New Study Finds That a Free Trial to a Streaming Service Leads to Higher Subscription Rates

42% of consumers believed this to be the case

Most audiences will try a new service if they get a free trial out of it. Getty Images, Disney+
Headshot of Sara Jerde

As the new year creeps closer, a number of OTT services are expected to flood the market. But as these SVODs come online, how will they attract new users? New research shows that letting viewers have a free trial period might go a long way.

Even AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, whose company will roll out a new OTT product this time next year, said earlier this month that he believes consumers will only subscribe to “two or three SVOD products.”

One way to break through in the market is to offer a free trial period to consumers. According to new research from Brightcove, an online video platform, 42 percent of consumers aged 18 and up believed that the top reason for testing a new subscription service is because of a free trial.

That same group also said that content was important. Thirty-eight percent of the respondents said a particular show would drive them to test a new service, while 29 percent of respondents said exclusive content would have the same effect on them. Following that, 28 percent said cross-device capability would lead them to try it out, while 26 percent said a good user experience would impact them.

The online survey garnered results from 10,502 adults who were from the U.S., U.K., France, Spain, Australia, Germany, Canada and United Arab Emirates between Sept. 5 and 27.

Among all who responded, 58 percent streamed content at least once a week through a smart TV or streaming device, 51 percent on a mobile device and 50 percent on a computer or laptop.

“Across all generations, consuming online video is now an integral part of our daily entertainment routines. Today, we’re seeing technology-savvy consumers stepping into decision-making roles, making it even more critical to understand the motivations behind these decisions,” said Sara Larsen, CMO of Brightcove, in a statement.

Read the full 2018 Global Consumer Streaming Habits survey from Brightcove.


@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.
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