Motivating Customer Retention and Engagement in Online Video Streaming Industry

Mr Zhang Xiaoqing
Dr Phan Tuan Quang, Associate Professor, School of Computing

  09 Nov 2018 Friday, 02:00 PM to 03:30 PM

 Executive Classroom, COM2-04-02


Online video streaming has become popular all over the world. Firms in online video streaming industry usually gain revenue through two channels: online advertising and repetitive subscription fee from subscribers, both of which should be properly managed to maximize firm profitability. Because of some unique engagement patterns of online video streaming, such as long session duration, fast-forwarding of video contents and media multitasking (i.e. simultaneous consumption of multiple streams of media), the customer retention and engagement strategies in video streaming industry differ from those in other digital industries, such as online news and social media. However, academic research on firm profitability strategy and user engagement pattern in this industry is relatively scant. This dissertation fills in this gap by (1) examining the effect of a new customer relationship management strategy, the grandfather clause, on subscribers' behavioral and attitudinal loyalty, and (2) studying the effect of media multitasking on viewers' media consumption patterns on different levels: intra-video level, inter-video level and inter-session level.

The grandfather clause is a behavior-based pricing strategy that exempts existing subscribers from a price hike or allows them to continue consuming a discontinued service. It is widely adopted among firms adopting subscription pricing model and intending to increase their subscription fee. We investigate the effect of this strategy on grandfathered customers' behavioral and attitudinal loyalty by taking advantage of a quasi-experiment, in which two groups of customers were grandfathered, but only one group of them were aware of this policy. Our analyses suggest that the grandfather clause increased grandfather customers' behavioral loyalty, but its effect on their attitudinal loyalty depended on their perceived relationship-norm with the firm. Only those communal oriented customers showed an increase in attitudinal loyalty.

The second study, which is a study in progress, examines how media multitasking intensity affects viewers' media engagement patterns, including fast-forwarding behavior, continuance decision after finishing a video and inter-session visit frequency. While media multitasking is hard to measure with secondary data, we take advantage of a unique feature in our context: in-consumption comments (ICCs). ICCs are user generated comments on particular scenes of a video, and they are synchronized with the video timeline. People can thus find other viewers' comments on different scenes when they watch videos. Watching videos with ICCs requires viewers to switch their attention between video contents and ICCs, so the frequency of ICCs appearing on screen can serve as a proxy for viewers' media multitasking intensity. Our preliminary analyses results suggest that media multitasking intensity has U-shaped relationship with fast-forwarding propensity, and inverted-U shaped relationship with continuance propensity and visit frequency. We will develop a more integrative modeling framework and apply it to our dataset to obtain more comprehensive understanding the effect of media multitasking intensity on multiple levels of media engagement pattern.

Overall speaking, this dissertation contributes to the customer relationship management literature by examining the effect of the grandfather clause on customers' behavioral and attitudinal loyalty; and contributes to the literature on emerging engagement patterns in online video streaming industry by exploring the effect of media multitasking intensity on viewer engagement across multiple levels.