A new damning report from Singula Decisions pins any churn experienced by SVOD operators squarely on the operators themselves, calling TV subscription brands “their own worst enemy.”
From its new ‘Psychology of a Subscriber’ research, the company found that many respondents felt “rejected and ignored by OTT brands,” and that they feel these brands avoid consumer communication altogether in favour of winning new customers. This lack of communication is considered by many as “fear of alerting consumers to the fact they are being billed for a service they may have grown tired of, and that futile efforts to retain customers only truly start when they request to cancel.”
Survey respondents also added that communications and marketing offers are rarely personalised and there can be too many barriers to cancelling subscribers. Many felt that brands use ‘interrogation tactics’ in order to pressure them into staying or to find out why they are leaving.
Bhavesh Vaghela, CEO of Singula Decisions, said: “Brands spend a huge amount of time and effort building predictive models and using analytics to identify potential churners and understand why they are leaving – but what they often don’t consider is that they’re the biggest part of the problem!
“By the time a subscriber has requested to leave, the damage has been done. To reduce churn, brands must change their mindset; efforts to build a long-term, happy relationship must start at the beginning, not a short burst at the end to try and save a customer that’s cancelling.”
The exec added that churn is inevitable and often out of the control of users either due to financial difficulty or a change in lifestyle. He said: “Giving the subscriber a positive experience at the end – by making it easy for them to leave and rejoin, and providing great customer service – means there’s a strong possibility that they will return in the future.”
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