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OTT brands slammed as ‘narcissistic’ in new report

A new report has slammed OTT subscription brands as exhibiting ‘narcissistic’ tendencies which can erode consumer trust.

According to a new study from subscriber intelligence film Singula Decisions, a large number of OTT streaming services across both entertainment and sports fail to connect with customers for a number of reasons.

These include not understanding the fundamental drivers motivating a subscriber’s behaviours and interactions, invading their boundaries when asking for financial commitment too soon, insufficiently tailoring the service to meet the moods and mindset of each customer, creating ‘avoidant’ or ‘ambivalent’ attachments to subscribers that do not build loyal relationships, and ineffectively providing subscribers with the ability to share more about themselves and to listen to their feedback.

The research itself was designed to explore subscriber attitudes towards OTT TV brands in the UK and US and gain an understanding of the customer journey.

However, the takeaway is fairly damning of SVOD brands, starting with the point at which the operator requires payment information.

Qualitative Researcher at the firm, Jennifer Whittaker, said: “Many brands do not listen to subscribers, nor do they create a safe enough space for subscribers to come forward and give more. In fact, brands often have unconscious narcissistic tendencies and are blinded by the belief that customers are only there to serve, by giving ‘strokes’ to the ego – aka money to the account – and helping to build a good reputation.

“Unfortunately, brands cannot know subscribers until subscribers give more. But subscribers will only give more if they trust, and they’ll only trust if they don’t feel forgotten.”

The report also found that there are few differences between age groups, with respondents of all generations indicating that they felt a sense of being pushed by OTT brands to commit to the platform either financially or by sharing information.

The key difference wasn’t by generation but by locale. US viewers are more concerned with a variety of content while Brits seek value for money. Both however feel that they are largely left abandoned by the platform and that they weren’t guided through how to use the service.

Bhavesh Vaghela, CEO of Singula Decisions, said: “We recognise how tough it can be to build a strong brand and grow a TV subscription business as consumers continue to dip in and out of services every month. We have seen strong consumer brands being created in other sectors such as retail, ecommerce and banking; consumers are loyal to these brands and TV subscription businesses are behind this curve.  OTT brands must think differently about how they build a service and experience that best suits the needs of their customers – and do a better job to emotionally connect with their customers to build trust and loyalty.”