How search aggregators benefit streaming services & the consumer

Discoverability is essential for online video streaming services today, where competition is high. And there are many ways to increase awareness and visibility of your content and service, including well-thought-through marketing strategies and campaigns that can build a strong online presence. Partnerships are also a fantastic way to extend marketing efforts and boost discovery.

Streaming services partnering with online search aggregators like JustWatch and PlayPilot is a great example. In our latest white paper, research analyst firm Omdia highlighted how this type of partnership can be particularly advantageous for video services, “With an increasing number of consumers relying on online searches to help decide what to watch, presence on online video comparison guides will be crucial in driving viewership.”

Search aggregation services effectively scan multiple video streaming services to surface movies and TV shows that are available. They don’t host the content themselves but instead provide links to services that do. A user can browse or type in the name of specific content they are looking for. The search aggregation service will then share information on which streaming services are currently hosting the content, whether a transaction is required, and a link to the service itself. They are particularly useful for consumers who subscribe to multiple streaming services as it eliminates having to search through each service individually.

Benefits of search aggregatorsMagine Pro partner, FlixOlé, a Spanish à la carte cinema service that offers subscribers unlimited access to hundreds of Spanish film titles, recently partnered with JustWatch. Sophie de Mac Mahon, General Manager, says: “Integrating our metadata into their system had a very positive effect on business and communication. On the one hand, since the beginning of this association, it brings us an important source of traffic directly from its page to our content, being the sixth source of traffic for Flixole.com. It also served as a tool for journalists who could refer to us as the place to see the movies they were writing about. When the marketing budget is limited, it’s essential to be present in the search aggregators to reach our potential subscribers.”

We were also joined by Sophie, alongside Rishi Kapoor, founder and CEO of paus, and Omdia, in our recent webinar,  OTT Discovery: Expert insights on how to stand out amongst the crowd, where we discussed how today’s audiences discover new video services and content and what OTT providers can do to stand out amongst the crowd. Magine Pro’s CEO, Matthew Wilkinson, during the discussion, talked about how streaming services can benefit from partnerships with aggregators. Matthew says, “Enabling consumers to search for specific content within the likes of PlayPilot or JustWatch and have your content visible without the consumer being an existing subscriber to your service generates a huge opportunity for operators to increase conversion rates. Search aggregators like JustWatch and PlayPilot are also more open agnostic; they are not platform-specific like some universal search options. Generally speaking, they have much broader coverage in terms of service and discoverability.” Adding, “There’s also a wider benefit and opportunity for operators partnering with search aggregators. Aggregators like these offer a huge data point, as they can monitor what content people search for, where and when it was last available and at what price point, which can help inform a streaming services content strategy. Some also support paid marketing, which is great for services that want to boost their content visibility further as it is instantly discoverable.”

The Magine Pro OTT platform offers flexibility for all our partners. We make it easy for our clients to work together with their partners and integrate efficiently with services like PlayPilot and JustWatch. As Sophie de Mac Mahon from FlixOlé points out, “The integration is already created, and the daily updates are working perfectly. Magine Pro platform has streamlined this process, and it is worth being there and almost effortless.” 

For more practical insights on improving discoverability, and to learn more about the benefits of partnering with search aggregators, check out our latest white paper and webinar.

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Want more advice and support on driving awareness & discoverability? Get in touch with the Magine Pro team and find out how we can help. You can also learn more about our flexible OTT solutions and services here.

OTT Industry predictions for 2019

2018 was an exciting year for the OTT industry. We saw a lot of positive developments, most of which we encountered firsthand at IBC2018 in September. Check out our post where we summarised our findings and reflected on the event, here. Now that we’re heading into the second full working week of January, we’re all starting to wonder what could be on the horizon. 

In this post, we’re laying it out there and sharing our top OTT industry predictions 2019 (with a few expected additions of course). Reach out and let us know your thoughts and whether you think we’ve missed something vital.

Service shut downs and consolidations

In 2018 we started to see more OTT services consolidate or shut down entirely. This was largely due to market saturation, as the OTT industry grew so rapidly in the early days. Over the next year though, it’s likely we will see more of this affecting both smaller niche players and big incumbents, as the pressure to maintain sustainable and competitive OTT businesses increases.

In fact in 2018, WarnerMedia, for example, shut down its two-year-old indie and classic cinema streaming service FilmStruck not long after closing its Korean streaming service, DramaFever. WarnerMedia’s CEO John Stankey had announced only a few months prior to the closures though that the WarnerMedia division of AT&T has plans to launch a new ad-supported video streaming service by the end of 2019. We’re expecting the new service to launch in the fourth quarter and combine HBO (which AT&T picked up in its takeover of Time Warner in 2018) with other WarnerMedia brands including, Warner Bros, Turner, Cartoon Network and more.

New players from the big brands

We are also expecting to see Disney launch their much-hyped direct-to-consumer service later this year (the result of their acquisition of BamTech). It will certainly be interesting to see how well it’s received and the market uptake. We’re already wondering whether there’s going to be a Disney OR Netflix scenario. Or if subscribers will be willing to opt-in and subscribe to both.

It’s also not too far fetched to expect Apple to launch their secretive yet expected streaming service later this year. We’re curious to see if they’ve managed to secure content partnerships that to date others haven’t been able to. It’s also going to be interesting to see Apple’s interpretation of the best UI/UX and find out whether they are able to truly revolutionize the TV experience. Stay tuned!

Partnerships with Telcos & Operators

This year, we think we’re also likely to see more Telcos and Operators move out of the own-operated OTT space and begin partnering with existing and better established OTT players. In the last year, the increased customer value propositions enabled through partnerships have become more apparent, so it’s likely Telcos and Operators will be less inclined to view OTT Players as a threat going forward. Our former Head of Commercial Operations, Fredrik Engdahl spoke on the subject at IBC 2018. Check out the video of his talk here.

AVOD to mature

Advertising (AVOD) models for OTT are also likely to mature this year and become much more feasible for new and existing OTT Players. John Stankey, CEO of WarnerMedia, said himself at their November investor event, “Consumers clearly like the breadth of content that is available today. They like the choice. And a lot of that choice comes on the back of ad-supported models,” But added, “Things have to change [with ad models]” and suggested that less intrusive and more targeted ads are the way forward if AVOD is to really become a serious standalone model for OTT players in future. We couldn’t agree more.

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It’s certainly going to be an exciting year full of developments. To keep up-to-date on the latest, sign up to our monthly e-newsletter and check back in to the Magine Pro blog.