Consumers now dictate how, when and where to interact with video and their expectations continue to rise writes Kathleen Barrett, General Manager, Vimeo OTT.

From major media companies to smaller niche players, the SVOD market is on fire with daily new entrants. Consumers have come to expect quality programming coupled with reliable, intuitive technology. User experience will make or break a service.

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Kathleen Barrett, General Manager, Vimeo OTT

Case in point, Seeso. The NBCUniversal-backed comedy service set out to deliver a differentiated offering with a robust slate of original, exclusive and licensed content, but its technology experience did not deliver. Users abandoned the service citing everything from buffering issues to poor usability and gave the app mediocre ratings for irrelevant search results, episodes not being listed in order and no automatic playback.

Fledgling direct-to-consumer services should take heed of SeeSo’s demise and build rich content experiences that minimise churn by avoiding the pitfalls of custom-built technology.

A world class viewing experience

Where Seeso ultimately failed to serve the comedy niche, new entrants will fill the void, but said services need to come prepared to deliver unique content with reliable user experience.

In a world where Disney and Netflix duke it out for mainstream entertainment dollars – investing billions from their respective coffers on content – your tech needs to be flawless.

As a general rule of thumb, services need to deliver on the following consumers expectations:

  • A world-class viewing experience
  • Ability to transact and watch on any device globally without losing functionality
  • Intuitive user experience on par with those provided by the leading streaming networks
  • Access to responsive customer support with knowledgeable answers

Content owners diving into the OTT market will succeed when they focus on a unique content experience. As SeeSo’s shutdown has shown, technology is exceedingly difficult. From experience, it’s nearly impossible to excel at both content and technology – which is why Vimeo is now solely focused on tech.

“As the SVOD market continues to explode, consumer expectations and the tyranny of choice will rise in turn”

As the SVOD market continues to explode, consumer expectations and the tyranny of choice will rise in turn. Be ready with quality content and dependable technology.

We can tell you from experience it’s hard to excel at both, which is why we are now solely focused on the latter and committed to providing an all-in-one SVOD technology solution — from white-label apps to flexible monetisation tools – for partners to create custom video experiences across all major platforms and connected devices.

Vimeo will be exhibiting at IBC2017 on Stand 14.M07