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How to beat subscription fatigue to win audience attention


Victoria Usher

Published On:

September 6, 2019

Published In:

Business | PR & Communications

How to beat subscription fatigue to win audience attention

Audiences no longer consume TV in the traditional way, with two in five UK adults now considering on-demand video services to be their main way of watching TV and film. Indeed, with over 300 streaming video services to choose from, today’s consumers aren’t short on options. Digital video platforms like Netflix and Amazon are already hugely popular, with Disney+ and AppleTV+ poised to rival them.

But as more streaming platforms emerge in response to consumers’ insatiable demand for premium video content, it becomes increasingly difficult to convince audiences to pay for each and every one. 

UK consumers may have spent £100m a week on digital entertainment services in the first half of 2019, but with 80% complaining about how much they pay, media companies must address the rise in subscription fatigue before it threatens the entire ecosystem.

So what can be done?

The answer lies in advertising. As TV budgets increasingly shift towards connected TV (CTV), media companies should look to incorporate a hybrid model in which a free, ad-supported system is balanced with the subscription-supported, ad-free model. Evolving towards ads will enable media companies to better monetise their content, while increasing engagement. 

By adopting an ad-supported revenue model, media companies can capture a wider audience, reaching across the socio-economic spectrum to include those that can’t – or don’t want to – pay for five different services. In this respect, ad-supported experiences achieve more scale, harnessing a larger, more varied, audience; a win-win for both the consumer and the streaming platform. 

Moreover, the move from traditional linear TV to over-the-top (OTT) devices provides the opportunity for highly-targeted ads. CTV advertising offers data-driven targeting that ensures ads are relevant and personalised to different individuals within the same household across multi-channel devices. This ensures viewers remain engaged and is an area Netflix is dipping its toes into, with the media giant testing ads between episodes – despite the company’s insistence it has no plans to roll this out permanently. 

The media landscape is evolving quickly and it’s no longer enough to rely on the successes of the past; 13.3 million UK households signed up to streaming platforms in 2019 and companies can’t afford for them to become disengaged and dissatisfied. To avoid subscription fatigue – and ensure entertainment is accessible to all – media companies must combine their subscription services with ad-supported models that deliver personalised, engaging ads. The two models can coexist to great success, while those that fail to take note may cease to thrive. 

pastedGraphic.pngBy Lauren Jones, Senior Account Executive

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