How are video streaming platforms adapting to changing consumer preferences

Discover how video streaming platforms innovate. Learn about tailored content, seamless interfaces and personalised experiences to meet changing consumer demands.

Rapid change of digital technology has fundamentally transformed the way consumers access and engage with media and entertainment. According to a report by Precedence Research, in recent years, the video streaming industry has emerged as a powerhouse. Video streaming, encompassing both live and non-linear formats, has become an important part of our daily lives, offering instant and seamless access to a vast array of movies, TV shows, live events and educational content.

This transformation, however, is linked to the changing customer tastes that constantly changes the strategy of the streaming platforms. In this article, we will look at the video streaming market, focusing on key players to explore the innovative measures they are adopting to cater to the evolving needs of their audiences.

Changes in Consumer preferences

Customer preferences for video streaming have evolved significantly over the years. According to TalkShoppe, platforms like YouTube and Netflix initially gained popularity due to factors like affordability, accessibility and availability of a wide variety of content.

In recent years, streaming also shifted towards personalised and diversified content experiences. Viewers now seek personalised content recommendations. Streaming services  facilitated this by machine learning-based recommendation engines and advanced AI technology. Services also responded to these preferences by diversifying their content. Platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ invest heavily on original series, constantly establishing brand loyalty. Original shows have enhanced viewer engagement, strengthening the bond between viewers and the platforms.

Streaming platforms target specific audiences with specialised content, like MagellanTV and Shudder focusing on documentaries and horror respectively. Releasing entire seasons at once aligns with the binge-watching trend, boosting viewership. However, platforms face challenges related to subscription value,  creation of unique and exclusive content. This explains why more companies and video creators catering to a wide audience are focussing on delivering personalised content recommendations.

Current Preferences of the audiences

Customer preferences for video streaming platforms, at this time, are shaped by multiple factors, including content mix, ease of use, personalised recommendations and affordability.

A recent survey conducted by PwC sheds light on consumer preferences in the streaming industry. The findings revealed a significant increase in satisfaction levels, with 83% of respondents expressing contentment with their streaming option up from 73% in the previous year. Surprisingly, even with this high satisfaction rate, many consumers continued to maintain their cable TV subscriptions.

The survey highlighted that 40% of participants were specifically happy with their overall video viewing experience. One of the key factors influencing streaming service selection was the variety of available content. Consumers appreciated a diverse range of options, indicating the importance of having a wide selection to choose from.

Interestingly, the survey showcased that users valued "ease of use" and the assurance of always finding something to watch over content quality. This preference for convenience and seamless content discovery suggests that user-friendly interfaces and personalised recommendations play a crucial role in shaping consumer choices within the streaming landscape.

Content variety and User Interface

A recent study conducted by KPMG, which surveyed 2,000 US consumers between the ages of 18 and 60, highlighted the significance of content variety in shaping streaming preferences. The study revealed diverse consumer desires, ranging from the desire for a broader selection of choices, higher quality content to preferences for both older and newer shows, extensive content libraries, varying levels of original programming, and specific genres.

In a nutshell, consumers emphasised the importance of enhanced search features, intuitive user interfaces and accurate recommendation engines to improve their overall streaming experience.


Nielsen highlighted that pricing is the foremost consideration for consumers when choosing a quality streaming service. The survey revealed that 42% of respondents opted to cancel their paid subscriptions because they felt the cost did not align with the service's value. Following closely, user-friendly interactivity emerged as the second most crucial factor in their selection process.

On-Demand Convenience

A study by Digital Content Next emphasised the growing popularity of streaming services due to their on-demand convenience, diverse content offerings and the absence of disruptive advertisements. Streaming platforms have surpassed traditional cable and broadcast options, becoming the preferred choice for a substantial number of adults. That makes it necessary for streaming platforms to offer adaptable consumption options tailored to viewers' available time and incorporate interactive features directly into their platforms. This highlights the importance of affordability, user-friendly interfaces and uninterrupted content consumption experiences in the evolving landscape of streaming services.

How Platforms Are Adapting to Changing Preferences

Leveraging Data

According to Yellow Brick, entertainment platforms are keeping up with what people want by analysing audience data smartly. They're using this data to make decisions about what shows, movies or music to create. By looking at what viewers like and how they engage with content, platforms can figure out what their audience enjoys, consequently refining the data to improve the recommendation engines.

When viewers use streaming platforms like Netflix or Disney+, these platforms pay attention to what and how viewers watch it. They use this data to recommend shows and movies that viewers are likely to watch which keeps them engaged and satisfied.

Platforms also gather data about viewers’ age and location. This helps businesses create ads and campaigns that fit their audience perfectly. By understanding people’s preferences and how they engage, marketers can design campaigns that appeal to the right people at the right time. This improves the marketing efforts.

Enhancing User Interface

Streaming platforms are dedicated to enhancing user-friendliness with interfaces which are easy to navigate. According to an article by Net Solutions, 77% of users face difficulty in finding the content they want to watch. Good user experience (UX) conveyed through thoughtful user interface (UI) design ensures that users are able to navigate the app or website easily. That includes a smooth onboarding process and easy search options for the content they want. Additionally, with a better UX design users can seamlessly transit from one device to another without disruptions.

Personalised Advertising

According to Harmonic, there are over 200 streaming services in the USA, so standing out is a challenge. To do this, platforms use personalised ads and advanced cloud technology which empowers platforms to handle surges in viewership and personalise ads based on user preferences. Innovations like Server-side ad insertion (SSAI) and in-content product placement also create uninterrupted ad experiences, enhancing effectiveness. Features like frequency capping prevent ad-overload by limiting the number of times a viewer is exposed to a particular ad while ad-pod optimization strategically places ads akin to TV commercial breaks giving advertisers more control over ad placements. With the new developments there is also machine learning which analyses viewer data for placing precisely targeted ads.

What the Future Holds

Despite the popularity of streaming services like Netflix, Time’s report from 2020 revealed that 68% of US households combined cable TV with streaming. Subscription-based services were twice as popular as ad-supported ones. But even with high satisfaction rates for subscription based services, many consumers still maintained their cable TV services.

As the streaming market saturates, Fast Company suggests that companies must innovate and adapt to evolving consumer preferences. To cater to different viewer needs, streaming platforms can implement several strategies. One approach involves introducing ad-supported tiers, which allow video streamers to monetize and boost revenues without raising subscription costs. Additionally, simplifying subscription management through bundled services can streamline the process for viewers, enabling them to manage their subscriptions effortlessly across multiple platforms. By embracing these solutions, streaming platforms can expand their customer base and effectively address the changing preferences of viewers in the future.

Skara: Helping Adapt to Changing Needs

Skara enables quick setup, seamless streaming, alternative revenue streams and customization according to audience preferences. This user-friendly, no-code platform saves time and effort for creators, aligning with changing viewer demands and ensuring an exceptional streaming experience for all.

The video streaming industry continues to evolve, driven by changing consumer preferences and technological advancements. Streaming platforms that adapt to these shifts by leveraging data, enhancing user interfaces and offering personalised advertising will thrive in this competitive landscape. Innovations like Skara further empower creators, be it individuals or businesses, to cater to diverse and evolving audience tastes, ensuring a bright future for the video streaming industry.

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