Pay-TV — an industry that has taken a beating in the past few years. It’s news networks have lost credibility, package pricing and additional “fees” are astronomical, and the programing is nothing to brag about. With more networks shaking up with OTT providers like YouTubeTV and Hulu Live, it would seem that pay-TV may as well call it quits — unless its ready for a bit of remodeling.
Today TiVo released the 17th edition of its quarterly Video Trends Report, and though there was nothing in the report that hinted at pay-TV making a comeback, it did highlight a few ways companies may be able to retain their dwindling subscriber base.
Out of all the current pay-TV customers surveyed, 48.9% of respondents said they planned to cut, change or switch pay-TV providers. When asked if they would stay should they be given new functionality to improve the TV viewing experience, their answers were as followed:
- Flexible Package Structure: 53.3% would consider staying if an option existed to pay for only the channels they watch.
- More Integrated Video Solution: 34.3% would consider staying if all TV providers (such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video) were combined into one place where consumers can find something to watch, regardless of the service.
Though these numbers may be a light at the end of the tunnel for pay-TV companies, don’t start the party just yet. Out of that 48.9%, 27.2% said that no matter what functionality was added they were still saying goodbye to pay-TV.
So what is driving the growth of these OTT services that have taken over?
Well, for Netflix subscribers, 57.7% said the ability for each household member to have their own profile as their top Netflix feature, while 40.7% liked that Netflix recommends content based on previous viewing habits. Recommendations have become a huge part of most video services. Even pay-TV subscribers with access to video recommendations are 15.2% more satisfied than those without them, according to the TiVo report. Other reasons for switching to OTT are:
- “Convenience” — 38.5%, a 2.5% q/q increase
- “No commercials or ads” — 34.2%, an increase of 2.1% q/q
- “Ability to watch certain TV shows and whole seasons” — 32.4%
- “It’s cheaper” — 29.6%
- “Ability to watch TV/movies on a computer” — 23.5%
- “Better selection” — 23.5%
It would seem that no matter how much remodeling is done to the current pay-TV format they might be better off adapting to the new industry, similar to Dish with Sling-TV and AT&T with DirecTV Now — because if you can’t beat them, join them.