Lessons to learn from analyzing six popular media and entertainment apps

Love to keep people coming back to your app? Read on for important lessons to learn from analyzing six popular media and entertainment apps.

Today, online media and entertainment have become an important part of our daily lives, even on the go. We rely on mobile apps to stream our favorite TV shows, watch movies, or listen to music on any device. And with so many options to choose from, there is never a shortage of new and exciting apps to explore, no matter what you’re into. 

But when it comes to standing out from a sea of applications available, several brands have found the secret sauce to creating a successful user experience that keeps users continuously engaged and coming back for more.

By taking a closer look at their tactics, businesses can improve their user experience, app design, and marketing strategy to create a tailored experience that keeps users coming back for more.

1) Netflix: Deliver a consistent and easy-to-navigate interface

Netflix is well known as one of the top streaming services in the entertainment industry. However, its consistent and easy-to-navigate interface sets Netflix apart from other apps. With its intuitive design, users can easily search for content on any device and quickly find what they want. Netflix also offers a “play something” feature that automatically picks a show or movie based on previous viewing preferences.

By maintaining a consistent interface across all platforms, from desktop to mobile, Netflix has ensured that users have a positive experience every time they use the app, which is why its user base remains so loyal.

With just a few clicks, you can access your account settings, see what’s on your watchlist, and get personalized recommendations. And if you’re searching for something specific, their search function is front and center, making it a breeze to find your next binge-worthy show. They also offer their own content, which has consistently climbed to the top of the streaming rankings.

2) Spotify: Provide cross-platform synchronization and offline capabilities

Spotify is often the go-to choice for music streaming, and it’s easy to see why. What sets them apart is their ability to effortlessly sync music playlists between all user’s devices. So whether you’re listening on your laptop or streaming from your phone, 

Spotify makes it easy to access your music library anytime and anywhere – and your music is always up-to-date, no matter where you are. Your vacation, your commute, relaxing at home – you always have the perfect playlist.

Another important feature that Spotify provides is offline capabilities. This feature allows users to download their favorite songs and playlists to their devices and listen to them without an internet connection. This is particularly useful for users who may not have access to Wi-Fi or have limited data plans which would otherwise restrict their listening.

3) Hulu: Create a content-first approach

Hulu shows it’s serious about delivering engaging content by putting it front and center on its platform. From start to finish, it’s clear that they prioritize their users’ needs. And it’s not just about aesthetics – they strategically use images and text to make navigation a breeze.

Hulu’s messaging is always consistent and informative, so users never miss out on any titles or release dates. But most importantly, Hulu focuses on what matters most – their content. They know the power of a clear visual hierarchy and use it to their advantage, helping users find exactly what they want quickly.

Hulu’s implementation of a content-first approach isn’t just about delivering a great UX. It’s also about boosting the service’s bottom line. By creating an easy-to-navigate platform and providing targeted content for its large user base, Hulu can increase its viewership, attract more subscribers, and grab a larger share of the streaming industry.

4) Instagram: Leverage social interaction and community building

Instagram is more than just a platform for sharing photos and videos. It’s a vibrant community where social interaction thrives. By creating an intuitive design, Instagram has turned user engagement into an unforgettable experience that made it one of the most popular social media apps.

Instagram’s UX design is geared toward making it easier for users to stay connected and build relationships with one another. From the scrollable feed showcasing your friends’ posts to the interactive comment section, Instagram leverages social interaction as a critical part of its UX strategy.

Another great feature of Instagram is the hashtag system. By making it easy for users to discover content and like-minded communities, hashtags have become essential to Instagram’s success. They help bring people together and create a community on the platform, which entices brands to get involved in the social experience with their customers.

5) TikTok: Encourage user interaction and content creation

With its unique algorithm, short-form videos, and a wide variety of content, TikTok has quickly become the go-to app for entertainment and creativity. But what sets TikTok apart is its emphasis on user interaction and content creation.

TikTok’s algorithm is designed to promote engagement and interaction between users. The “For You” page, which recommends videos based on a user’s past interactions, is a key example. By curating content based on a user’s interests, TikTok encourages users to engage with the platform and spend more time on the app. And they more time they spend, the better their suggestions become.

Another way TikTok encourages user interaction is through its duet and reaction features. These features allow users to collaborate and build on each other’s content, creating a sense of community and shared creativity. Creators, in particular, have harnessed these features to build their personal brand with a dedicated following.

6) Apple Podcasts: Build a personalized content discovery experience

Apple has long been a driving force behind our digital consumption habits. With the Apple Podcasts app, listeners all over the globe have a one-stop shop for all their favorite audio content right at their fingertips. From informative interviews to hilarious comedy series, the app has something for everyone, making it an indispensable tool for millions worldwide.

Apple Podcasts curates a unique experience for each listener by crafting a personalized profile. The profile is constructed based on the listener’s history, including shows and episodes they’ve subscribed to and listened to. Apple Podcasts also considers listener behavior, such as skipping, rewinding, and how often they listen to particular genres, to help refine their selections.

Apple Podcasts offers more than just personalized recommendations – it also allows users to filter their search for new content in various ways. Users can easily find their preferred content by selecting categories like news or comedy or topics like technology or sports without sifting through irrelevant options that cause frustration.

Make your UX strategy stand out

Companies need to aim for more than just meeting basic consumer needs in today’s market. To truly excel, they must leave a lasting impression by providing an unforgettable user experience. Whether it’s a cutting-edge audio platform, a booming social network, or a popular streaming service, it all comes down to crafting a UX strategy that speaks to your audience and product and turns entertainment into an immersive experience. 

When you or the CX agency you work with incorporates important elements into your UX design such as targeted personalization, community building, and seamless content discovery, you can create a lasting impression on your users that will keep them returning for more.

Ville Houttu is the Founder and CEO of Vincit USA. He helped Vincit’s parent company in Finland go public on Nasdaq First North marketplace. Ville has an M.Sc. in Engineering and focuses on a lean working model while scaling operations that prizes development and design innovation.

With Ville’s leadership, Vincit USA has been recognized as one of Inc 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies. In 2020, it ranked in the top 50 on the FAST Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators. He is also one of the few Ironman triathletes who plays pedal steel guitar on several albums on Spotify.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram