Advanced Television

1 in 3 “dump” show if difficult or costly to watch

September 9, 2016

TiVo has released findings from a sponsored survey of pay-TV and OTT service subscribers in the US, Europe and Asia. The global study is a follow up to Rovi’s 2015 consumer survey, delving deeper into how viewers engage with content and explore the services and devices that make up their entertainment lifestyle.

Above all, this year’s survey revealed that viewers continue to feel the shockwaves of an industry that is undergoing a significant transition. Ensuring predictable ongoing engagement of audiences, once the hallmark of a successful television series, may be becoming much more challenging.

The survey revealed that while consumers continue to consume significant hours of entertainment content daily, their viewership is becoming potentially more transient, with many viewers “show dumping” – giving up on shows they love because it became too difficult and/or costly to access them.

  • 37 per cent of global viewers have stopped watching a show they previously enjoyed because it became too difficult to access the content
  • Shows most cited as ones which respondents had stopped watching are ones that generally require a premium pay-TV package, are only available through paid OTT and/or are unavailable on OTT services that aggregate content
  • On average, respondents spend 4 hours each day watching or streaming video content and an additional 19 minutes per day searching for something to watch, with the US average eclipsing the global average with more than 5 and half hours of viewing time per day

Cord shaving continues to be more predominant than cord cutting, with more consumers considering downgrading pay-TV packages as they are supplementing their services with subscription OTT and streaming media devices.

  • On average, 11 per cent of all global respondents say they are extremely likely to downgrade their service instead of cancelling, while 8 per cent say they are extremely likely to cancel their pay-TV service in the next 6 months
  • Not surprisingly, the results in the US were significantly higher than the global average. A staggering 21 per cent stated they are extremely likely to cord shave and downgrade their pay-TV service, while only 13 per cent are strongly considering cutting the cord all together.
  • Multiple points of access for OTT is now the norm with 58 per cent of respondents reporting they already pay for more than one subscription streaming video service and 45 per cent reporting that they have more than one streaming media device in their home

While Netflix is one of the most popular SVoD services across multiple regions, the race for leadership in the streaming media device space is not yet settled.

  • Of the respondents who pay for streaming services, 81 per cent in the US report having Netflix, with another 69 per cent in the UK, 64 per cent in France and 38 per cent in Germany
  • Amazon Prime Video is also faring well globally, with 50 per cent of respondents in the US subscribed, as well as 49 per cent in the UK, 61 per cent in Germany and 28 per cent in Japan
  • Reported ownership for media streaming devices, such as Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast and Apple TV, mostly fall in a tight band with similar results of 20-30 per cent for each device brand in available regions
  • Roku emerged as the device of choice for US cord cutters and cord nevers, with remarkably higher reported ownership of 38 per cent versus less than 20 per cent reported for each of the other streaming media device brands with the same audience

Overwhelmingly, consumers feel there is much room for improvement when it comes to search and discovery. Millennials, in particular, showing the strongest desire for better discovery solutions. Since they are the generation consuming the most content across the most platforms, this implies that Millennials clearly translate better discovery into a value proposition which attracts them to the video services they use.

  • More than 47 per cent of all respondents agree that for the amount they pay for video service(s), it should be easier to find what they want to watch
  • 40 per cent of viewers turn off the TV and/or device and disengage all together when they can’t find something to watch
  • In the US, 73 per cent of Millennials have streaming devices at home and 91 per cent are SVoD subscribers, in contrast to 29 per cent and 50 per cent of Boomers
  • US Millennials also spend more than 6 hours per day watching content, with another 32 minutes searching or likely browsing for what to watch
  • 53 per cent of Millennials say they often expect recommendations on what else to watch, in sharp contrast to the 14 per cent of Boomers and 36 per cent of Gen Xers

Indications from the research are that better search and recommendations can drive increased viewer engagement and viewing time.

  • Consumers most satisfied with their search function watch almost 7 hours of content per day, 21 per cent more than the US reported average of 5.6 hours
  • Consumers most satisfied with their recommendation function watch 7.5 hours of content per day, a massive 34 per cent more than the US reported average of 5.6 hours

“Shifts in viewer engagement, like show-dumping, impact the whole value chain, further challenging business models in a fragmented marketplace with many different viewing choices,” said Paul Stathacopoulos, vice president of strategy and strategic research, TiVo. “Unified discovery and seamless access to content removes some of these barriers for the consumer, improving engagement and resulting in real business benefits including higher content consumption, increased subscriber retention and improved service value, especially for the Millennial generation.”

The research findings were the result of an online survey of 5,500 pay-TV and OTT subscribers across seven countries worldwide with 2,500 interviews completed in the US, and 500 interviews completed each in the UK, France, Germany, China, Japan, and India.


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