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48% of users struggle with where to watch. Why aren’t you helping them?

Man sitting on sofa and watching television
via iStock

In May alone, 33 big new shows premiered across 18 different streaming services. Hundreds of titles jump back and forth between different streaming services at a rate we’ve never seen before. How do consumers keep track of all these shows and movies that keep getting bounced around?

They ask their devices. They check the web. 

Searches for “where to stream” in the United States alone have gone up by 184% in the last three years, and this trend is only set to increase exponentially with the launch of two new major streaming services this Fall.

What makes such a simple thing so difficult to get right?

Take, for example, hit show Jane the Virgin. Never heard of it? With a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a Golden Globe, and two People’s Choice awards, it’s only one of many hit shows that consumers can’t watch start-to-finish on one of the major streaming services. The show’s episodes have jockeyed back and forth between Netflix, The CW, and Hulu, with five seasons scattered across four different streaming services during its five year stint.

But when a consumer asks, “where can I watch Jane the Virgin?” are they talking about the most recent episode? Or the original Venezuelan series? Do they want to find it on a subscription they already have? Or do they have to buy the entire season separately? And what device are they using? Because the deep links for content retrieval within the various streaming apps vary by device, and can even change by the hour.

The result is a massive amount of data to be parsed, matched, and presented in a way that the consumer can understand at a glance.

Without a central source of truth for this data, you can’t have trust.

According to Deloitte’s 13th edition of the “Digital Media Trends survey”, 48% of consumers say content is hard to find across multiple services.

The survey also found the following:

  • 43% of consumers give up on the search for content, if they can’t find it in a few minutes
  • 49% say the sheer amount of content available makes it hard to choose what to watch
  • 47% are frustrated by the growing number of subscriptions and services required to watch what they want
  • 57% of consumers express frustration when content disappears from their streaming libraries
  • 69% of the time, consumers know exactly what they want to watch, but they also expressed frustrations with content discovery across platforms

A blog post that mentions a new show is available on Hulu, when it actually left last week for Showtime.

A voice assistant that can’t answer the question, “where can I watch Roman Holiday?” with the family already sitting together in front of the TV.

These are all major reasons for churn, as we’ve learned from our clients. Data accuracy is essential to customer retention.

Our servers process millions of titles, episode metadata, actors, deep links, and ratings to ensure data is always up to date for all of our API partners.

48% of consumers struggle to figure out where a show or movie is available to watch online. If your product isn’t helping them with that, they’ll look to a competitor who can.

Guidebox Head of Business Development Heather Hafey explains, “It’s the Golden Age of television, and consumers expect to find and play their shows with a simple search or click of a button. But for that to happen, someone has to organize and make sense of this tremendous amount of data. Content is coming and going from hundreds of services on an hourly basis. We aim to deliver on this challenge for our clients with continued investment in our technology, to be the most accurate and reliable streaming availability API on the market.”

Our clients at Guidebox include web publishers, voice assistants, smart TVs, search engines, and other connected devices. Our mission is to provide our partners, and their users, with up-to-the-minute accurate data so they can drive trust and retention.

The problem of fragmentation is, by every measure, getting worse. But consumers don’t simply wish for a solution. They expect it. Is your product helping them?

To get in touch about our services, contact

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