We're doing an app revamp for our media streaming app, but the new update would mean that all the local downloads will be corrupted as we are changing the media streaming technology. For context, some users have about 5-10gb and superusers have more than 35gb downloaded to their app to watch or listen offline.

I'm wondering how should I best approach this, or if there are any examples of how to dampen user anxiety when this change happens. The team also thought of introducing a new 'smart download' feature but we're still figuring it out.

1 Answer 1


I don't have enough information to estimate the seriousness of loosing this data (i.e., are there a few full-feature films, or hundreds of short takes; is it only a download issue, i.e., time and network bandwidth; ...).

But working on business software, we have this problem every quarter (release): Some data structures change, to support process or UX improvements. It is not an option to "corrupt" any data, as customers depend on our software for business continuity.

So the solution is to have a "migration process" for every such change: Take the existing customer data, turn it into the format required for the new version of the software, and only then upgrade the software.

For example in your case, create a list of all downloaded media, download them in the new format, then install the new app - which can immediately present all previously downloaded media.

From a UX point of view, that's what I would expect as a user. When any app upgrade destroys all my data, there's a huge risk that I will switch to another app - because I have to start over anyway. So this argument is not only about the user's experience (what we are discussing here), but also about the business consequence of a careless (considering technical process only) update procedure.

  • Thanks for your reply Nobi. The data that is "corrupted" is non-critical – content that is downloaded for viewing offline. As legacy downloads will not be supported, the people who previously downloaded their content will either have to redownload, or stream over the cloud (it's the same content). I do have an option to allow redownload of all of their videos locally, but it'll be like 100GB.
    – Benzowin
    Aug 31, 2023 at 10:45

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