According to MoffettNathanson, the renowned independent research boutique, when it comes to subscriber losses – conventional television providers in the US have just witnessed their worst quarter in history, with total subscriber losses amounting to approximately 1.1 million consumers during the third quarter.
OTT is the New Entertainment King
“Cord-cutting does not appear to be slowing at all”
In the past, the drain towards OTT services was incremental, regardless of the years of vexation about cord-cutters. – But the momentum is gaining pace, and between June and September 2018, there has been a colossal change, and: “it’s the first time that the sector has lost more than a million subscribers in a quarter”.
During the third quarter this year, DirecTV endured a loss of 297,000 subscribers: just 49,000 new subscribers opted for their DirecTV Now streaming service, while 359,600 satellite subscribers gave it the boot. Moreover, in a similar vein, direct-broadcast satellite provider, Dish Network, suffered a loss of 341,000 – a massive difference compared to the 16,000 new subscribers they acquired in the same period last year. The 341,000 figure was down to the unexpected loss of 26,000 Sling TV subscribers, in addition to the departure of 367,000 legacy satellite subscribers. MoffettNathanson pointed out that “price sensitivity” for skinny TV packages, could explain the serious losses for Sling TV and DirecTV Now – as both recently upped their sub costs.
Internet Protocol television services, a former industry winner, lost some 104,000 consumers across Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse. Both companies turned down their focus on TV, and instead rooted for broadband services that offer higher margins. This is particularly the case with Verizon, which forfeited a colossal 63,000 FiOS TV subs during the third quarter .
Cable TV Providers
In regard to trend lines, in the third quarter 2018, cable TV providers were the only ones with marginally good news. This sphere, which comprises Altice USA, Charter, Comcast and others, lost a combined total of 293,000 subscribers, a figure which was not quite as bad as the 322,000 losses during the same period in 2017.
Comcast, the market leader, bid adios to 96,000 video subscribers during Q3 this year, which is certainly better than its 136,000 lost consumers in the previous quarter, Q2. This is the company’s sixth successive quarterly loss, but the churn rate is in decline. In addition, Charter lost the support of 66,000 subscribers, which was better than the 104,000 lost during the same period in 2017. Altice USA, meanwhile, “lost 28,000 between Optimum and Suddenlink, compared with 32,000 a year before – the company also returned to profit in the quarter”.
Analysing the Top Pay-TV Providers’ Results
In terms of the second-quarter results, which indicate that: “the top pay-TV providers lost about 415,000 subscribers in the April to June period – the fewest net losses in four years”, the Q4 results are disappointing. MoffettNathanson have however, noted that: “this seemingly good news was actually an optical illusion: The second quarter saw a jump in new households, which show up in the statistics as new pay-TV subscribers” .
Informitv’s Multiscreen Index indicates that now, America’s top 10 services combined, have 82.72 million TV consumers. – This accounts for just under 70% of television homes. – So will this percentage be drastically dropping in the next few years? Time will tell, but it is quite feasible…
So How is No-Pay Free TV Doing?
The “must pay”climate is changing – just think how millions of people are enjoying Skype’s free service to call their friends, family, and business contacts all over the planet, without paying so much as a cent. So it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that if the entertainment content and choice is great; the ads are not intrusive or annoying; and the service is free, people will say farewell to pay-TV, and just as with Skype, never look back.
OONA Mobile TV – A Case in Point
OONA, the cutting-edge interactive AVOD (ad-based video on-demand & live) OTT entertainment platform which goes beyond TV and OTT, is ready to shake up the media industry as it sets about revolutionising TV distribution and viewing experience, while simultaneously offering consumers the choices they need when it comes to free viewing or paying subs.
OONA has rapidly become a premiere distribution company, and is regarded as one of the major players in the ever expanding world of digital entertainment. OONA’s data-free and subscription-free service, which can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere, offers 250 top local and international channels, all of which are available to 180 million Indonesians. Its service is now being regarded as the “financially healthy” alternative to having to pay a subscription. In fact, OONA’s founder and CEO – leading digital strategist, Christophe Hochart, has this OTT model which is so much in demand, that OONA is also on course to provide its free service to consumers in other parts of Asia, Africa, South America, the Middle East, the US, and beyond.
Standing Out From the Crowd
The OONA platform is unique in that it gives its viewers loyalty rewards in the form of tcoins. This virtual currency rewards viewers just for watching content and personalised ads; sharing the content they love with friends and family; and interacting with OONA’s genie in the app, Siskabot. These tcoins, can be exchanged for a broad range of branded goods, meals, fun days out, discounts, free telephone minutes and telcom products. Further, tcoin collectors even stand a change of winning regular prizes such as the hottest mobile phones, or cool motorbikes, with OONA’s daily bid n’win challenge.
Taking a Cutting-Edge AI Approach
OONA creates a deep personal one-to-one experience between the user and the cool PA, Siskabot. She appears in person when the app is downloaded, and has regular conversations with each user to:
1. Find out the exact type of entertainment content they love, be it: series, films, action, comedy, cartoons, celebrity news, fashion, cookery, combat, live sports, motors and bikes, educational programs, documentaries, news, etc.
2. To discover what kind of branded products and services they would chose, and the cool video and other type of ads they would like to see.
OONA Empowers Choice
These days, we all want flexibility. This is a number one consideration with OONA, and its strategy empowers viewers so they can enjoy the freedom of not being tied down with financial commitments for their entertainment. – In fact, OONA consumers have a whopping five choices:
Viewers do not have to pay subscription or data charges. This is because OONA’s AVOD is completely funded by personalised ads which are regularly updated according to what branded products each individual consumer is interested in at the time. Further, the technology that OONA uses enables first-class digital FTA (free-to-air) broadcasting in a clear (unencrypted) form.
OONA’s SVOD (subscription based live and on-demand video service), offers viewers the choice of paying for specific premium content on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis.
OONA’s TVOD (transaction-based live and on-demand video service), provides a pay-per-view option. So for example, if a couple just want to enjoy a newly released premium film on the odd Friday night or weekend, then they do not have to sign up for an extended period of time, and be burdened for paying for more content than they really want, like they would have to with other platforms.
Viewers can unlock premium content by using their tcoins (OONA’s vitural currency rewards which can be used for telcom products, branded goods, meals and other fun things). These tcoins are easy to accrue from watching various channels, looking at ads, sharing content with friends and family, and interacting with OONA’s AI Genie, Siskabot. They are stored in a virtual wallet.
Premium pay-TV content can be easily included in the user’s telcom data plan bundle.
In summary, pay-TV is no longer king. – It is being challenged on two fronts: 1. By people’s economic situations such as burgeoning financial commitments. And 2. By up and coming entertainment platforms such as OONA TV. How pay-TV will fare in the future, is up to conjecture, but its days of ruling the roost may be coming to an end. Time will tell…