From Netflix to Shutterstock and everything in between, selling digital media or access to content online has become a highly lucrative industry. The major players have built their success by leveraging the latest web and media delivery technology to consistently deliver compelling content experiences at scale.
However, the days of consumer media being solely controlled by large corporations are very much at an end. With little resources, artists, musicians, creators and personalities can now build their own platforms to grow their audience and generate revenue from their content.
No matter the budget, there are five key factors that the most successful media platforms rely on to encourage audiences to come back time and time again. Read about them below and consider how you can improve your own media platform.
1. Fast content discovery
The most successful consumer media platforms today spend vast amounts of time and effort removing friction from the discovery and exploration process. It’s a science. From using AI to recommend similar content to that which users have already engaged with, to carefully curating themed media playlists, or simply highlighting new and sponsored releases, securing that next click is big business.
Foundationally, a quick and intuitive search experience that delivers high-quality results fast and reliably is imperative. Under-delivery here is particularly obvious and frustrating to consumers so make effective search a top priority. Audiences need to find content they want or like quickly and often or they will look elsewhere.
2. Transparent payment options
Everyone likes to know what they’re paying for and when, right? There are multiple ways to sell and share content online – from monthly subscriptions to pay-per-view. No matter your business model, if you are making content available at a premium, customers need to be able to understand and choose from clearly-defined payment options.
Ensuring that online payment processes are as seamless as possible is crucial for any online business but security shouldn’t be sacrificed for convenience. In today’s highly-aware digital environment, payment security is crucial to maintaining brand trust, as well as avoiding a damaging customer data breach.
3. User accounts and notifications
User accounts enable you to restrict content access to users that have paid to access it. They also provide a personal space for users to view previously enjoyed or saved content. This functionality is incredibly common in any e-commerce business now.
Beyond user account pages, the added ability for users to set up and receive email alerts when new content is added that meets their preferences is a powerful way to encourage return visitors.
4. Design and user experience
A core element of any online business is the user experience which should aim to deliver consistently useful and enjoyable experiences. Clearly, finding, consuming and downloading quality content should be as quick and easy as possible for your users. Therefore, the features, functionality and layout of the platform should all primarily focus on improving this.
Ensuring your brand is fully baked into this premium platform experience engenders trust and satisfaction with your organisation which can lead to long term loyalty, user referrals and more revenue.
5. Actionable insights
Last, but far from least, a digital media platform absolutely must have powerful analytics. This is crucial for internal reporting but also for better understanding the way your users and customers are interacting with your content.
What content works best, when and why are all crucial questions to investigate in order to create ‘sticky’ content platforms that encourage repeat engagement. Spotting areas for improvement or technical glitches and improving the user journey is an ongoing process for perfecting any platform – one that relies heavily on good analytics and actionable insights.
Quality of content and experience key for long-term success
Of course, the basis of a successful consumer media platform is to have high-quality content that meets the demands of a substantial audience. However, the underlying technology powering the platform is an essential part of the mix and needs to provide the right combination of flexibility, white-label branding and content tools to make your assets really sing.
Choosing the right platform for your business must factor in budget, volume of content and number of expected users, but longer term scalability and flexibility should be front-of-mind too to maintain user experience.
Do you need a premium platform to power your online media business?
Imagen provides you with your own speedy, customisable media platform with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface and all the tools you need.