A-Z Guide on Media and Entertainment Mobile Marketing: Your Go-To Resource for Acquisition, Engagement, and Retention

  • UPDATED: 10 April 2023
  • 11 min read

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Quibi, the short-form mobile-focused streaming service, shut down its operations in just six months, making it one of the shortest-lived streaming services to date. And this was after Jeffrey Katzenberg raised $1.75 billion from high-profile investors like The Walt Disney Company, Time Warner, and Alibaba Group! As a Media & Entertainment marketer, this is alarming news. Here’s the only resource you need to avoid becoming another case study taught in marketing courses in business schools.

Mobile marketing for Media & Entertainment brands during a recession

Marketing In a Recession: How can media & entertainment apps keep winning
Marketing In a Recession: How can media & entertainment apps keep winning

HBR found that during a recession, the companies that cut marketing costs faster and deeper than their rivals later have the lowest probability (21%) of pulling ahead of the competition once times improve (source).

An economic recession is no reason to halt your marketing and advertising efforts. Historically, the brands that came out stronger during a crisis were those that doubled down on marketing strategies.

👉    Here’s how Media & Entertainment mobile brands can keep winning during a recession.

A few topics we cover in this guide:

  • How Media & Entertainment brands can cope with unpredictable changes tied to black-swan events like the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The messaging and narrative Media & Entertainment brands and marketers should be using to drive engagement while sound empathetic at the same time
  • What different marketing touchpoints should Media & Entertainment brands be leveraging to drive maximum conversions and ROI

If you’d instead like to watch a webinar where we explain the above points in detail, you can do so here.

Tips to power user engagement for Media & Entertainment apps

We spoke to mobile marketing leaders across 50+ global brands and created three ready-to-implement frameworks that will help Media & Entertainment brands such as yours sustain and accelerate customer engagement growth.

👉    Download our Customer Engagement Playbook with the three frameworks here.

The three frameworks for Media & Entertainment mobile brands are:

1. Growth-sustaining customer engagement framework

Shermaroo, one of India’s leading over-the-top (OTT) video platforms, created relevant content for their audience by releasing a ‘Watch From Home’ section on their app to cater to the increased viewing time.

They also launched a campaign to lift up the moods of viewers through a selection of feel-good movies and comedies. This campaign was termed ‘Ab Rumour Nahi Humour Phailega’, which loosely translates to ‘Now spread humor instead of rumor’, taking a dig at the increase in fake news.

Another Media & Entertainment app, Disney+ Hotstar, tied up with Indian fitness brands like Cult.Fit, Sarva Yoga, and Brilliant Wellness to stream tailor-made, fitness videos for stay-at-home folks.


2. Bounce-back customer engagement framework


3. Growth-accelerating framework



How to grow a Media & Entertainment mobile app in a hyper-competitive market

As a part of MoEngage’s Marketer Spotlight initiative, we interview mobile marketing leaders from the top brands across the world to share their insights and best practices.

In our recent interview, we spoke to Deepit Purkayastha, the Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of InShorts, a news app with a DAU to MAU ratio of close to 40%!

He shares his thoughts on what it takes to grow a Media & Entertainment app in a hyper-competitive market that has an audience with a minuscule attention span. Here are the top takeaways from the interview:


👉    Check out the detailed interview with Deepit here.

The story of how a music streaming app drove 120% more subscriptions

Gaana, the leading music streaming service in India, has over 50 million active users across the globe.

These were the objectives Gaana wanted to achieve:

  • Drive newly acquired users to subscribe for the Gaana+ premium account,
  • Deliver a personalized music streaming experience to users based on their music preference, and
  • Keep bringing users back to the app to listen to their favorite music based on their choice

👉    Read the story of how Gaana successfully increased subscriptions by 120% here.

This is what Nachiketa Arya, the Product Manager for Engagement at Gaana had to say about their tremendous success: “MoEngage’s advanced segmentation and personalized engagement channels helped us deliver an unparalleled listening experience to our users. We also successfully grew DAUs on the app by 10%.”

You can request a working demo of MoEngage here.

How insight-led engagement holds the key to engage and retain millions of users efficiently

Your users consume all forms of content – TV shows, movies, documentaries, music, podcasts, audiobooks, sports highlights, breaking news, and articles. We’re talking about millions of users with billions of preferences.

Getting these users hooked to your brand is easier said than done. How do you increase content consumption, frequency of use, and time spent on your mobile apps? How do you reduce plan unsubscription, user churn, uninstalls, and downgrades?

The answer is insight-led engagement.

When 21st-century consumers consent to their data being tracked by media streaming services and digital publications, they expect brands to put this data to good use and deliver highly relevant and personalized micro-moments. This is where insight-led engagement comes into the picture.

👉    Here is a step-by-step approach to implementing the insight-led engagement flywheel

6 Push Notification campaigns all Media & Entertainment mobile brands need to try

We had conducted a live workshop where we evaluated different Push Notification campaigns that the top over-the-top (OTT) media brands run.

These campaigns help mobile marketers and product managers drive user engagement, improve user retention, increase content consumption, and boost paid subscriptions while handling user churn.

👉   You can get the recording of this workshop here.

Below are six Push Notification campaigns for different use-cases relevant to OTT video and audio streaming apps. In each video snippet, we mention the industry benchmarks for the click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates.

We also mention what metrics you should be tracking to measure conversion and goals.

Campaign 1: User onboarding and activation

Campaign type Segmented user campaign
Use-case Drive new users to consume their first content
Campaign goal Audio/video playback
CTR 0.5-1%
Conversion rate 20-40%

In the video snippet below, we tell you how you can use rich media and smart triggers based on user actions to uplift your CTRs by more than 3X and conversion rates by 1.8X.

Campaign 2: Content (movie, TV show, music, podcast) abandonment and reminders

Campaign type Cross-channel journey
Use-case Convert content abandonments to completion
Campaign goal Video playback
CTR 1-3%
Conversion rate 20-40%

Here is a short video explaining how you can use personalization and geo-location-based notifications to send relevant messages that can boost CTRs by more than 7X and conversion rates by 1.8X:

Campaign 3: Subscription renewals and upgrades

Campaign type Segmented user campaign
Use-case Increase new and repeat subscribers
Campaign goal Subscription started and subscription renewed
CTR 0.5-1%
Conversion rate Less than 10%

Check out how you can automatically run dynamic A/B tests, create user journeys, and implement user action-based triggers for your notifications that can give you up to a 4X boost in CTRs in the video below.

Campaign 4: User churn prevention

Campaign type Segmented user campaigns
Use-case Upsell subscribers and prevent users from unsubscribing
Campaign goal Subscription upgraded, subscription renewed
CTR 0.5-1%
Conversion rate 10-20%

In the video below, we tell you how you can combine geo-location and user actions to send relevant notifications that can boost CTRs by more than 3X and conversion rates by 1.3X.

Campaign 5: Content (movie, TV show, music, podcast) recommendations

Campaign type User action triggered campaign
Use-case Increase content consumption in existing users
Campaign goal Audio playback
CTR 0.5-1%
Conversion rate 20-30%

Check out how you can use personalization and run dynamic A/B tests to boost CTRs by more than 1.3X and conversion rates by 1.4X in the video below.

Campaign 6: Offline consumption and engagement

Campaign type User action triggered campaign
Use-case Provide uninterrupted app experience
Campaign goal Audio playback
CTR 1-2%
Conversion rate 30-45%

Here is how you can use geo-location triggers and add rich media to your push notifications and see an uplift of more than 1.8X in conversion rates:

How Mobile & Entertainment brands can increase user reachability on mobile devices

When it comes to mobile engagement, MoEngage has been an uncontested leader in mobile engagement, particularly for Push Notification campaigns.

As a mobile marketer, you must be aware of the fact that not all your users receive the Push Notifications that you send them. Here’s an article that explains why this happens.

In October 2020, we used Machine Learning to analyze over 750 marketing campaigns sent to 70 million users of mobile apps from different verticals. These campaigns were used to drive user engagement, retain more users, and increase paid subscriptions.

Using the output data from our Machine Learning algorithm, we built a framework of 14 different attributes that accurately predict if Push Notifications will be delivered or not for Media & Entertainment apps.

This framework predicts deliverability with an 80% accuracy, which is higher than any other prediction model built by any other customer engagement platform!


👉    Get the Push Notification Delivery Framework here.


Push Notification Delivery Framework for Media & Entertainment Mobile Apps, 2020
Push Notification Delivery Framework for Media & Entertainment Mobile Apps, 2020

Influencer Marketing Tips for Media & Entertainment marketers

If you’re evaluating the impact that Influencer Marketing and User-generated content (UGC) can have on your mobile app’s downloads and daily active users (DAU), then Spotify should be your ultimate inspiration.

Spotify app downloads reached a peak on December 5th, 2020 (after Spotify Wrapped)
Spotify app downloads reached a peak in the first week of December, after Spotify Wrapped (Data source: Apptopia)

In 2020, Spotify Wrapped was responsible for increasing Spotify’s mobile app downloads by 21% in the first week of December! Users from the United States and India had the highest contribution to this growth curve. By launching Spotify Wrapped exclusively on the mobile app, and tweaking the app experience to make it easier to share Wrapped stories on social media, Spotify marked yet another successful launch of their Wrapped campaign.

👉   Here’s what Mobile Marketers can learn from the success of Spotify Wrapped.

If interested, take a look at how to Boost App Monetization and Engagement with Mobile Marketing Automation

The story of how Airtel Xstream, an OTT video platform, achieved North Star Growth metrics

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed content consumption behavior from a static style to a dynamic style. Consumers across geographies are more alert now and need a consistent and continuous feed of information and entertainment. The growth and content teams at Airtel Xstream understood this shift and using MoEngage, segmented their users to serve real-time notifications of Live News, Cricket, Shows, and E-Sports.

The result? Airtel Xstream sent more than 40 million push notifications in a window of 2 minutes for live events, saw up to an 85.6% conversion rate from their mobile in-app interstitials, and witnessed more than a 61% retention rate on their mobile apps!

👉   Read the complete Airtel Xstream success story here.

How to maximize mobile engagement on video and audio streaming apps, and get a competitive edge

As you can see from the framework above, the number and frequency of app sessions and Push Notification clicks have the highest impact on user reachability.

Media & Entertainment brands like yours leverage the following solutions to get a head start in the mobile engagement game:

1. Using rich-media Push Notifications to boost click-through rates (CTRs)

Your user’s lock screen has never been more chaotic.

To cut through the noise and engage users with push notifications like never before, you need to deliver an optimal experience with personalized and rich push notifications.

Rich media push notifications are more expressive, exciting, and engaging. More importantly, they stand out and grab attention easily. Look at the example below:

Now, who wouldn’t want to click on a notification that looks like this?! It grabs your attention almost immediately, and more importantly, it drives action.

CAUTION: It is easy to slip up here and use a color palette that does not match your brand. The last thing you want to do is grab your user’s attention without them knowing who did it!

To make things easy and save time for Media & Entertainment mobile marketers, our product team built a set of pre-built Push Notification templates that you can use without any coding or programming knowledge.

👉    You can have a detailed look at these templates here.

There are four types of rich-media Push Notification templates you can use:

  • Stylized Notification,
  • Carousel Notification,
  • Thin Banner Notification, and
  • Text-overlay Notification

2. Leveraging AI to pick the best time to send your notifications based on data, not intuition

When you’re running multiple Push Notification campaigns, each of which has more than a 100K audience size, you cannot manually parse through data and optimize. You shouldn’t be expected to either!

A perfect optimization includes observing the performances of different message variations, tracking the CTRs at every hour of the day, and then picking the combination of the best performing content and the best time of interaction.

In the age of automation, expecting Media & Entertainment mobile marketers to tracks and do these optimizations manually is not the suggested method. This is assuming that humans are not prone to errors, which is a false assumption.

To get this entire process right, save your time, and not work like a robot, MoEngage built a proprietary artificial intelligence to assist mobile marketers. We call this AI, Sherpa.

How to optimise Media & Entertainment Push Notifications using Sherpa
How to optimize Media & Entertainment Push Notifications using Sherpa

If I was to describe Sherpa in one sentence: “Sherpa picks your best content and delivers it at the perfect time to your users.”

👉    Here’s a detailed look at Sherpa.

3. Implementing custom algorithms to increase user reachability on Chinese OEM devices

Did you know that between 40-70% of Android device users do not receive your push notifications! While there are many reasons behind this, the OEM plays a key role here.

Most often mobile marketers mistake user reachability for the number of successful Push Notification deliveries. In actuality, true user reachability is measured by the number of impressions that your Push Notification gets.

This is because most Chinese devices are customized to optimize battery usage. They do this by limiting background processes and disrupting the normal flow of how Push Notifications get delivered.

At MoEngage, when we built our own algorithm called Push Amplification, it was adopted by other mobile engagement platforms. This algorithm increases your reach on Chinese OEMs, enabling you to engage both active and non-active users, and giving you an opportunity to boost engagement, retention, and increase subscriptions.

👉    You can read about Push Amplification here.

The story of how a Sports brand in India increased page views by 32% with one simple step

SportsCafe is a one-stop platform for Indian sports fans, where they can follow their favorite sports through live scores, match reports, features, and much more.

These were the objectives SportsCafe wanted to achieve:

  • Increase average page views on the website,
  • Drive users more frequently to the site in their first initial days, and
  • Increase in time-spent by visitors from engagement campaigns.

👉    Check out how SportsCafe successfully increased page views by 32% here.

This is what Gaurav Konar, the Co-founder of SportsCafe had to say about their growth: “MoEngage has significantly increased our ability to send targeted notifications to our users. I can push breaking news articles to cricket enthusiasts while sending tactical football analysis to users who are into detailed statistics.”

You can request a working demo of MoEngage here.

One less-known tip Media & Entertainment brands should learn from E-commerce mobile apps

Relevant and personalized recommendations are a proven way to increase user engagement and ultimately revenue. A video or audio streaming app cannot afford to have a broken content recommendation algorithm.

👉    Here is a story of how Sivvi increased sales by 16% using hyper-personalized recommendations.

Although this is how an e-commerce brand improved sales through product recommendations, it is a great validation for the use of personalized content recommendations to increase revenue, such as stock music suggestions, to increase revenue in the media and entertainment industry.

Content recommendations for Media & Entertainment brands
Content recommendations for Media & Entertainment brands


Your audience consists of typical content-savvy, mobile-first consumers. As a Media & Entertainment mobile marketer is it important to engage with your customers as they hop between channels and devices, and keeping them hooked through content recommendations that are spot-on.

The three key takeaways for you are:

  • Delight your audience with tailored content from the get-go, i.e., at the onboarding stage! Guide them through recommendations that are based on their interests and preferences.
  • Nudge your users to return and finish the content (mobile, tv-show, song, or podcast) they started. Send content recommendations at a time they are most likely to engage, and optimize the in-app experience by eliminating friction in content discovery.
  • Leverage predictive algorithms that identify viewers who are most likely to purchase a subscription. Engage these users immediately across different channels – web, email, and mobile.

To understand how MoEngage can help your Media & Entertainment brand, visit our offerings page here.

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