Content Discovery Moves Up the Priority List

TiVo's (NASDAQ:TIVO) 2017 survey of pay TV and over-the-top (OTT) service subscribers indicated that viewers watch an average of 4.4 hours of video content each day. Sounds like good news, but the results also ...

Data consumption - a case for usage-based billing
Data consumption - a case for usage-based billing

TiVo's (NASDAQ:TIVO) 2017 survey of pay TV and over-the-top (OTT) service subscribers indicated that viewers watch an average of 4.4 hours of video content each day. Sounds like good news, but the results also indicated that more than 38% of viewers shut down and turn off their devices when they can't find what they want to watch.

Half of the respondents "strongly" agreed that TV's price tag warrants an easier method for finding content, yet 26% indicated they would pay even more for a solution that simplified video content discovery across all of their services.

"As video entertainment options expand, consumers around the world continue to consume a vast amount of content across services and devices. But without a shift or focus on innovating the way consumers connect to entertainment, hyper-fragmentation will continue to be a barrier, driving consumer frustration and impacting how the industry captures the entertainment wallet share," said Paul Stathacopoulos, vice president of strategy and research for TiVo.

One technology that continues to be well-received by consumers is advanced voice technology. TiVo found that 60% of global respondents with a voice remote use it frequently or every day. Meanwhile, 64% of those with voice-controlled home assistants 59% of those with a voice-enabled video app, and 61% of those with voice-controlled wearable devices use the technology frequently or every day.

"When it comes to voice technology, we see broad appeal across all generations, and this year's survey findings validate that claim. We believe that voice will become the norm, especially as voice assistants continue to enter homes and voice search technologies become more accurate and intuitive," said Stathacopoulos.

Illustrating the importance of addressing consumer's concerns, TiVo's survey indicated that one in four consumers who have subscribed to pay TV services for less than 12 months are "extremely likely" to cord cut or cord shave in the next six months.

"We believe the volatility in this group is directly linked to the fact that both of these groups are in a "try" period where they have a heightened satisfaction threshold. Much smaller levels of frustration during this period can push these subscribers to churn," Stathacopoulos said.

"Loyalists," on the other hand, have found something that works for them in the pay TV environment, Stathacopoulos said. "Their perception of the overall impact of shifting away from pay TV is likely very high, which presents a material barrier to making the decision to churn."

About 55% of pay TV subscribers fall in this loyalist category in the United States, TiVo says, and have had service with their current provider for four years or more. Of these, 51% are Baby Boomers, and 11% are Millennials. Also, among these long-timers in the United States, 49% also subscribe to an OTT service.

There generally is a strong correlation between increases in an individual's OTT subscriptions and likelihood for cord cutting, Stathacopoulos said. By connecting this with other factors that are strong indicators of shifting, the industry can focus not only on who is shifting, but why.

"Service providers must focus on delivering entertainment experiences that are compelling to a highly segmented viewer composition. By staying ahead of the curve through technology innovation, providers can retain longer-term subscribers, while attracting young consumers by adapting the TV experience to include a wide array of Internet video services and viewing devices," Stathacopoulos said.

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