Top 10 Takeaways ‘Pick ‘N’ Mix TV: The Payment Mix For OTT Audiences’


Top 10 Takeaways: ‘Pick ’N’ Mix TV: The Payment Mix For OTT Audiences’1. TV viewing habits have changed, payment models need to catch up

Top 10 Takeaways: ‘Pick ’N’ Mix TV: The Payment Mix For OTT Audiences’

On Wednesday 1st May, Fonix and EE co-hosted a breakfast event: ‘Pick ’N’ Mix TV: The Payment Mix For OTT Audiences’ at Heddon Street Kitchen, London. The morning included presentations from Twitter and BT Sport, followed by a thought-provoking panel discussion with delegates from EE, Grabyo, Fonix, Hopster and special guest, radio and television presenter Sian Welby. Here are our top takeaways from the morning:

  1. TV viewing habits have changed, payment models need to catch up

Joanna Cox, General Manager at aimm, opened the event by explaining how TV habits have changed: the days of having only three channels seem a lifetime away now that we’re so spoilt for choice. Consumers are becoming more picky and want to be able to choose individual programmes to watch, when they want to watch them, on a device of their choice. She talked about how the payment methods offered for content consumption need to be as frictionless as possible — more purchases are being made than ever before.

2. Frictionless payments are essential when it comes to impulse purchases

Steph Naughton, Head of Business Development, Consumer at BT Sport said that ensuring a frictionless payment flow is essential for time-critical purchases. People are often willing to make impulse purchases when it comes to watching sports, but if the payment flow is long-winded momentum is lost, and cart abandonment is more likely. Carrier billing removes this risk and caters to impulse, as payments can be made in seconds.

3. Twitter is ideal for monetising events in realtime

Theo Luke, Director, Content Partnerships at Twitter discussed how Twitter usage surges during live events — from sports, to award shows, to TV premieres and finales — with people looking to see what others are saying and weigh in on the topic themselves — it’s the perfect platform to monetise live events.

4. Theo showcased how Sponsored Video Website Cards work

Theo also discussed how a Sponsored Video Website Card can be used to drive pay-per-view transactions. For example, for OTT pay-per-view services, a user interested in boxing might see a promoted tweet from the publisher, with real-time clips from the fight (or other relevant video content) targeted at them via an ad campaign.

Clicking on that Sponsored Video Website Card, would bring the user into a microsite that is still within the Twitter experience where they agree to pay a set fee for the match already live — all via mobile operator billing.

The user accepts this fee on their monthly mobile bill, and removes the extra steps of entering credit card details etc, which usually loses a user from process. When a purchase is so impulsive, a fully frictionless purchase is ideal!

5. Don’t knock the free trial

Television presenter and radio host, Sian Welby suggested that there are benefits to offering a free version of content, before asking consumers to commit to a fee. She spoke from experience, recounting times that used a free trial and then upgraded to a paid version after enjoying this.

6. Free content helps you get your brand out there

Sian also argued that when it comes to charging for content, brands need to be tactful: established brands can get away with charging, e.g. The Daily Telegraph will often display half a story, there will then be a paywall before the full story is accessible. Conversely, new brands can’t expect the same rights — they need to experiment with free content for longer and get the brand name out there before adding paywalls.

7. Let your consumers choose the payment method that’s easiest for them

Peter Garside, Partnership Lead at EE said it’s clear that different audiences prefer different payment methods. To cater to the widest possible audience, brands need to offer their consumers a range of payment methods, and mobile is becoming increasingly important to this mix.

8. Use the relationships the carriers have built to your advantage

Richard Young, Commercial Director at Hopster commented that when it comes to running a pay-per-view event, working closely with the carriers to produce a well-packaged, attractive deal is a brilliant idea. If the carriers are able to offer a carrier billing pay-per-view deal to their consumers, it widens the audience as the carriers are already well established, trusted brands.

9. When it comes to live sports, pay-per-view is king

Richard also said that whilst a subscription is obviously a more reliable business model with recurring revenue, for sporting events in particular, pay-per-view is actually a better option — sports channels often broadcast such a range of sports, from wrestling to curling and for your average football fan who just wants to watch their home team play, pay-per-view is clearly the better choice.

10. Young people want things now

Our own CEO, Rob Weisz commented upon generational differences when it comes to paying for content — whilst older generations are used to a sign-up process, young people want immediacy. Carrier billing is a fantastic solution to ensure that millenials and Gen Z-ers get what they want, when they want.