//Wednesday d. 9.02.22

Subscription Talks: Gamification

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Subscription Talks #2


We sat down to have a talk about Gamification, an important and fun tool that can be used to keep subscribers engaged with your product.

Today, we’re talking to Per Dahlberg from the audio book service Storytel and Nicolai Aakrog from Leadfamly, who has helped Per and Storytel with integrating Gamification elements in their app.

A tool for ‘reinforcement of behaviour’

Per, what do you use Gamification for within your service? Which business areas does it help you in?

“We’ve looked a lot into inspiration and retention, which are both important. We also use it for reinforcement of behaviour, for promotion and to get more data on our customers and also, we use it for analysis, where we can make questionnaires for customers much more fun to go through – Per

Can you tell us more about this term, ‘reinforcement of behaviour’?

“Well, for example, we have a statistics module, where you can see how many books you’ve read this week, how many minutes you’ve listened this week or this month. We have a lot of data, so you can see which day of the week you listen the most, what time of the day, and so on.”

“This way, we make the user metrics available for the subscriber and this is where some customers start thinking “I need to beat myself, I need to read more books this month than the last”.

“And we are constantly creating new aspects. We’ve just sent out a recap of the year like Spotify does, where we’ll write something like “if you stacked all of the books you’ve read, the stack would be as tall as a giraffe” and stuff like that” – Per

Taking advantage of behavioural patterns

Nicolai, can you tell us a little bit more about what you do specifically when you develop these little games and quizzes that your customers use?

“In this case, we have a retention focus and here, you could create a personality test. So in the case of Storytel, you could make a test like: “Test: Which kind of writer are you?” and then make a questionnaire for the customer, based on some data we already have from the platform. So we just develop these games and ideas that can be tailored to a specific company.” – Nicolai

If we need to talk about why these kinds of things work and resonate so well with humans, what can you tell us about that, Per?

“Well, you could say that it activates some reward centers in our brain, like when you find a quiz with “name all of these footballers” and the first question is really easy, then you start thinking “Well, I got this, I’m going to ace this one” and when you’ve done so, you send it to a friend and go “think you can do better than me?”. So it taps into thoughts like our sense of worth, but definitely also the reaction to a reward or a payoff.” – Per

Interaction between users

What I hear you saying is that gamification is a tool to engage users on the platform. Is there anything else that you can do, to keep users engaged? Is there anything new that you’re working on?

“Yes, right now we’re working on improving our book reviews, in order to get more interaction. So we are working on letting users read each other’s reviews, so you get the review from another user, instead of from us, the platform. We’re convinced that this will strengthen the community feeling as well.” – Per

Is it possible to follow each other, like on Spotify and such?

“We definitely did consider it, but we have been a little afraid of it because you might not want to share everything that you listen to. Our concern is that you might change your behaviour, that you start listening to more ‘fancy’ books, to look good or cool. And we don’t really want to implement a feature like that. At least not yet.” – Per

I’ve been using Storytel for the last couple of weeks and I noticed one thing that I really liked. When listening to a book, you can see how many people are listening to the book right now. I really liked the fact that you don’t feel alone when listening and knowing that there is a handful of people with you is really cool.

“I agree, it’s a really great feature and it has a great story as well. It actually stems from our tracking system, when users were using more than one device at once, which is not part of the subscription. So we had to track that metric.”

“So we thought, if we could do it there, we might also be able to show customers, how many others are listening to the book right now. And the customers came back and said that it was great to see that you were listening alongside 200 others. And some customers thought it was fun to find a book that no one else was listening to.” – Per

Less activating content, more engaging content

There are also some external factors with this issue that you have to reach a certain goal or you need to listen to a certain amount. I mean, we don’t want the user to just start an audiobook and leave it, without listening, just to reach his goal?

“Exactly, therefore we put in a feature in the listening goal, where it goes “whoops, it doesn’t look like you’re going to reach your listening goal – would you like to postpone it? So there are some possibilities in giving the customer the option to postpone. That’s why you really need to think about, how does it affect your users to use these things, because you make the risk of activating, instead of engaging your subscribers. Naturally, we aren’t interested in that.” – Per

Per and Nicolai, thank you very much for speaking with us, we learned a great deal about the use of Gamification! I think it’s safe to say that this initiative holds a lot of potentials, for applications like these!

Read more Subscription Talks right here!