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Clearleap and Zuora partnership provides OTT service-providers with 360-degree perspective on churn

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By Barry Flynn, Contributing Editor

Multiscreen platform provider Clearleap has been giving more details on the benefits to clients of its new partnership with subscription and commerce billing specialist Zuora.

Aimed at direct-to-consumer OTT service providers, the deal will result in a new set of analytical tools to help reduce churn and increase customer acquisition – with Zuora adding its Relationship Business Management solution to Clearleap’s existing video workflow automation, user access and monetisation platform, which delivers real-time subscriber behaviour data.

David Mowrey, Vice President, Product Management at Clearleap, says the partnership builds on top of a traditional type of content analytics that essentially asks, “What are most of my consumers watching? Okay, I should try to buy more of that. Or, I’m not getting value out of this content because nobody’s watching it. I’m not going to invest in that type of content.”

This approach, he says, represents the foundation of all advertising analytics and audience measurement metrics such as Nielsen ratings.

However, when this source of data is combined both with a customer’s billing history (from Zuora), and real-time consumer OTT viewing behaviour data (from Clearleap), it becomes much more powerful, argues Mowrey.

For instance, “If you can look at what a consumer is watching on what device from which location and whether that user then takes an action to either change their subscription, drop their subscription, consume more content over the next 30 or 60 or 90 days, then you can start really doing some very, very interesting things that say, ‘Okay: this user – or customers like this user – are 20% more likely to churn than customers that watched two more videos than that user this last month. If I can just get this consumer to watch another couple videos, I can reduce their churn rate by 20%.’”

Such types of persuasion can be facilitated by a whole panoply of OTT service-provider actions, says Mowrey, for instance triggering content-acquisition decisions, deciding which devices to support, influencing the recommendation engine to preferentially show at-risk customers certain types of content, even changing how the service-provider’s site structure and the consumer-facing experience of the service is presented to the user.

“You can start really, really zeroing in on your churn-rates,” explains Mowrey. For instance, through being able to pin-point which types of customer profile exhibit the lowest churn-rates, the service-provider could decide to put more effort into acquiring more consumers with that type of profile, he suggests.

“When you get into the subscription analytics, and you can really pull all three of those pieces together to create a holistic or 360-degree view of the customer, you really start having a major impact on your business,” Mowrey concludes. “I know that if I spend $100,000 more on this piece of localized content, I can have a very predictable impact on my churn-rates.”

Mowrey notes that the richness of the data available allows tight targeting of adverts, too. “Because you know very specifically where these users live, you can start doing much more local advertising – at a lower CPM rate for advertising buys.”

Obviously, all this needs to be done within the constraints of data privacy regulations in whichever territory Clearleap’s clients happen to be located. “Largely, this is done by our customers,” observes Mowrey. “We’re a platform company: we provide these tools to our customers. They own the data, not Clearleap.”

While Clearleap’s platform is cloud-based, its platform mainly relies on a ‘private cloud’, with its own secure data-centre hubs located both in Europe and the USA. However, “as the market has matured around public clouds, we do work with Amazon and Microsoft Azure to run some portions of the workflow in public clouds,” notes Mowrey.

In light of the European Union Court of Justice’s recent recommendation on the so-called US Safe Harbour provisions, Mowrey comments that while Clearleap is attentive to the situation, “the way our platform is built and architected, it’s not an issue for us. No EU data comes back to the US. That’s largely why we have those data centres in Europe, [so] that there is no transfer of that type of information across the Pond.” 

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