Vimeo: mobile, accessibility the key to drive OTT successes
Joseph O'Halloran
| 08 March 2018

Despite the OTT market seeing unprecedented growth as falling barriers to entry allow creators to build larger audiences, to thrive in a crowded market, creators and distributors must make sure content experiences are as accessible, mobile, and user-friendly as possible says a study by Vimeo.

The online video community provider has released it market study based on data from 3.6 million over-the-top subscribers across 230 countries and territories, including information about platform, location, and content. It looked at the viewing patterns of consumers on the Vimeo OTT platform across 1.3 billion data points. This report tells the story of today's OTT audience, how and where they consume video, and how they make decisions about where to view it.

Even though apps account for just about a third of Vimeo OTT's subscriptions, the study showed that over half of subscribers watch videos on apps, reflecting what Vimeo said was a growing appetite to consume content on various screens in different ways. This growth of time spent on apps was said to be significant. On Vimeo, OTT subscribers collectively spent about 10,823 hours a day watching video on their apps.

Customers who sign up via an app platform were found to be less likely to churn. In of platforms used for these apps, the survey broke down to web, 44%; iOS, 31%; Android, 11%; Roku, 10%; tvOS, 4%. Nearly three-fifths of customers who sign up via the web eventually add mobile or connected device viewing to their watching habits.

The survey also found that OTT free trials were essential for driving conversion, enticing potential customers and give them a taste of what your OTT service has to offer. Vimeo found that 60% of people who sign up for a free trial become paying OTT customers. Customers who started a free trial on Roku (69.4%) and iOS platforms (69.6%) were most likely to become subscribers.

People were 33% more likely to sign up for a free trial via an app then they were on the web. Vimeo OTT customers saw up to a 72% conversion on these platforms. By comparison, Industry-wide, over a quarter of US broadband households signed up for at least one free trial on an OTT service in 2017, ranging from Netflix to Amazon Prime, HBO Now, and Showtime. Of those users, 47% subscribed to at least one service after the free period expired. The survey also showed that a mere single percentage of consumers were serial trailers who take advantage of free trials to avoid paying for services.

Looking at how content length affects completion for OTT services on Vimeo, the survey found that on average, a 30-minute video saw a completion rate of about 80% while a two-hour video saw an average completion rate of 65%. Yet the key takeaway was that there were industry advocates for both short-form and long-form video content. For maximum engagement, Vimeo advised OTT creators to tailor the length of video content to the app in which their content would live and to consider mobile apps for shorter content and TV apps for longer videos.