Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: How OTT Gods Are Redefining Customer Engagement

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: How OTT Gods Are Redefining Customer Engagement
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With a global subscriber base of over 200 million each, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have grown to become what we can safely call the OTT Gods of this time. As the competitive saga of Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video leads disruptive transformation in the global media and entertainment space, their strategies to keep their loyal subscriber base continually engaged are something to truly take inspiration from.

In merely a few game-changing years, the OTT behemoths have redefined how to intelligently use Social Media, Email Marketing, and other new-age engagement channels to build lasting and meaningful relationships with streaming enthusiasts across the world. 

We shall dissect some of the most impactful user engagement campaigns which fuel the “Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video” debate and have become a part of every marketer’s playbook today. 

In this post…

  1. Netflix – The First Mover In The OTT Space
  2. Amazon Prime Video – Reshaping The OTT Movement, One Subscription At A Time
  3. Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: Which OTT Behemoth Wins At The User Engagement Game?

Netflix – The First Mover In The OTT Space 

Launched in 1997, Netflix has made it clear to the world that user engagement for them is all about leveraging innovation and emerging technologies to deliver personalized, omnipresent experiences that are just hard to ignore. Just like the content the platform features, Netflix ensures their subscribers find it equally impossible to turn a blind eye to their engagement campaigns. 

Just like the content the platform features, Netflix ensures their subscribers find it equally impossible to turn a blind eye to their engagement campaigns. Read more - via @webengage Click To Tweet

Here’s a look at some of the most hyped and celebrated user engagement strategies and campaigns from Netflix in the recent past. 

Out-of-the-box show launches via social media:

1. BoJack Horseman season 5 release date announcement campaign 

Ever since the conclusion of season 4, Netflix got bombarded with queries about the release date of season 5 of the glorious comedy series BoJack Horseman. When Netflix was finally ready to announce the release date of season 5, they decided to do it in a never-done or seen way before. 

Instead of candidly answering when the next season of the globally acclaimed show would go on-air, Netflix first started creating some hype around the show. They shared illustrations of BoJack living his best days in Hollywood as a celebrity from BoJack Horseman’s official account itself. The team at Netflix engaged enthusiastically via comments, posts, videos, fake text conversations, and so much more – without revealing what the audience wanted to desperately hear – the big date! One of the most popular tweets that involved the CEO of Twitter and Netflix having a fake text conversation garnered 6.5m impressions and 250k engagements. 

Finally, when it was time, BoJack retweeted one of the random fans asking for the release date, stating that they were the millionth one to ask the big question. They were then answered with the actual release date as the prize, thus ending the largest social media interrogation we’ve witnessed. 

Take a look at the entire social campaign journey here: 

2. Stranger Things season 2 announcement Snapchat augmented reality experience 

To promote the release of season 2 of Stranger Things, Netflix teamed up with Snapchat and launched the world lens experience that leveraged augmented reality to allow users of the platform to take a sneak peek into Joyce Byers’ living room. As users wandered around in the dimly lit, scary living room, they strived to find easter eggs hidden around the place. And some unlucky users found themselves stuck in the infamous Upside Down from the show or in one of Eleven’s nosebleed filters that Snapchat created just for the launch. All in all, the campaign managed to create just as much buzz as the show itself since it was very cleverly planted on a platform that is used primarily by the target audience of the popular show. 

Take a look at how brilliantly the entire strategy was executed: 

3. House Of Cards season 4 launch announcement 

To announce the release date of the popular political drama to its ever so eager fans, Netflix went ahead to build a fake presidential campaign featuring Frank Underwood – the show’s protagonist. The promising video that is portrayed as an actual political campaign goes on to mysteriously talk about how the American Presidential candidate refuses to settle and puts people before politics, only to reveal that the man is, in fact, the character Frank Underwood. The video ends by revealing the end date of season 4 of House Of Cards. 

Here’s a look at the same: 

Consistent and jaw-droppingly engaging Twitter conversations 

If there is one brand that can make Twitteratis engage in conversations that are always amusing, to say the least, Netflix is one of those brands that take the cake nine times out of ten. 

They have social media handles (and of course, teams) dedicated to some of their most important geographies, from India to the UK, bringing in the right mix of cultural and local context that is essential to create a lasting mark on their audience’s minds through dialogue that cuts through the clutter. 

Here’s a prime example of Netflix Official engaging with one fan on a Twitter thread about The Office, the famous NBC comedy:

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

And here are some more examples of their deadly humor…

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

Netflix knows how to joke, apparently. Here’s one instance when a Twitter user posted a clearly fake offer–a “free Netflix subscription for six months” if you just happen to be one of the first 10,000 lucky folks to call a certain phone number–Netflix India replied:

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

Personalization and data are at the core of everything

When it comes to personalization and recommendations, Netflix is one of the most advanced technology companies, investing over billions of dollars every year (Source) just to ensure they are serving the right content to the right person. 

To achieve this with much sophistication, Netflix tracks, synthesizes and then analyzes user data at every step of the way — from how much a viewer watches a certain show, to how many are they watching at any given point of time, to what genres do they range from, and more —  everything is a data point and in turn an insight for Netflix. 

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

From A/B testing landing cards to using machine learning to power up its recommendations uniquely for its millions of users, nothing comes even close to the platform’s raw power to strategically and continually engage viewers. 

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

Meme marketing at its best

Today, meme marketing has become one of the most important levers of effective content marketing. While so many brands out there attempt to do it well, only a handful are able to do it in a way that’s unforgettable. Netflix is certainly one brand that does it well, and does it how! Here’s a look at some of the most memorable meme moments from the history of Netflix:

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

Proactive (and smart) communication 

The one thing that Netflix needs to ensure as a leading OTT platform is that its viewers remain loyal to it. Considering the number of alternatives, one has – from Amazon Prime to torrents or even YouTube videos-Netflix follows what we call ‘proactive’ communication. 

Netflix makes sure they’re making the most of all the platforms that their audience is present on. After all, who’d want to miss Lucifer’s new season when they binge-watched the previous ones and the internet is out there to give you spoilers! 

Push notifications 

What was the first thing you did after watching Narcos? Share your take on it with your friends on a chat app or maybe even post a quick review of it on your social profile. You’re one of the spoilers, but we’re here to discuss how Netflix picks up on your interests. 

As soon as you complete a season, Netflix keeps your interest hooked with a plot that’s coming up and nudges you to watch the trailer. Take a look at his cleverly crafted push notification here:  

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

But their push notification strategy isn’t just restricted to the binge-watchers. They also take into account those who may not know what to watch next and are looking for recommendations. Or those who simply love to rewatch their favorite series. Come on, we all know you have watched Friends a number of times already! 

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

Email marketing 

Even though Netflix is aware that they’re addressing a more on-the-go audience, they don’t forget to leverage the traditional channels of communication. Yes, we’re talking about email marketing. 

From sending what’s trending on the OTT platform to personalized recommendations, their emails replicate the look and feel of the Netflix home page. 

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

But apart from their proactive email marketing strategy, we also like how they use the channel to reinforce how Netflix can be enjoyed ‘anywhere’. They frequently nudge their members to get the Netflix app to watch their favorite shows and movies on the go! 

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

Forbes, too, has acknowledged that their email marketing strategy is definitely changing the game. Read all about it here

iImage source: dribbble

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Amazon Prime Video – Reshaping The OTT Movement, One Subscription At A Time 

If someone asks you to name a streaming platform other than Netflix, the only one that comes to your mind would most definitely be Amazon Prime Video. The fact that it comes bundled with the Amazon Prime subscription, which in itself has become an essential part of many people’s lives in the first world, only makes a case for Amazon Prime Video in the battle vs Netflix and take a slice off its market share. In this section and the next one, let’s discuss what they have going on for them well and how the fate of the two platforms will turn out to be.

Social sampling done right 

They say user engagement is all about being authentic and adding value to your prospects and audience. But what they don’t tell you is how it can actually be done. This is something Amazon Prime Video was able to pull off in supreme fashion when they ended up making an episode of The Wilds, one of their original drama series, free to watch for their audience across social media platforms. 

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

From this article on The Shorty Awards website, “In order to meet our target fanbase where they’re at, Amazon Prime Video, for the first time, made available the pilot episode across all socials (Facebook, Twitter, IGTV, YouTube) for fans to watch for free, share with their friends and become a part of the online fandom.

 

As a result of which, Amazon Prime Video garnered 6.1m+ total views across all social platforms during its 2-week run. Outperforming all previous viewing benchmarks.

APV’s tryst with moment marketing 

Moment marketing is everywhere around us. One notable event happens, and every second brand has something to say. Hoping to be clever about it. And just like Netflix, their social media handles are always the first ones to come up with the wittiest remarks. Content that is relatable and keeps on building their brand recall!

What’s more? They do it in a way that ties very well with the product they’re selling: movies and TV series. Here’s an example of the latest one, when the world faced a major outage. The entire Facebook network, with Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp all being down at the same time. Amazon Prime Video cleverly dropped this meme from The Social Network, a movie they have streaming on their platform. Clever, eh?

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

Gathering user-generated content like a boss 

When it comes to engagement, user-generated content comes right on top in terms of moving metrics and creating impact. And Amazon Prime Video seems to have caught wind of this early enough to reap the rewards. 

Here are some examples of Amazon Prime Video interacting with its Twitter audience and engaging in conversations. They are no less entertaining than any content marketing or social media campaigns. 

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

Irresistible social media gamification 

If social media wasn’t irresistible anyway, brands put in tons of effort to engage their audiences on it excellently. Some, like Amazon Prime Video, go even a step ahead. They introduce elements of gamification to take the engagement cues a step ahead. 

On their official Instagram page, they have a ‘highlights’ section called Games. Dedicated to poll-based quizzes from the content available on their platform. Here are a few of those:

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

Intriguing, eh? Try it out for yourself any time! 

Never forgetting communication

In the Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video war, the latter also has a proactive communication strategy. The fundamental idea being to keep their users engaged. They too, tap into multiple channels to notify users of new shows, launch trailers, and more. 

Push notifications 

Yes, Amazon Prime Video sends you notifications when a new show is coming soon. But they tend to keep it simpler, and less aggressive as compared to its OTT competitor, Netflix. Even though their Prime Video now has a vast audience, their notifications are more aggressive on the eCommerce front.  Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

Email marketing 

On the other hand, we would say their email marketing strategy is definitely more thought-through and aggressive than push notifications. From sending personalized recommendations to announcing what’s new on the OTT platform. They do it all – in a much similar fashion as Netflix. 

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video

Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: Which OTT Behemoth Wins At The User Engagement Game? 

The online streaming wars have been on for some time now. But if you’re one to follow it closely, you know that the Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video saga is just the beginning. With every major media house around the world coming up with their own service in the hope of new business, better audience experience, or another goal, the world is now an oyster for the consumer to choose which service they are going to follow.

The world is now an oyster for the consumer to choose which service they are going to follow. Read more - via @webengage Click To Tweet

Especially because the content will always remain the number one reason people watch, listen to, or read anything, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will always remain head-to-head in commissioning and producing original content. However, Netflix seems to be taking quite the edge because of its deeper experience in the field of entertainment. Netflix also seems to be delivering far more consistent, coherent, exciting, and engaging experiences as a whole. This is something that truly makes the brand stand out among its audiences like none other. 

On the other hand, Amazon Prime Video has an edge with the data they’ve accumulated on their millions of customers. Not just through their streaming platform, but the entire Amazon ecosystem. 

In a nutshell, both these platforms are here to stay. They’ll continue to drive up innovation and creativity at the heart of motion pictures.  And the world will sit back and enjoy modern-day masterpieces in the form of movies and TV series that can be binged.

Our personal favorite though is Netflix, but we want to know who you’d pick! Oh, and if you’re coming with a spoiler, please turn away. 

iImage source: dribbble

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  • Created: 03 Nov 2021
  • Last Updated: 03 Nov 2021

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Author

Forum Sheth AVP - Content & Brand Marketing, WebEngage

Forum has been writing SaaS content for over half a decade now. She currently leads a team of Content Writers and Marketers – to create content that strikes a chord with the product and marketing professionals, in a massively crowded Marketing Automation space. When Forum isn’t writing her next email newsletter or preparing content editorials, she’s usually found writing fictional short stories, hoarding coffee mugs, or designing her next tattoo!


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