churning
- Automated subscriber segmentation to make subscriber re-engagement quick and easy
Following these 7 steps can help you create a successful video subscription platform in no time and retain subscribers for years.