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Free trials still effective recruitment tool for streamers

A new report has found that 40 million US internet households trialled and subscribed to at least one OTT service in the first half of 2021.

Despite an industry shift away from free trials, the new report from Parks Associates has found that they are still an effective way of ensuring customers sign up to a service. The report goes on to note that nearly 50% of US internet households trialled at least one service in past six months, and 78% of those households ended up subscribing to at least one of these services by the end of their trial.

Parks Associates: Subscription Rate by Number of Trials

Eric Sorensen, senior contributing analyst, Parks Associate, said: “Trials are an effective onboarding tool, with 40 million households trialling and then subscribing to at least one service in the past six months,” said s. “The more services consumers try, the more they are likely to subscribe to at least one. Consumers who frequently trial different services are highly engaged video consumers in general, so services need to cater to these users.”

Netflix and Disney+ are two of the highest-profile streamers that have moved away from the ‘free trial’ model in the past years.

Sorensen concluded: “Low cost barriers drive consumers to sign up for free trials, but the content will keep them. All content creation efforts are focused on acquiring new customers and retaining those who are already subscribed by providing compelling content.”

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