Overview of the Media Landscape In 2022
The world has seen a significant change in the media & entertainment landscape over the recent years. People have been shifting from the typical television to more diverse & flexible entertainment options. A plethora of OTT or Over-The-Top streaming platforms offers a comprehensive option of movies, series, and reality shows at the audiences’ fingertips & have become one of the highly preferred entertainment services among audiences. These platforms garner a large subscriber base by offering not just diversified entertainment to suit specific audiences but also a simple subscription payment model. OTT platform subscriptions are increasingly growing, owing to the quality of content combined with the seamless subscription facility they offer.
As India is growing on to becoming the sixth largest OTT market in the world, the need for a seamless subscription payment mode is a top priority in the industry.
Challenges of a Subscription Business Model
Although a subscription-based OTT model can expedite sales & revenue, it does come with a few challenges that these businesses need to tackle.
- Recovery of Platform Revenue: OTT platforms adopt a subscription billing policy that requires the collection of fees at fixed intervals, which in most cases recurs every month. With this, arises a problem of efficient revenue recovery as both the subscriber base is very large & the frequency of billing and revenue collection is very high.
- Subscriber Management: Managing a large customer base becomes quite challenging with repetitive subscription payments. In addition, a subscriber can switch from one plan to another every time he renews his/her subscription to the OTT channel. However, these features are inevitable to a good OTT platform, and one may not choose to eliminate them.
- Invoicing & Billing Challenges: The growing demand for OTT platform subscriptions requires the provider to roll out multiple subscription options to retain its customers. Users may choose to subscribe to an OTT platform on a free trial, monthly, semi-annual, annual basis, etc. This makes the billing and invoicing process require more attention to curate customized invoices for different subscription plans.
- Promotion & Discounts Monitoring: With a rise in the number of internet streaming services, every OTT platform is compelled to provide attractive promotional offers & discounts to sustain its subscriber base. It aids in acquiring more customers too. With that said, platform promotional strategies also bring with them their own challenges. They give rise to varying subscription fees across audiences which makes payment collection all the more vigilance-intensive.
- Monitoring Payment Malfunctions: OTT platform subscription service providers need to keep track of any failed subscription payment transaction so as to rectify the issue quickly. With over thousands of subscribers on board, keeping track of every transaction becomes a highly tedious task for employees.
- Managing Multiple Pricing Plans: Online streaming service providers offer their customers an array of subscription plans to choose from. In addition, these pricing plans are regularly changed so as to keep up with the market trend. Constantly changing price plans and managing numerous subscription options demands the round-the-clock attention of the employees.
- Complexities For the Finance Team: Keeping track of the fees for different subscription tiers, monitoring customer’s subscription upgrades/downgrades, & addition or deletion of users, are some of the many facets that OTT businesses need to consider when offering their customers a subscription. Managing all these verticals requires a considerable amount of time & manpower which ultimately has to be borne by the finance & accounting team of the business.
eNACH eMandates For Subscription Payments
An innovative solution to making recurring subscription payment management easier is with implementing an automated payment model. eMandates are the answer to this requirement as they offer timely, reliable, & convenient OTT payments to the streaming platforms every time a customer subscription needs to be renewed.
An eMandate is a standing instruction provided by the customer to their bank, indicating the bank to debit a fixed amount to a merchant or service provider at a fixed period of time (monthly, bi-monthly, annual, etc).
eMandate payment platforms like link.it, offered by SignDesk, can be an excellent tool for streaming & OTT services to automate their subscribers’ recurring subscription payments completely. Some of the features it provides are also highly beneficial for OTT platforms to streamline their payment collection process.
Why Streaming & OTT Platforms Need an Automated Payment Model
Even though there are various obstacles an OTT entertainment platform needs to bear by offering a subscription-based model, an automated payment system is of prime importance in the industry. This is so because of the convenience it offers to the platform’s customers, which is essential to maintaining & expanding the subscriber count.
- End-to-end mandate digitization: By digitizing the mandate process right from its initial registration up to its repeating execution, the eMandate solution offers a seamless customer payment experience. This facility is one of the most simple yet essential customer retention strategies which streaming platforms can integrate into their subscription model.
- Remotely implementable mandates: Streaming platforms can offer customers a convenient payment option through a remotely initiated and executed electronic mandate process. The subscription fee gets debited automatically as long as the subscriber wishes to avail of the OTT platform’s service. This feature allows the customer to stay subscribed to the OTT platform without requiring him/her to visit a bank & manually pay the subscription fee, say every month.
- Secure subscription payment platform: eMandate payments through link.it are NPCI-compliant and secured by AFA, making them a secure payment option online streaming services can adopt for its vast subscriber base. This industry-compliant eMandate solution is a safe and reliable platform through which streaming services can collect their subscriber’s recurring payments on time.
- Comprehensive Payment Management: eMandate platforms for a bird’s eye-view of all subscription payments. Additionally, payment status and mandate authentication status can be tracked in real-time with options to edit, create and delete mandates on the fly.
How To Make OTT Subscription Payments With eNACH eMandate
Once an OTT platform is integrated with an eNACH eMandate solution, customers can set up a recurring subscription payment in just a few steps.
Step 1: The customer logs in and enters their bank information & mode of authentication (API, eSign, etc)
Step 2: This information is transmitted to the destination bank (the bank where the customer holds an account) and the customer is redirected to the bank’s page
Step 3: The customer enters their debit card or NetBanking information & the bank either approves or rejects the mandate
Step 4: Mandate confirmation is finally sent to the OTT platform and displayed to the customer
Once these steps are completed, subscription payments are automatically debited from the customer’s account enabling seamless payment processing and management.
Create a Smooth Payment Experience With eMandate
Recurring revenue collection is an attention-demanding & time-consuming process that is inevitable for a subscription-based platform. Bringing in an automated subscription payment system puts both the OTT service provider & the subscriber at ease.
SignDesk’s eNACH mandate solution helps simplify the recurring OTT platform subscription payment process by offering a seamless payment option to the subscriber. Some of its noteworthy features include customizable payment frequencies, user-friendly dashboard, & instant mandate authentication that can together bring about efficiency to the OTT platform’s subscription revenue model.