A Clean User Experience: Simplified Login for Streaming Services

A single identity management system retains subscribers for MVPDs, offers opportunities for content providers
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Today’s streaming video subscribers want things to be simple. They want to be able to log into every service they pay for using a single password – and nothing else.

It doesn’t matter to subscribers if they’re watching a linear channel like ESPN or OTT content from Netflix on their TV, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Neither do these subscribers care whether they’re buying these services from their MVPD provider (through-MVPD) or directly from a content provider like CBS All Access (direct-to-consumer).

All subscribers want is to watch whatever they want to watch when they want to watch it using a single log-in password that can access it all fast.

Giving subs what they want

It is possible for MVPDs and content providers to deliver this level of convenience by powering log-in systems using a single identity management system like Synacor’s Cloud ID platform.

“This one secure, scalable platform handles all aspects of subscriber log-ins for MVPDs and content providers alike,” said John Kavanagh, Synacor’s VP of Product Management. “It also provides a single log-in point for subscribers, eliminating churn-driving frustrations that motivate consumers to cancel their MVPD subscriptions.”

John Kavanagh – Synacor Cloud ID Authentication

Synacor’s John Kavanagh explains Cloud ID’s single log-in system in just 1:18.

Why a single identity management system makes sense for MVPDs

Today, many MVPDs are still using a suite of legacy identity stacks to manage subscriber log-ins in association with their personal and financial information.

One stack allows subscribers to log into the MVPD’s online video services. The second handles email access; the third, web access; the fourth, access to the subscriber’s account and billing information and so on.

Using so many stacks requires multiple inputs by MVPDs creating opportunities for input operators to make mistakes and giving hackers many sites to attack and breach.

These stacks also don’t talk to each other, which means that whenever an MVPD launches a new service, a new stack has to be provisioned and maintained in the MVPD’s data center.

A cloud-based identity management system like Cloud ID integrates all of this data into a single, secure online location. This provides MVPDs with a single database that contains all services being used by subscribers as well as holding their account information.

“Adding a new service to an account is quick and easy, because all of the relevant subscriber data is already on file,” said Kavanagh. “And because the platform is in the cloud, it is easy for MVPDs to expand their database as they see fit – without having to add and provision new servers in their data centers.”

As for subscribers? They’re happy and loyal because a feature like Cloud ID’s Forever Login™ allows them to log-in once and access all of their content subscriptions indefinitely.

Synacor Cloud ID CTAM Presentation June 7, 2017

A graphics-only video outlining Cloud ID’s features shown at CTAM (Cable & Telecom Association for Marketing) 2017 convention

Cloud ID gives content providers full control

In addition to selling through MVPDs, many content providers are now selling OTT video straight to customers (direct-to-consumer). This approach allows them to earn revenues from cord-cutters (people who have dropped or never subscribed to cable/satellite TV), while not paying fees to MVPDs for these viewers.

Unfortunately, many content providers are using a competitor’s identity management system that only supports the direct-to-consumer model. This limited approach surrenders control of through-MVPD viewers to MVPDs and their sale priorities, rather than the profit-making goals of content producers.

Because Cloud ID supports the direct-to-consumer and through-MVPD distribution models, content providers who use it have control over both types of customers.

“This is the case for HBO,” said Kanavagh. “They are using Cloud ID to support identity management for HBO NOW (a direct-to-consumer platform) and HBO GO (a through-MVPD platform). With Cloud ID, HBO calls the shots in both markets.”

Happy subscribers mean continuing revenues

Cloud ID makes subscribers happy by providing them with a single log-in to all of their paid content.

“When subscribers are happy, they stick with their MVPDs and content providers,” Kavanagh concluded. “At most, they may buy new services. But they don’t stop paying money to their MVPDs and content providers, and that’s what matters most.”

Additional Resources

Unifying Subscriber Identity Systems Offers Business Opportunities, Efficiencies to MVPDs

Aimed at MVPDs, this Synacor white paper explains the many advantages of consolidating legacy identity stacks in a single identity management system.

Empowering Direct-to-Consumer Sales for Content Providers 

This Synacor white paper guides content providers through the challenges and opportunities of selling their products directly to viewers online.

Synacor’s Cloud ID

This is the product page for Synacor’s Cloud ID identity management system.

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