How Streaming Services Can Grow Niche Audiences

Chris Bell-Watson   •   12 November 2020

Acquiring new subscribers and keeping them is a constant battle for streaming services. That’s especially true for niche players like Screambox, BroadwayHD, kweliTV and Revry that cater to audiences with diverse interests ranging from horror and West End musicals to Black culture and LGBTQ cinema.

As well as competing with global behemoths like Netflix and Amazon Prime to acquire exclusive content, niche players are fighting for subscribers fatigued by paying for multiple services. In turn, this subscription fatigue drives customer churn and piracy. As consumers seek out what they want to watch – legally or illegally – and leave once they’ve finished bingeing.

Family watch niche streaming service

Unless niche services can prove what value they offer subscribers, they will struggle to retain new users and drive growth. Although niche services may be smaller in size, their creativity and innovation are vast with many platforms creating original content, building communities and devising new revenue streams.

These are just a few examples of how niche streaming services are driving growth:

Know your audience

A more refined understanding of the audience allows niche services to carefully curate content and speak to fans in a way that larger competitors cannot. For example, Shudder employs a team of superfans to curate its library of high-quality horror flicks.

An innate understanding of the audience’s interests and sub-culture allows niche streaming services to target and cultivate an engaged community of subscribers.

Build a community

Unlike mainstream players, niche streaming services are bringing like-minded people together. By building a community of engaged fans, platforms can offer something of value to subscribers while learning more about what they like and dislike.

This can be both online and offline. For example, Gaia hosts unique events at its GaiaSphere community space in Colorado, while also streaming these online.

Offer something unique

While Netflix and Amazon Prime are investing in original and exclusive content, so too are many niche streaming services. For example, Dekkoo – a streaming platform for gay men – has found success by producing high-quality films and series such as Soul Mate and I’m Fine.

By providing something different and exclusive, niche services are giving subscribers more reasons to stay and building brand loyalty. In turn, this is making niche platforms more attractive to content producers in Hollywood and beyond.

Go beyond streaming

The challenge with being niche is that there’s a ceiling on how big you can grow before you lose what makes you unique. To drive growth, many platforms are growing revenue by offering related products and services to subscribers.

For example, anime streaming platform Crunchyroll has expanded its offering to include manga, games and an online store selling everything anime fans could dream of.

Enhance the experience

Usability matters. To retain subscribers, niche services must offer a user experience that’s on a par with or better than that of major platforms. With some services offering thousands of videos on-demand, fans can easily grow exasperated while browsing through an unorganised mess to find something to watch.

Cleverly categorised content is key. For example, Met Opera on Demand subscribers can browse through decades of performances by title, composer, artist or year of production to find what they’re looking for.

How Streaming Services Can Grow Niche Audiences

Chris Bell-Watson   •   12 November 2020

Acquiring new subscribers and keeping them is a constant battle for streaming services. That’s especially true for niche players like Screambox, BroadwayHD, kweliTV and Revry that cater to audiences with diverse interests ranging from horror and West End musicals to Black culture and LGBTQ cinema.

As well as competing with global behemoths like Netflix and Amazon Prime to acquire exclusive content, niche players are fighting for subscribers fatigued by paying for multiple services. In turn, this subscription fatigue drives customer churn and piracy. As consumers seek out what they want to watch – legally or illegally – and leave once they’ve finished bingeing.

Family watch niche streaming service

Unless niche services can prove what value they offer subscribers, they will struggle to retain new users and drive growth. Although niche services may be smaller in size, their creativity and innovation are vast with many platforms creating original content, building communities and devising new revenue streams.

These are just a few examples of how niche streaming services are driving growth:

Know your audience

A more refined understanding of the audience allows niche services to carefully curate content and speak to fans in a way that larger competitors cannot. For example, Shudder employs a team of superfans to curate its library of high-quality horror flicks.

An innate understanding of the audience’s interests and sub-culture allows niche streaming services to target and cultivate an engaged community of subscribers.

Build a community

Unlike mainstream players, niche streaming services are bringing like-minded people together. By building a community of engaged fans, platforms can offer something of value to subscribers while learning more about what they like and dislike.

This can be both online and offline. For example, Gaia hosts unique events at its GaiaSphere community space in Colorado, while also streaming these online.

Offer something unique

While Netflix and Amazon Prime are investing in original and exclusive content, so too are many niche streaming services. For example, Dekkoo – a streaming platform for gay men – has found success by producing high-quality films and series such as Soul Mate and I’m Fine.

By providing something different and exclusive, niche services are giving subscribers more reasons to stay and building brand loyalty. In turn, this is making niche platforms more attractive to content producers in Hollywood and beyond.

Go beyond streaming

The challenge with being niche is that there’s a ceiling on how big you can grow before you lose what makes you unique. To drive growth, many platforms are growing revenue by offering related products and services to subscribers.

For example, anime streaming platform Crunchyroll has expanded its offering to include manga, games and an online store selling everything anime fans could dream of.

Enhance the experience

Usability matters. To retain subscribers, niche services must offer a user experience that’s on a par with or better than that of major platforms. With some services offering thousands of videos on-demand, fans can easily grow exasperated while browsing through an unorganised mess to find something to watch.

Cleverly categorised content is key. For example, Met Opera on Demand subscribers can browse through decades of performances by title, composer, artist or year of production to find what they’re looking for.