Streaming apps and advertising: Content to drive performance?

Published on 25 January 2022 | Categorized in


Whether audio or video, streaming has experienced strong growth in recent years, driven by the Covid-19 epidemic. From podcasts and series to music, the number of apps offering these services continues to grow.

Our expertise with apps like Majelan, Molotov, Fubo TV, Sybel, Deezer, Qobuz, France TV, TF1, etc. allows us to share our findings on user acquisition for streaming apps.

Streaming apps boosted by Covid

The Covid-19 epidemic has accentuated this growth by necessitating successive lockdowns that have resulted in increased use of digital entertainment platforms and video streaming platforms and apps in particular. According to App Annie’s State of Mobile 2022 report, the total number of hours spent streaming on mobile devices has increased by 16% worldwide since pre-pandemic levels. A craze that testifies to a booming market.

The business model of streaming apps is mainly based on subscriptions, which allow users to become familiar with the platform. But how do you recruit new users ready to subscribe, and should signing up for the trial period be the main objective of acquisition campaigns? Focus on the different communication strategies used in these ads.

Communication strategies directly linked to the business model

In user acquisition campaigns with a performance objective, the creative plays a crucial role in the ability to generate quality users. In the case of streaming apps, we can see that the message put forward has a strong impact on final conversions and that different approaches also allow you to adjust your offer or services.

The price

Testing different pricing approaches in your acquisition campaigns often allows you to readjust your offers. The impact of price on conversion rates cannot be measured without testing. If, for example, you increase the price by 20% and the subscription rate only drops by 10%, then you are winning. It is therefore wise to test all possible approaches to find the best model.

The service

If you differentiate yourself from your competitors with a better user experience (UX), higher sound quality (e.g. Qobuz vs. Deezer or Spotify), a more diversified catalog, or the type of access to your service (free access with no time limit), it is essential to test so-called generic ads that will highlight your positioning.

We generally compare performance (CPI, CPA, LTV, etc.) obtained with those of ads highlighting content.

On Qobuz for example, we get a 20% lower CPA with creatives that highlight the audio quality of Qobuz rather than the artists.

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For apps with very powerful content (e.g.: Majelan and its celebrity podcasts, Netflix and its headliners, Deezer and its exclusive artist releases, etc.), we note that highlighting this content results in the lowest costs and the best engagement rates in terms of subscriptions. However, this strategy does not always ensure the highest profitability in the long term and can even be quite disappointing.

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While content makes all the difference, it doesn’t necessarily drive long-term performance

If your entire acquisition strategy is based on highlighting specific content, it can have a negative impact on your campaigns:

– High post-trial churn (loss of customers after the trial period) because the recruited users are opportunistic. They downloaded the app just to view specific content and do not renew their trial period.

– If your acquisition strategy relies on a few key pieces of content, you run the risk of your results crashing when this content starts to get too much exposure.

– Focusing on constantly adding content can differentiate you from your competitors, but it can quickly become very costly. This strategy may not allow you to recruit users with high retention and/or LTV because they will lack attachment to your product.

Ensuite the success of user acquisition campaigns for streaming apps

Here are some tips on how to do this:

– Variety Varying the message is essential to ensure the sustainability and profitability of campaigns.

– If you opt for a short-term vision or follow a reputation approach, focus on the “buzz” effect with attractive content. In the case of a long-term vision focused on LTV (Lifetime value), choose generic visuals that highlight your service.

– Have a precise tagging plan to understand the user journey (onboarding, account creation, first content viewed). If there is a free trial in the app, you need to be able to measure post-trial churn to understand which campaigns or content are recruiting which types of users.

– Monitor LTV and user retention or you’re wasting your money.

– If you offer audio content, try to film behind-the-scenes videos so you can use that video content in ads. On-camera testimonials are also important.

– It is possible that the celebrities featured have a community on the internet. It is important to target them for several reasons:

  • To broaden and diversify your audience
  • These users will have low acquisition costs because they have a very strong attachment to the celebrity. This translates into very good CTR and CVR levels.
  • These users are more engaged with the ad and will generate more likes and comments.
  • This high social engagement and good conversion rate will allow the ad to be prioritized by the algorithm, which will then improve the results on larger audiences, who have less affinity with your celebrities.
  • Be careful not to abuse it because these users might leave the app once they have consumed the content.

– Make sure you have templates so that you can A/B test as much content as possible without wasting time. Because the content that people like the most is not always what you expect. So, you need to test as much content as possible.

– Test the content with different audiences and do not segment too much to avoid limiting the work of the algorithms.


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