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Winning the streaming wars: marketing tactics for small and mid-sized SVOD brands


Niklas Björken

Product Manager

February 6, 2024




With industry giants like Netflix or HBO Max commanding vast resources, extensive content libraries, and global brand recognition, small and medium-sized SVOD services often struggle to secure a foothold in the OTT market. Among the challenges are limited budgets, smaller content offerings, and the daunting task of breaking through the noise to reach potential subscribers. Unlike their larger counterparts, smaller-scale services typically lack the financial muscle for widespread marketing campaigns or large-scale content acquisitions. 

Therefore, a strategic approach to success lies not in competing with the giants head-on but in mastering the art of service positioning and targeted marketing.

Understanding your target audience to define your markets well

The cornerstone of a successful SVOD service is a deep understanding of its target audience. This involves recognizing the specific tastes, preferences, and viewing habits of your target demographic. Niche-focused streaming services have shown considerable success by catering to specific genres or interests. Such services aren't just offering content; they're providing an experience tailor-made for a dedicated audience.

A great example of a service defining its niche is Curiosity Stream - which targets an audience passionate about factual and educational content, focusing on genres like science, history, and technology. By offering expert-led programming and insightful documentaries, they cater to viewers seeking depth and intellectual stimulation in their viewing experience. Its specific target allows for precise marketing and distinct service positioning by appealing directly to intellectually curious audiences.

Click Download to get the whitepaper and find out how Curiosity Stream positions its service and executes marketing campaigns.

The art of service positioning

When establishing your SVOD’s position on the market, it is highly effective to create a unique identity that resonates deeply with the target audience. This involves not only selecting content that appeals to a specific niche but also innovating in the delivery and experience of the service. One creative strategy is to focus on personalized user experiences. Small and medium-sized SVOD services can utilize data analytics to tailor viewing experiences to individual preferences, offering personalized recommendation engines, customizable user interfaces, and adaptive streaming qualities. This personal touch can make each user feel uniquely understood and valued, significantly enhancing user engagement and loyalty.

Leveraging community and exclusive experiences

Building a community around your content can be a game-changer. Exclusive experiences such as special events, behind-the-scenes access, or interactive sessions with content creators can significantly enhance subscriber engagement and loyalty. These unique offerings make your service not just a platform for content but a hub for an immersive entertainment experience. 

An example of this is Acorn TV - a streaming service that focuses on British TV dramas or documentary enthusiasts. As part of its community-building effort, the service offers its subscribers tour packages, taking customers to Britain to visit show locations, and to meet the cast, producers, and writers. By integrating these activities, Acorn TV transcends the traditional boundaries of digital streaming, cultivating a vibrant, interactive community that not only watches content together but also shares unique, real-life experiences.

Download our whitepaper to read more about Acorn’s road to Marketing and positioning success.

Content investment and original programming

By dedicating resources to creating original content, your service can develop a distinct brand voice and personality, which is crucial in the highly competitive OTT landscape. This approach goes beyond just attracting viewers, but instead building a loyal fanbase that feels a strong connection to your brand. For instance, when your service consistently delivers content that aligns with your audience's tastes and values, it builds trust and anticipation for future releases. Moreover, successful original programming can lead to ancillary revenue streams such as merchandise sales or licensing deals, further bolstering your service's financial stability and brand recognition.

The role of partnerships

Entering strategic collaborations can be a smart move as you and your partners can leverage each other’s strengths for mutual benefit. These partnerships can take various forms, such as co-producing content with established media companies, which can lend credibility and expertise to your projects. Another aspect is the potential for cross-promotional opportunities, where each partner can market content to their respective audiences, thereby amplifying reach and engagement. Additionally, partnerships can facilitate access to new technology and platforms, enhancing content delivery and viewer experience. By carefully selecting partners whose goals and values align with yours, you can create synergies that drive innovation and growth in your content offerings.

Learn more about how partnerships can be a game-changer for your streaming service here.


The success of small and medium-sized SVOD services in the competitive OTT market hinges on their ability to understand their audience, create compelling content, and strategically position their service. While this blog offers a glimpse into effective strategies, our white paper Bridging the Gap: Winning Strategies for Small to Medium-sized SVODs delves deeper, presenting detailed case studies and insights. We encourage you to read the full white paper to explore comprehensive strategies and learn from real-world examples in the OTT space.

Download our white paper now and unlock the secrets to thriving in the competitive world of streaming services.

Copyright notice and disclaimer

The Omdia research, data and information referenced herein (the “Omdia Materials”) are the copyrighted property of Informa Tech and its subsidiaries or affiliates (together “Informa Tech”) or its third-party data providers and represent data, research, opinions, or viewpoints published by Informa Tech and are not representations of fact.


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Winning the streaming wars: marketing tactics for small and mid-sized SVOD brands