This series looks at the paywalls employed by a variety of online content producers. The user journey, the amount of information required from the user, the payment methods offered and the ease of unsubscribing. These are all key to ensuring the success of a paywall, hence why we created this series and are analyzing the conversion funnels of these publishers.
Remember, however, that your most valuable tool to persuading a reader to take out their credit card and subscribe is your value proposition and content.
- The Financial Times Paywall
- The Washington Post Paywall
- The New York Times Paywall
- Quartz Paywall
- Wired Paywall
- The Athletic Paywall
- Netflix Paywall (VOD)
- Canal+ Paywall (VOD)
- Audible Paywall (audio)
Interested in implementing a paywall and subscription strategy with the same success as these publishers? Poool have a simple, flexible platform to allow you to do exactly this, and without the need for tech support at every turn!Book a demo
Today: the French streaming platform Canal+ VOD!
What's needed for a user to watch a film or series on Canal+ VOD?
- 5 clicks are needed to subscribe and go back to content
- no scrolling is needed
- 2 fields need to be filled out
- 1 payment method is available (credit card).
So, step by step.
Step 1: The viewer wants to access content on Canal+ VOD
Canal+ uses a hard paywall model. This means that a user has to subscribe to be able to watch a movie or series. They therefore need to click on 'Discover our offers'.
Contrary to the examples previously studied, where users could read a part of the article before being blocked by a paywall, the viewer doesn't have the possibility to watch part of a series before being blocked by paywall. They are blocked before they can even see the value proposition.
Step 2: Choosing an offer
There are two main options for the viewer:
First option: TV+ Digital which includes a one or two year commitment period. Several offers within TV+ Digital are available:
- “Canal+ and pack+ of Canal+” offer (24,90€ per month instead of 34,90€ with no commitment)
- “Canal+ and cinema pack +” offer (36,90€ per month instead of 49,90€ with no commitment)
- “Canal+ and family pack+” offer (29,90€ per month instead of 34,90€ without commitment)
- “Canal+ and sports pack+” offer (34,90€ per month instead of 49,90€ without commitment)
- “PANORAMA” offer (19,99€ per month)
- “Intégrale +” offer (89,99€ per month instead of 99,90€)
Second option: Digital-only and with no commitment. The viewer can choose between the following:
- “Canal+ and pack+ of canal+” offer (24,90€ per month instead of 34,90€ without commitment)
- “Canal+ and movie series pack +” offer (36,90€ per month instead of 49,90€ with no commitment)
- “Canal+ and family pack+” offer (29,90€ per month instead of 34,90€ with no commitment)
- “Canal+and sports pack+” offer (34,90€ per month instead of 49,90€ with no commitment)
- “Canal+ series” offer (from 6,99€ per month)
We opted for the 100% digital offer “Canal+ séries”.
Obviously, the large number of offers is great for giving users a choice, however this is a lot! Providing such a high amount of options may actually negatively affect the user experience and the conversion rates of readers to subscribers. It's quite overwhelming when you first see this page.
Step 3: Account set-up
The “Canal+ series” offer is divided into three options according to how many viewers can use the account simultaneously (i.e. number of screens):
- One screen for 6,99€ per month;
- Two screens for 9,99€ per month;
- Four screens for 11,99€ per month.
We opted for a single screen. Again, this is a lot of decision-making for users! It's making the whole process quite tiring and requires a lot of effort. As we highlight in our conversion funnel white paper you need to facilitate the subscription process in order to optimize conversion rates. Make it easy for users to subscribe.
Step 4: Account creation
The user now has to create an account. Only two fields are required for this process:
- Email address
- Password creation
Finally an easy step!! This form is great as we're only required to fill out vital pieces of information. What's more, it's useful to show users the progress that they're making through the subscription funnel (above 'créer un compte') as it helps to reassure them that they don't have much left to complete.
Step 5: Payment form
The user now needs to pay for their offer. A single payment method is available: credit card. To reassure their audience, they highlight that it's a 'secure payment' in the page title and repeat the amount that their card will be charged per month as well as add that they can cancel anytime.
Contrary to many cases previously studied, the choice of the offers and the payment form are not displayed on the same page. This adds an extra step in the funnel and so means the process takes a lot longer for a user.
Step 6: Subscription confirmation and access to content
A confirmation email is sent to the user stating that their subscription has been validated and outlining the chosen offer.
The user only needs to click on “access to MyCanal” to watch content.
The Canal+ VOD subscription journey is an interesting one. It's a lot longer than a lot of the previously studied content producers and there are significantly more subscription offers. This means lots of decision making for the user, but, given the fact that it's a one-time process, they are more likely to endure it and not be put off.
That’s it, the user is now subscribed to Canal+ VOD and can watch movies and series!
What about mobile devices?
The same subscription journey, same number of clicks and same options.
On mobile, it is nonetheless far more complicated to understand the specificity of each offer due to how many options there are and the fact that a mobile screen is a lot smaller.
Interested in paywalls and subscription strategies? Poool's Membership & Subscription Suite is the simple, all-in-one audience conversion, management & retention platform that will allow you to turn content into business.Book a demo