Given the value of 1st party data, it’s becoming increasingly popular for publishers to ask users to register on their website. A registration wall does just this, blocking access to content and requiring registration before continuing.
Once a reader has created an account, their behavior can be analyzed across devices, providing important and actionable insights to the content producer. What’s more, registration brings a user one step closer to subscribing, so it can also play a huge role in a paywall subscription strategy. For readers, having an account on a site means more personalization, ultimately improving their user experience as a whole, and so encouraging them to subscribe.
This is why we’re back with a new article series! Our first one covered the user journey to subscription (including The Washington Post, Netflix and Audible) whilst this one will analyze the journey of an anonymous reader into a registered user. We aim to see what motivates readers to become members and how the different publishers employ a regwall.
By now we hope you’re aware that the most important aspect to turn readers into members, and even subscribers, is your value proposition and content. This is what our series is all about, understanding the number of clicks, scrolls, amount of information and time taken for a reader to create an account, but also to understand the value proposition and why the publisher wants users to do this action.
Remember, any online content-producer can employ a registration wall, including editorial publishers, broadcasters, e-learning platforms and more. To highlight this fact, our ‘From content to registration to content’ series includes a wide range of different publishers.
- The New York Times
- Journal du Net
- Harvard Business Review
- MY TF1
- Open Classrooms
To find out more about registration walls, see our blog post on 'What is a Registration Wall?'. You might also like our other article series on the subscription conversion funnel, with a white paper to summarize our findings, available here.
So, let's start.
Today: MY TF1
MYTF1 is the TV-replay site for a channel owned by TF, a French television broadcasting company. It's available on TV for everyone in France (without needing to pay) and is the most popular channel in the country.
- The user journey to register
- TF1’s value proposition
- Why TF1 uses a registration wall
The user journey to register:
- 6 clicks are needed to register and view content on desktop and the same on mobile
- 1 scroll is needed to see the registration form in its entirety on desktop and mobile and no scrolling on the app
- 5 fields need to be filled out to create an account + 1 additional piece of information after the form
So, step by step.
STEP 1 - The user arrives on the website
The user arrives on the MY TF1 streaming site and wants to watch a movie or series. We're able to browse through all the content options freely, allowing us to discover TF1's value proposition.
The login button stands out in the corner for a user who has previously registered.
STEP 2 - The user is blocked by a registration wall
When we go to click on a show or film, we're blocked by a registration wall and unable to access more content until we create an account or login. TF1 therefore employ a hard registration wall as no content can be viewed until the user creates an account.
The wall tells us: 'To watch all replays and live TV on MYTF1, all you have to do it login!' The focus here is what the user gains from registering, a great way to gentle push them through the conversion funnel.
STEP 3 - The user creates an account or signs in
If the user doesn’t yet have an account, they must create one to gain access to content. There are 5 form sections to be filled out:
- Email address
- Date of birth
- Zip code
We're also given the option of registering with an existing Facebook or Apple account. This not only facilitates the registration process for the user but also allows for data sharing between TF1 and Facebook or Apple.
The image on the left changes depending on the content that we're trying to access, with the text saying: 'Create an account to watch Dirty John'. This dynamic addition to the wall makes for a more personalized user experience and adapts the selling point of registering to each individual based on content they're interested in.
STEP 4 - Confirmation of account creation
This step confirms the creation of an account. We have to verify our email address by clicking on a link emailed to us.
This security step reassures users and checks that the email address exists.
The blue section on the left makes the reader aware of the benefits of creating an account to ensure they follow through with the registration process and to help them make the most out of the improved user experience.
- 'Never miss out by adding shows and videos to My List'
- 'Resume watching on any of your devices'
- 'Discover content that we recommend for you'
STEP 5 - Access to content
The user can now enjoy series and movies on MyTf1. This page tells us: 'Your email has been verified! Thank you for verifying your email. You can now view all content on MYTF1'.
The button allows us to go back to the content, an important first step to give your newly registered user.
It’s very important to analyze the publisher’s value proposition too, as it shows what a registered user is or isn’t entitled to.
The value proposition of My TF1 is very clear. When the user creates an account, they're made aware that it's free to register and that this will give them access to all content.
My TF1 value proposition:
- Users can access all content for free
- Users can use the platform without ever being forced to pay or leave
- Users can have access to series or movies they may have missed on TV (replay) as well as live TV
- Registering allows users to save content, resume videos across devices and be recommended content to suit their interests
Why do My TF1 use a register wall?
There isn’t just one answer here and we can only assume, but we imagine that integrating a regwall meets several goals simultaneously.
- Collect first-party data (see our 'First-Party Data and Registration Walls' white paper)
- Track interactions with the site and learn about a user's wants, needs and interests
- Optimize the site and content produced based on data collected - being aware of what their audience is watching means TF1 can produce content that matches the demand
- Improve the user experience - creating an account means they have a personalized account space and home page with content that matches their interests
- Targeted advertising - by requiring account creation
What about on mobile?
It’s exactly the same journey on mobile, same steps, same time same information required.
They also have an app which is optimized for use on mobile. A large percentage of streaming is now done from mobile devices, so optimizing the user experience and registration process here is hugely important for a VOD site.