Two best practices for marketing a vMVPD subscription channels to viewers include utilizing multiple social media channels and engaging in TV and digital advertising.
Utilize Social Media Channels
- One best practice for marketing a vMVPD subscription channel to viewers involves the utilization of a platform's various social media channels to launch a wide-ranging marketing campaign. These channels can include YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
- Social media can be utilized to showcase the platform's services, primarily the extent of the offerings accumulated within their streaming video library, including original content, as well as old and new movies and television shows. Additionally, they can be used to promote a range of special deals and discounts for both current and potential subscribers.
- The platforms can craft short videos, as well as snippets of movies and television shows, detailing some of the content viewers can find in their library and use their social media channels to reach a broad audience, as there are an estimated 2.96 billion social media users globally, as of 2020.
- This method of marketing is considered a best practice because it can be used to inform viewers of the benefits they can endure by signing up for a particular platform. They can also use the hashtag feature on most social media channels to reach a wider audience.
- One example of a company that has successfully employed this particular practice is Disney+. During the beginning of its marketing push, the platform used its social media handles to encourage individuals to check out its services and massive library (8,000 TV shows and movies). It utilized Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter to employ "a basically everything digital campaign."
- Disney+ also compiled a three-hour video collection composed of snippets of the movies and TV shows in its library and uploaded the full video to YouTube, using Twitter to attract viewers by stating, "Oh, and if you have 3 hours to spare … check out this special look at #DisneyPlus." Since it was uploaded (October 14, 2019), the video has gained more than 1.1 million views and 15,000 likes. Prior to its official launch (November 12, 2019), an October 2019 survey from UBS revealed that 86% of respondents had heard of Disney+, while 44% were willing to sign up for it.
- As of February 3, 2020 (nearly three months after its launch), the platform has around 28.6 million subscribers, much of which can be presumably contributed to its social media marketing push. Disney+ had about 10 million subscribers 24 hours after the launch.
Engage in TV and Digital Advertising
- Another best practice for marketing a vMVPD subscription channel to viewers is to employ TV and digital advertising. This tactic involves using TV and online channels to launch marketing campaigns that bolster a platform's awareness among the general public.
- The platform can take advantage of the wide and diverse audiences that major television networks have to offer, and they can select specific online outlets to promote their services. These campaigns can be used to emphasize both the depth and scope of the platform's features and offerings, as well as showcase its programming.
- It is a best practice because, as stated earlier, TV and digital advertising can be administered to help strengthen the public's awareness of a vMVPD subscription channel and its features.
- Also, it provides them with a significant audience size. According to a 2019 report from Statista (paywalled but insights are presented), there are approximately 1.64 billion TV households (pay) globally. Another 2019 report from Statista (also paywalled) reveals that there are an estimated 4.13 billion internet users globally.
- Examples of companies that have successfully employed this best practice include Disney+ as well as CuriosityStream, which focuses on both factual and non-fiction programming.
- CuriosityStream, which has obtained 13 million subscribers, used TV and digital advertisements to start a marketing campaign with the purpose of encouraging growth and awareness. It called this marketing push the "Your World of Factual Entertainment" campaign. For this campaign, it used various online news outlets and television news networks.
- Meanwhile, Disney+ released 30-second TV advertisements.
For this request, we first searched for recent articles, press releases, and news reports discussing best practices for marketing a vMVPD subscription channel to viewers. These included Streaming Media, Seeking Alpha, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times, among others. However, none of the sources we came across provided any specific best practices on the topic.
We also searched for recent case studies conducted in the past two years on best practices for marketing vMVPD subscription channels. The intent here was to locate common or effective practices identified by streaming or marketing experts. This strategy did not yield the results we were seeking as we mostly found information on general OTT and vMVPD streaming platforms and there was no mention of those that could be classified as genre channels.
Finally, we decided to focus on specific vMVPD subscription channels with high subscriber counts that employed aggressive marketing campaigns to drive awareness of their brand. With this strategy, we came across Disney+ (28.6 million subscribers) and CuriosityStream (13 million subscribers), and we were able to determine that those platforms used successful campaigns through social media and digital and TV to market themselves to viewers. Therefore, we presented the tactics employed by those streaming platforms as best practices.