How payments are changing for entertainment company streaming services

Aaron Gale, Vice President, Sales & Account Management, Video Games at Paysafe.

 

Consumers want more. And why shouldn’t they? Now accustomed to instant gratification due to always-available smart devices, with almost everything we need at the touch of a button, it’s no surprise that expectations have increased.

This means businesses must deliver more, especially when it comes to payments. More secure transactions. More seamless experiences. More payment methods. And if they can’t deliver more? Consumers will look elsewhere.

This is absolutely the case for entertainment companies with streaming services, where consumers paying for film, TV, music or video games subscriptions, as well as one-off rentals and in-game purchases now demand greater privacy, efficiency, and control when making transactions.

Here’s how entertainment companies can meet these needs.

Gaming is a growing force for entertainment company streaming services

Aaron Gale

First, it’s important to get a sense of how the space has evolved for entertainment companies with streaming services.

While the industry was once towered over by monoliths Netflix and Amazon Prime, it has seen drastic change, with a huge increase in the number of services available. With every production company seemingly boasting their own service and unique offerings, consumers’ spending is now spread wider than before.

This means competition is increasingly fierce, so it’s never been more important for platforms to offer smooth payment experiences. Anything less could see customers looking elsewhere.

As for other changes: while film and TV have been the foundation upon which companies’ streaming platforms are built, gaming is now becoming increasingly important.

Streaming giants are taking notice of this, looking to offer players the ability to remotely access hardware on a service’s servers, so they can instantly play streaming games on PCs, consoles, or smart devices. Even Netflix is looking to video gaming as its next platform for growth.

So how can entertainment companies find firm footing in a changing landscape?

Customers want security and convenience, not one or the other

While this level of change can be challenging for entertainment companies with streaming services, the good news is their popularity doesn’t seem to be on the wane. The recent Lost in Transaction research — which surveyed 14,500 consumers in North America, Europe, the UK, and Latin America about their payment habits — found streaming services are the second top spending category (25%), after eating out and takeaways (27%).

The challenge is meeting heightened expectations. The same research found video game players demand security from their transactions – 76% of respondents who make online gaming purchases think it’s important for in-game payment methods to respect their privacy. But they don’t want this to compromise on convenience and speed.

Now, streaming companies must deliver a swift, secure and seamless payment experience to meet consumer demand.

How alternative payment methods can meet consumer needs

By offering alternative payment methods (APMs), like digital wallets or eCash (also known as online cash), entertainment companies with streaming services can provide a payment experience that meets and exceeds consumer expectations.

With eCash, the viewer or player doesn’t have to connect a card or bank account to make a payment and can avoid sharing bank details. Instead, they receive a prepaid code and pay online using that. This allows consumers to overcome security concerns — 49% of respondents who make online gaming purchases think eCash is the safest way to pay for in-game purchases — while enjoying a friction-free way of making payments.

In addition, Lost in Transaction found 63% of respondents who make online gaming purchases think digital wallets are the most convenient way to pay, and 58% think they’re the safest option. Digital wallets don’t require consumers to share financial details either, with all data stored securely in an encrypted format. For consumers tempted by a new streaming subscription, or a cool new skin in their favourite video game, all they need to do is log into their digital wallet and confirm payment.

By working with the right payment services provider, entertainment companies with streaming services can seamlessly integrate APMs like digital wallets and eCash into their ecosystem, and give consumers exactly what they want: more.

 

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