The streaming media waters have been growing increasingly crowded as of late, and in order to keep their customers happy and fend off the competition, two well-known names in the space, Hulu and Spotify, are making some big changes to their current slate of offerings.
Appealing to cord-cutters and cord-nevers, Hulu has been in direct competition with fellow OTT company, Netflix (and Amazon Prime Video) for, what feels like, forever. But the Wall Street Journal is reporting that come Q1 2017, Hulu might be able to surge ahead by offering a new service that will stream feeds of cable TV channels such as Disney-owned ABC and ESPN, and FOX channels including FX—which only spells good news for those unwilling to backpedal into the land of basic cable.
In an overcrowded OTT sea, companies like Hulu can’t get complacent. They have to be focused on keeping their built-in audience (in this case, all 10 million of them) happy as well as bringing newcomers aboard. And with this latest offering, it looks like Hulu has done just that.
On the other end of the spectrum is Spotify, the largest on-demand music streaming company, looking to chip away at the massive audience YouTube has gathered over the years and provide their users with more than just music. They will create 12 original series with Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons, among others, according to Bloomberg Technology.
Even after amassing a 75 million user audience listening to 30 million on-demand songs, Tom Calderone, Spotify’s content partnerships chief, understands the need to increase their offerings. “Music will always be most important, but our audience likes us and wants more from us. We have to figure out a second act, and I think it will come out of video. The idea is to make sure users know they came come here for something other than playlists.”
Despite all of the unknowns that come with venturing into new lands, there are two things that are certain. The first is that, once again, subscriptions have shown themselves to be a success in the OTT space, as can be seen by the exponential growth of top companies like Hulu and Netflix. The ability to put in your card information once, then never have to worry about it again is a convenience for the end-customer and helps to keep them from churning out.
The second constant here is that no matter how large a company or how great its current success, there’s not a moment to lose. Tying into the first principle, in order for end-customers to be so happy that they don’t even think twice when their card gets charged a monthly or annual fee, they need to be happy with the service provided. And with so many options available, companies large and small need to be constantly diversifying their options if they hope to keep loyalists from looking elsewhere and jumping ship.