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Streaming Subscriptions Set Sights on New Monetization Opportunities

person streaming videos on laptop

As streaming platforms evolved throughout the year, many leaders in the industry set their sights on ways to monetize their content beyond subscription fees and ad sales.

For instance, Disney+ is reportedly looking into launching shopping options on its streaming service, as Rita Ferro, president of global advertising at The Walt Disney Company, told Variety earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Amazon, has already made moves in that direction, offering recommendations of other products and services through its Prime Video X-Ray feature. Its X-Ray shopping feature is currently only available on select titles including “Making the Cut,” “Wonder Woman 1984” and Savage x Fenty. Shopping options are also available on NFL games through Amazon’s Fire TV device.

Additionally, the company is expanding into more shopping-focused content. In September, Amazon Prime Video streamed the “The Victoria’s Secret World Tour,” a “re-imagined fashion show,” accompanied by a tour-inspired collection available for sale along with the show’s release. Streaming the show reveals a “Shop the Collection” button directly from the Prime Video app, including “Shop the Look” prompts set to the scene the consumer is viewing at that moment.

Plus, over the summer, Roku and Shopify announced a partnership to enable Roku viewers to buy goods from Shopify merchants from their TV via shoppable advertisements.

Indeed, a significant share of connected device users is open to being presented with shopping opportunities as they stream content, according to PYMNTS Intelligence’s “How We Will Pay Report: How Connected Devices Enable Multitasking Among Digital-First Consumers,” which drew from a survey of more than 4,600 U.S. consumers.

Specifically, 1 in 3 respondents reported that they would be interested in the following internet-connected buying experience: “You are watching your favorite livestreamed series on your iPad or mobile device, and you want to buy an item of clothing or piece of jewelry that you see on one of the actors in the series. You are able to touch the screen to go to the product page and make the purchase.” Plus, 5% said they already do this.

Shopping is not the only monetizable activity that streaming services have been setting their sights on this year. Gaming is also a valuable opportunity not only to boost the time consumers spend on a given streaming platform, but also possibly to capture users’ in-game spending, with extras and add-ons.

On Netflix’s most recent earnings call, co-CEO Greg Peters highlighted the “huge entertainment opportunity,” citing the figure of “about $140 billion worth of consumer spend on games outside of China and outside of Russia.” Disney+, too, is looking into gaming, as Ferro shared in that same interview with Variety.

In addition to in-game purchases, there are further opportunities for video game monetization, such as integrating real-world purchasing opportunities. The same “How We Will Pay Report” found that 26% of consumers would be interested in a shopping experience wherein “you are playing a video game on your mobile device and buy a real product that is automatically shipped to your home and charged to your account on file.” Additionally, 5% already do this.