How to Run a Data-Driven OTT App | Part 2: The Metrics That Drive Success

By Chris Smith on August 14, 2017

The OTT landscape is continually evolving and changing, you must have the ability to adapt with visibility into your audience, platform, and content. This is why data is essential to the success of your OTT app, analytics provide the insights you need to make important decisions about your video business.


Once you have a well functioning and designed app, along with clearly defined business goals we discussed in part 1 of this series, you’re ready to dig into your analytics. It’s important to not only track your KPIs (or key performance indicators) but also extract the value. The real power of data is in the ability to analyze, refine and optimize and continually make improvements that will drive revenue and success.

With all of the available data, it's important to know what metrics actually matter. What are the KPIs that actually help you drive success? It’s all about your audience —who they are, what they prefer and how engaged they are with your app. Because your viewers ultimately determine your success, it’s important to make decisions that will enable you to continue to build and retain your audience.

Who is Your Audience?

Your viewers are what drives your video business, it’s necessary to track their behavior and preferences across all their viewing devices. In order to accelerate the growth of your video businesses, you must start with a blueprint of your audience and discover what they care about.

1. User Acquisition

User acquisition serves as a foundation that helps us to track user behavior and retention later on. It’s important to know when and where your viewers are coming from in order to track viewer acquisition trends and performance.

Whether your viewers came from organic search, paid campaigns, word of mouth or referrals, understanding where your traffic is coming from will help to inform and refine your future marketing efforts and make user acquisition more effective.

2. Daily Active Users

It’s important to know how many users use your app on a daily basis.  This is especially important if you use AVOD as your monetization model that relies on a large user base in order to be successful.

3. Device Metrics

Tracking which devices your viewers are watching on will help you grow your OTT service on other platforms and devices. Your content should be always be optimized for every screen size, there are video platforms like Zype that take the guess work out of optimizing video and automatically ensure that viewers have a good experience no matter what device or where they are located.

4. User Locations

Your user’s geographic location gives you important content insights. If you find you have a large international audience, you may want to add subtitles for better engagement with those viewers. It’s also important to consider your viewer’s location as you develop and produce new content.

5. Video Metrics

Knowing what content your viewers are watching and requesting most is not only an important baseline metric for performance but also will help you make smarter content decisions.

How Engaged is Your Audience?

Marketing efforts tend to be more expensive at the top of the funnel (user acquisition), and an app with high user retention can allocate those resources elsewhere, perhaps creating better content to further engage and retain its users.

User engagement metrics are key indicators of the health of your OTT app and preventing churn. In order to retain your viewers for longer, it’s important to uncover gaps user engagement and use the insights to optimize your content.

1. Session Duration

This metric showcases how long users are spending on your app per session. It’s important to view session duration in terms of how long you expect users to be on your app.

If your videos are primarily an hour long, and the average session duration length is five minutes, you may want to discover the pain point for why users aren’t spending more time watching your content. In order to improve session duration, you must increase how engaged your users are.

2. Session Interval

How long does it take for a user to use your app again?

Session interval shows how frequently your app is being opened. This metric can be increased by encouraging regular app use.

If users are using your app very infrequently, you can uncover certain gaps of value that can be improved to increase how engaged they are with your content.

3. Stream Hours

When your users log in, how many hours of video are they watching? Are they watching more live streams? Or are they watching more on-demand streams?

Tracking stream hours over time will not only reveal how engaged users are with your content, but which type of streams are most effective. If your live stream hours have started to drop, it’s time to evaluate why your users are no longer seeing the value.

4. Subscriptions and Transactions

How many new users have signed up for a subscription or made a purchase? This is important to track the growth of users on your app. If it is stagnating or starting to drop, this reveals pain points that are affecting user's acquisition and churn.

5. Revenue Models

If you are using more than one revenue model to monetize your content, it’s important to see which model is most enticing to new subscribers. If more users are signing up for subscriptions, your viewers are seeing enough value to warrant a subscription and are more likely to stay engaged. If you find a trend of users choosing to only purchase a single rental, they’re likely not seeing the value in your overall content library.

Final Thoughts

All of these metrics and more can be tracked on the Zype Analytics dashboard. Use these KPIs to better understand how well you’re doing at retaining and growing your audiences. More importantly, use these KPIs to analyze, refine and optimize your content and app, and continually adapt to your audience’s ever changing preferences.


If you let the data inform your content, marketing, and platform, you’ll have an enormous advantage over the competition. Powerful analytics and the ability to fundamentally understand your audience is are absolutely essential to the success of your OTT app and overall video business.

Connect your video with viewers, everywhere.