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In late 2015 Netflix reported profits dropping in the United States but growing quickly internationally. Their global expansion was offsetting slow growth in the domestic market, but they faced multiple challenges as they headed into dozens of new markets at once. In some countries subscriptions took off, while in others they stalled. In developing economies, most households lack Internet access. Most everywhere, audiences crave locally produced content in local languages. The price point that worked in North America was less competitive elsewhere, thereby failing to dim the appeal of pirated content.

For other players in the industry, Netflix’s global expansion offers plenty of lessons. Foremost for a video service looking to penetrate a new market: Know the customer base, consumption trends and industry levels of performance. What do users want? What do they expect? How do they behave? At which quality should content be delivered to ensure premium QoE? With NPAW’s SmartTrends—a module within YOUBORA—industry benchmarks, services know where they stand when measured against industry standards.

It’s one thing to run an A/B test or MVT on existing customers to fine tune segmented video services, but what can a video service learn about a market before entering it? With SmartTrends broadcasters, media groups, OTTs and telcos can take the guesswork out of expansion into a foreign market. Highlighting trends from across the industry, content providers get an insider’s view with a variety of metrics. Companies can see the top-ten best performing devices, ISPs, browsers, operating systems (OSs) and device types, which would allow, for example, a comparison of buffer ratio for a specific OSs and comparisons with the performance of industry leaders. Video services can use data-driven insights to define device strategy for a given country, for example, by breaking down plays by device type, vendor or model for that country to compare your performance levels with industry peers. Buffer ratios on mid-length videos at high bitrates in a given region can be compared to those at lower bitrates to determine ideal delivery strategies. QoE industry levels can be identified for the most used device and browser and for a specific content media duration to fine tune your content strategy and technical configurations. The same approach can be used to see where your video service stacks up by join time, average bitrate, play failures and a variety of other metrics to ensure premium QoE.

Once content providers have a foothold in a new market, these business intelligence insights help them measure their progress against industry standards, allowing them to focus on what’s working and improve on what’s not and to prioritize improvement opportunities while setting realistic goals. With SmartTrends, video providers understand what lies ahead in a target market, see how their service stacks up in markets they are already in, and know what it takes to keep a step ahead of the others.

Research & Editorial Team on January 18th 2018

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