Advanced Television

TDG: ‘4 streaming subscriber types’

June 14, 2017

Far from being a homogeneous whole, analyst firm TDG suggests that TV subscription streamers comprise four mutually-exclusive segments of profound importance to operators and networks.

Approximately two-thirds of US adult broadband users now enjoy online subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) services on a home television. But their use of TV streaming is not the only factor that distinguishes them from other adult broadband users. For example:

  • TV Subscription Streamers (TSSs) tend to be younger than ABUs in general (44 per cent under the age of 34) and more tech savvy, as illustrated by their proclivity to adopt new technologies and media services.
  • When watching television, one-fourth of TSSs turn first to SVoD services, and spend on average 41 per cent of their weekly TV time watching streaming video of some kind (SVoD is dominant, of course, but use of TVOD and AVOD on TV is also prominent).
  • SVoD viewing among TSSs is not limited to TVs, with 79 per cent using SVoD services on PCs, 46 per cent on tablets, and 59 per cent on smartphones.

The most important insights featured in TDG’s new study are not the differences between TSSs and ABUs, but the variations among the mutually exclusive sub-segments of TV subscription streamers. Employing formal statistical methods including factor and cluster analysis, TDG isolates four non-overlapping sub-segments, each accounting for a different proportion of US TV SVoD Streamers. Each segment offers a very distinct demographic, techno-graphic, and psychographic profile:

  • Pay-TV Supplementers – Defined by their affinity toward traditional pay-TV services, Supplementers use SVoD to complement their TV viewing, not as a substitute or replacement. Live broadcast remains their first choice for TV viewing, and they spend most of their TV time watching such programming.
  • Pay-TV Substituters – Undoubtedly a thorn in the side of legacy operators, Substituters are distinguished by their aversion toward traditional pay-TV services and their affinity towards SVoD as their primary video source (accounting for two-thirds of their total video time). They watch SVoD services on their PCs and smartphones, as well, but spend the most time watching them on their TVs.
  • Quantum Viewers – The youngest of the four TSS segments, QVs are characterised by their proclivity to watch SVoD on all their devices, not just TVs. While they are more likely than other segments to use virtually all types of consumer electronic and computing devices (especially Apple products), they are no more likely than TSSs in general to be ‘anti-pay-TV.’ In fact, they appreciate all forms of video on all their screens.
  • Video Luddites – Yes, even among TV SVoD users there is a ‘laggard’ segment, in this case distinguished by the fact they spend the least amount of time watching all types of video on all types of devices. Luddites nonetheless consider online video services as their key source of entertainment.

“Whether you are a legacy or virtual pay-TV operator looking to design packages more finely tuned to the needs of specific subscriber segments, or a content creator looking to better target specific viewing audiences, TDG’s new analysis, A Formal Segmentation of US SVoD Users is a must-have,” says Michael Greeson, TDG President and Principal Analyst. “Its usefulness is far beyond that of an average syndicated report.”  

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