Editor’s note: John Conti is VP, travel and entertainment, at market research firm CMB, Boston. This is an edited version of a post originally published under the title, “Winning the next battle in the streaming wars.”

I recently rewatched one of my favorite television series, Mad Men. When the show premiered in 2007, I was living in Chicago and watching movies that arrived by mail from Netflix. Since then, much has changed and the streaming video on demand (SVOD) service is now a $100 billion industry with more than 200 different streaming providers globally. The industry has matured, and growth is harder to find. 

How can researchers help SVOD providers win the next battle in the streaming wars? The team at CMB believes there are four areas to focus on:

In this blog, I’ll break down each of the four areas, giving researchers tools to win the next battle in the streaming wars. 

Streaming providers are focused on acquiring or developing original content, spending billions of dollars each year in search of the next big hit. The challenge is to identify winners earlier in the process to fail faster; adjust concepts to ensure relevance and appeal; and maximize your ROI. Leverage psychological research to gauge reactions to potential concepts early in the process. 

Our team uses an approach that works to gain in-depth reactions to storylines, cast and/or imagery to identify which potential shows resonate most. Research in pre-production can also uncover key aspects of the show to support marketing decisions.

Delivering a best-in-class experience is a key differentiator and requires a deeper understanding of how audiences engage with your platform to uncover pain points and gauge reactions to new ideas and technologies. There are several research opportunities to improve user experience:

Consumers are often unaware of all the subscriptions they have and go months or years paying f...