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The Attention Recession: How Streaming Companies Build Retention Campaigns in Tight Media Market

Blog title design reading The Attention Recession: How Streaming Companies Build Retention Campaigns in a Tight Media Market
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The economic downturn has been at the forefront of marketers’ minds, but the attention recession has been in full swing for years. 

Not only is there a growing number of brands vying for divided attention, but consumers themselves are far more selective when choosing what deserves their attention in the media and technology industry. As a result, retention remains difficult to capture and standing out from the crowd proves to be a perennial problem.

To combat this, here is a three-pronged, tactical plan: actioning on learnings from ongoing trends, enhancing the customer experience, and capitalizing on loyalty programs. With this, you’ll be able to strengthen your retention strategy and nab the scarce commodity that is customer attention.

  1. Introduction

  2. Mapping Out The Media Landscape

  3. Optimizing The Customer Experience

  4. Loyalty Is The True Attention-Grabber

  5. Conclusion

Mapping Out The Media Landscape

The first step for marketers is to observe the current media landscape and refine their current strategies:

The Saturated Market

Digital viewership is officially mainstream. While that means digital video viewing will continue to rise, and adoption rates across demographics will expand, the explosive growth that was seen during the pandemic has come to an end. In terms of customer experience, expect video consumption to continually veer towards omni-channel experiences, with over 85% of consumers watching from their mobile devices monthly. 

These trends are occurring as a result of market saturation. While consumers are consistently committing to multiple streaming services, the dominance of the major video conglomerates make the market even more difficult to penetrate for up-and-coming service providers.

Higher Price Sensitivity

Customers from every industry are shifting spending patterns in light of the economic climate, and many are cutting costs to navigate the uncertainty. Discretionary spending is first on the chopping block, and consumers will be quick to change brands for better value. 

Price isn’t the only factor consumers have top-of-mind when it comes to better value. Consumers are increasingly researching products before making a purchase, and prioritize getting the most out of every dollar rather than simply seeking the cheapest option available. 

Industry Consolidation

An oligopoly is forming, and brands are joining forces in an effort to differentiate themselves from the fierce competition. Streaming services everywhere are relying on two tactics:

  • The content competition

  • Streaming brands are vying for the most popular shows and movies to differentiate themselves from the pack. Often, a single showstopper is enough to capture customer attention.

  • To retain users, brands are shifting their content release strategies. As publishing all episodes of a show at once leaves brands vulnerable to customers binging and canceling, streaming services are now moving to drip-feeding weekly releases. 

  • The battle of the bundles

    • Freshly merged brands are using their combined features to offer unique deals. Many brands are also turning to tiered systems to capture greater market share, from ad-supported content to premium memberships.

With these trends in mind, it’s clear that marketers need to differentiate themselves from the crowded market and transform every campaign into a retention-builder. Where can marketers start? By optimizing the customer experience and enhancing loyalty programs.

Optimizing The Customer Experience

When nearly 75% of customers choose to stick with brands that make them feel understood and valued, optimizing the customer experience becomes the number one priority. After all, products alone don’t make customers feel valued—brand experiences accomplish that. 

To create an ideal brand experience that makes customers feel like the guest of honor, marketers need to maximize their omni-channel presence and keep personalized convenience top-of-mind.

Omni-Channel Is a Deal-Breaker

In the age of instant gratification, convenience is a necessity for customers, with a whopping 97% backing out of purchases that weren’t convenient enough. This doesn’t just apply to checkout and subscription processes, either—virtually every touchpoint and action can be further streamlined for customers.

A device-agnostic marketing experience is important to customers. If the device they want, typically mobile, is either clunky or unavailable, you create a hoop that many customers don’t want to bother jumping through. 

Email and mobile mock ups from Inkredible Media showing a "continue watching" alert

Inkredible Media makes high-interest episodes available no matter where the customer interacts with the brand. Here, the email acts as a first step for customers. Underneath the personalized hero image, a previously watched show is displayed with a call-out to continue. To finish off the email, recommendations hand-picked for the customer sit in the body of the email. 

Upon engaging for customers that have downloaded the app, Inkredible Media seamlessly continues the customer-brand story with personalized, timely notifications to alert the customer of new episodes or encourage engagement by continuing to watch from where they left off. No matter where the customer is, access to a favorite show has never been easier.

Convenience Is King

Offloading additional effort is at the heart of convenience, no matter how little time is being saved. From reminders to re-engage with previously viewed media, to notifications for trending shows, customers want the right information at their fingertips at all times. After all, 25% of customers want notifications for trending content, and 50% of customers will cancel a service if discovering that new media is challenging.

Amazon Music’s email combines the best of both worlds. Here, every customer receives a notification for new releases — however, each shortlist is personalized to the customer’s previous behaviors. In a perfect combination of personalization and serving up the new content customers want, convenience is king for Amazon Music.

Amazon Music's personalized new releases email

When attention is scarce, don’t waste valuable space in your communications with irrelevant messaging; ensure that every communication is strategically tailored to maximize the customer experience and reinforce unique brand value.

Drive Retention In The Attention Recession

Transform every campaign into a retention-driver with the In the Name of Retention eBook.

Read the eBook.

Loyalty Is The True Attention-Grabber

Existing customers spend nearly 70% more than new buyers, making loyalty a crucial driver of revenue, both short and long-term. 

While the importance of loyalty is not new for marketers, creating a program that stands out from other brands’ offerings is another challenge altogether. To show customers why your brand deserves their loyalty, marketers need to dig deeper into the best-practice pillars of communication: personalization, clear value propositions, and high-value action drivers.

Power With Content Personalization

Personalization is paramount in virtually all brand messaging, especially loyalty. It allows the brand to demonstrate its knowledge of the customer, while continuously gathering relevant data for future communications.

Inkredible Media email with show suggestions and polls.

There’s no better way to keep learning about your customer than with zero-party data gathering polls. By asking open-ended questions in the poll, Inkredible Media gathers explicit interest to follow up with personalized recommendations that will delight the customer. When brands ask customers outright what they want to see, they can ensure that their recommendations are more accurate than ever. 

Because over 80% of customers expect to try new content as they journey with a brand, Inkredible Media tops off the email with relevant hero imagery and trending content to keep it fresh.

Make Your Value Crystal-Clear

Show off your brand’s unique value proposition along with the clear benefits customers gain from engaging. Customers are quicker than ever to cut discretionary spending and cancel services, making it all the more crucial to remind them of what your brand brings to the table.

Inkredible Media month-in-review email

A key way to put that idea into action is through month-in-review summaries. Here, Inkredible Media highlights customers’ most meaningful stats from the previous month to drive home the value the brand has brought to them. To encourage awareness around unused features, genres the customer has yet to discover are included alongside the monthly stats.

To keep the cycle of engagement turning, further content discovery is encouraged through personalized media recommendations.

Keep Attention High With Action Drivers

Current customers are willing to engage with brands, but sometimes they just need a little guidance on what comes next. After all, the more a customer participates in what their loyalty membership offers, the more devoted they become. 

Keep things smooth sailing for customers by displaying high-value actions they can take as a step further in their loyalty journey. Here, Rakuten Viki sends push notifications to remind customers of next-best actions they can take.

On the left, a time-targeted notification with first-name call-out reminds the customer to make contributions to maintain premium status. In a combination of personalization and urgency, the customer is driven to engage quickly.

Countdown reminder from Rakuten Viki

On the right, Rakuten Viki visualizes where the customer sits in the loyalty journey with a progress bar. Using data visualization, customers can clearly see how close they are to retaining premium status, motivating action.


Customer attention is a precious commodity, but it can be captured with the right communications game plan. By optimizing the customer experience and actively fostering loyalty, retention will remain strong at all times.

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