How to run a successful entertainment subscription network

How Do You Know if Launching a Network is Right for You?

Black & Sexy TV

It really comes down to how much content you have and how frequently you release it. Most consumers think of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime when it comes to an entertainment subscription. You don’t need thousands of titles, but you do want to make sure that you have a large enough catalog for your customers to feel like they have enough videos to make renewing worth their while. 

We’ve typically found that starting with at least 60 videos works well. However, if you don’t have that much content, you don’t necessarily need to postpone. Just make sure you’re releasing new videos on a consistent basis. Once a week works well for most sellers, but if you have enough material to do it twice a week, that’s even better!  

If you’re still working on creating more content, you can start building your brand by selling some of your series or films transactionally. You can use that customer data in the future to contact those customers with special discount offers if they sign up for your subscription network. If you have an existing audience on YouTube or other social platforms, you can work on converting your fans into paying customers. A great example of this: Black & Sexy had a popular web series on YouTube. They asked their audience there to buy the final episode from them as a way to support them creating more content in the future. The response was overwhelming and helped them validate that a paid subscription model could work for them. If you do sell transactionally to start, you can send an email blast to those customers when you launch your subscription to let them know about your new venture and hopefully convert them into subscribers. 

When It Comes to Entertainment Networks What Works Best?

Troma

Since entertainment subscriptions are highly competitive, you want to make sure you’re pricing your content correctly and that your offering incentives for new customers to try you out. For entertainment, we’ve found that charging $4.99-$6.99 a month works well. Remember: larger networks with thousands of titles have plans as low as $7.99, so unless you have enough content to compete with that — or a niche audience that you’ve built up over the years —  you’ll want to charge less. 

Free Trials and Promos also work for attracting new visitors to your site to sign up. When it comes to free trials, a 30-day period tend to work really well for entertainment. If you don’t have a lot of videos, you’ll want to offer a shorter amount. We allow you to set your free trial for 3, 7, 14, or 30 days. You want to make sure that your customers feel there is enough content available so they can’t get through it all in a month. It’s also helpful to be releasing new content on a regular basis because customers will see that renewing is worth it. Since more than ⅔ of free trial sign-ups tend to convert to paying subscribers, it’s worth spending some time on this strategy. 

Promos allow you to offer a temporary discount for new subscribers. This is another tool you can use to attract new customers. Three-month promos tend to be the most enticing for the customers you are trying to attract. Furthermore, we find that people who sign up with a promo code tend to stick around 20% longer than those who don’t.

What Can I Do to Continue Growing My Subscriber Base?  

Slay

Make sure that you're spreading the word on your social networks. Connect your Facebook and Twitter to your subscription site so customers can easily spread the word of mouth for you. If you do have a YouTube presence, use cards to direct those viewers to your paid site. Don’t forget to set up a call to action on your Facebook page that directs people to subscribe. If you decide to start running social ads, lookalike targeting can be helpful particularly if you are focusing on niche audience content. This will help your ads appear people who are most likely to sign up for your network. 

Having a place for your fans to connect and talk about your content is another way to keep people engaged. If you have an existing group on Facebook or elsewhere, that can work. If not, you may want to enable forums on your subscription site. You can also choose to make some or all of your forum boards private to subscribers only.

Whether you are developing original content or licensing content from multiple creators you can find an audience for your subscription. Check out this video from Jason Connolly at MHz Choice to see how using Vimeo OTT helped their service.