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Why OTT platforms focus on user feedback

In-depth research should also be collated with user feedback

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KOLKATA: As the over-the-top ecosystem turns more cluttered and competitive, the platforms are gearing up to retain users. Along with building a robust content slate, all the streaming services are also ensuring seamless viewing experience for the users. To build a good product, these players are focusing on multiple aspects including easy sign up to smart recommendations, and hyper personalisation. For all of these players, the user feedback holds an important position in the development of a sound UI/UX strategy.  

In a webinar hosted by Indiantelevision.com in association with Accedo and moderated by Indiantelevision.com founder, CEO and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari , experts from the industry discussed about what UX strategy one should adapt to stay relevant and create a differentiation in the market.

Epic On chief operating officer Sourjya Mohanty said the platform gives high importance to customer listening across the cities, across cohorts of age groups to understand what kind of technical changes are needed to be done on front end and back end. According to him, these constant improvisations have helped them to hit 3x-4x DAU compared to pre-Covid period.

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Arre GM technology Rohit Bapat highlighted how one bad experience can lead to losing users. “Over the past couple of years, internet access has become very easy for consumers. People are coming from lowest end devices to users accessing the internet from fancy phones or laptops, all these people are essentially consumers. The market is very crowded which means a combination of easy access to internet and a lot of available applications with consumers having very less patience. So, all it is going to take is one bad experience from your platform for the consumers to take off and perhaps switch to a competitor,” he added.

According to him, most of the players approach UI from a human interaction perspective. Even if an interface might tick all the boxes of what makes great UI or UX, it may not be necessarily geared towards understanding the user journey on the website. He added that the exercise of trying to understand the target audience and what attention paths they could take is a good way to figure out how you want to build your app. But for existing apps, the right way to improve is benchmarking the current state of the app, mapping user journey, and tracing the blind spots.

ALTBalaji chief technology officer Shahabuddin Sheikh agreed that there should be an empathy towards users while designing UX. He added that hyper personalisation is important. As he shared, when a user samples an episode for the first time on the platform, the user does not experience any intervention. “What user is looking for hyper personalisation where he can look for a content piece programmed for him in the easiest way. We capture a lot of data of user behaviours while they interact on the app. Accordingly, content can be personalized for them,” he added.

Moreover, he is of the view that a user has to feel the worth of his money as ALTBalaji runs on SVoD model. “We have to program content in such a way through a recommendation engine that he gets most of the relevant content and it is served in the best buffer-free environment,” he noted.

Arre’s Bapat said that they are in the process of mapping the site, figuring out which areas people tend to take off from. They have made simple changes like having a single sign up for the potential user, how content is being shown on the web page. However, he reminded that the changes should be slow and gradual because an entirely new UI may increase churn on the app.

While the journey of upgrading product is continuous, the Bengali OTT platform Hoichoi has recently come up with a new prototype. Hoichoi technology lead Aloke Majumder said that they are going to develop it very soon. According to him, details like layout, thumbnail makes a huge difference. But the key to a good experience is to follow the user, Majumdar opined.

However, along with regular user feedback, in-depth research should be looked at as a very important element to understand consumers, Accedo APAC UX and design director Nikki Perugini added. She noted that the industry is not looking at a purely VoD future. Hence, linear virtual channels could emerge in the future. While some of the panellists agreed to her, SSK Osmosis Pvt. Ltd. product head Somuik Solanki countered that linear steaming does not work for health and fitness apps. 

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