Streaming video is here to stay, folks.

70% of American households subscribe to at least one subscription video on demand (SVOD) service, according to a recent Forbes report.  In fact, most people are “over the top” (OTT) channel connoisseurs — the average American subscribes to 3.4 different OTT apps.

Some people may be streaming through their laptops, but a majority of those watchers are accessing their favorite content through their smart TV, tablet, or smartphone. If your video subscription channel doesn’t have branded OTT apps, you may be missing out on your most active subscribers. Of all Vimeo-powered networks with 1,000 or more subscribers, 93% have branded apps.

Branded apps can be downloaded by your customers for in various app stores. This allows your customers to watch your content on their preferred streaming device.

Vimeo OTT currently offers branded apps on iOS, tvOS, Android, Android TV, Fire TV, Xbox One, and Roku. Having apps for your SVOD not only increases awareness of your brand, but also helps grow your subscriber base and reduce customer churn. 

93 percent branded apps stat

How can OTT apps help me gain subscribers?

Having your brand appear in a platform’s app store can increase your visibility to prospective subscribers. If they’re looking for the type of content you offer — whether it be original programming, fitness, instructional videos, etc — being present in app stores is a great way to get discovered.

In 2018, 57.5% of customers across Vimeo OTT networks subscribed via an app. You can increase your chances of being featured in an app store by making sure your brand message is clear and that customers quickly understand what type of content is included in your subscription.

 

I’m pretty stoked that I have an app. Seriously, I think it’s really valuable. It puts us on the map since we have a niche market.

Brandon Winchester Blockjocks (blockjocks.com)

 

Branded OTT apps include the ability for customers to subscribe directly through the app on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, or Roku. This is great if you’re offering a free trial (which we highly recommend). Having an OTT app can help increase your customer conversion rate with these signups. In general, 68% of free trial sign-ups convert into paying customers.  

Will OTT apps help me with retention too?

They sure will. Customers who sign up via an app platform are less likely to churn because their credit card expired. They use those platform accounts for other purchases and subscriptions, so they’re more likely to keep their card information up-to-date.

OTT apps can also help retain customers who subscribe via your website — customers who discover your content via the web and sign up on your site directly will often prefer to watch content on a different device. 63% of customers who sign up via the web eventually add mobile or connected device viewing to their watching habits.

No matter where a customer subscribes they’ll be able to view your content on any platform where you have an OTT app. By adding apps to your OTT offering, you’re enabling your customers to view content on the platforms that are most convenient for them. This makes them more likely to stick around as long-time subscribers.  

You can make it easy for web signups to know which platforms your app is available on by mentioning them in your custom receipt. MHz Choice lists all of the apps that their content is available on and links to download and viewing instructions for each platform. You can also link directly out to your apps in each app store from your home page. This makes it easy for customers to find and download your apps on their preferred device.

Why is Vimeo the best option for my OTT apps?

Great question — so great, in fact, that we wrote an entire page answering it.

With Vimeo OTT, you have access to our user-friendly platform, world-class video player, and stellar customer support — which includes support for your subscribers. Best of all, we take care of all the heavy lifting that comes with building and maintaining apps — freeing you up  to focus on creating bingeable content.

OTT apps through contract developers can be expensive. We’ve had customers tell us they were quoted as much as $17K for one app (and that didn’t include maintenance!). Our apps start at just $500 a month and include building, maintaining, and updating your apps. Our team makes sure that your apps will always be compatible with the latest updates.

If your company goes through rebranding and needs any cosmetic updates to your apps we’re here to help. When Yoga with Adriene decided to rename their subscription service Find What Feels Good to differentiate their OTT app from their YouTube channel, Vimeo was able to update all of their branded apps with their new creative. Having our team dedicated to focusing on the technical aspects of your  apps frees you up to focus on content.

Which OTT app should I start with?

The best platform to start with will be largely dependent on your audience’s demographics and viewing habits. For most subscriptions, it makes sense to start with iOS and Android. If you want to attract the largest number of prospective customers, we recommend a full suite of OTT apps.

Depending on your budget and business needs, you may want to start out slow with just one or two apps. We can work with you to find an app package that works for your company’s needs — contact us to discuss which app(s) is best for your network.