Cable Subscribers Frustrated, Up Channel Surfing, Streaming
Cable and satellite TV service subscribers may not be cord-cutting or cord-shaving to any degree, according to one study, yet high levels of channel-surfing and growing use of services like Netflix
could lead to more problems.
Almost 70% say they are "always" or "sometimes" frustrated in trying to find something to watch, according to video search technology company Digitalsmiths. It found that 48% of cable customers say they spend 10 minutes or more trying to find something to watch -- channel-surfing. Nearly 30% say they spend even more time flipping on the TV remote -- 10 minutes to 20 minutes.
In relation to this, the study says just about 50% of TV viewers watch less than 10% of time-shifted viewing -- which means more channel-surfing. (Other TV researchers now say around 45% of U.S. TV homes have DVR time-shifting technology.)
The survey also notes the good -- but not great -- news for the pay-TV business. The bulk of cable subscribers -- 59.5% -- say they are "satisfied" with their cable service; and 21.8% are "very satisfied;" with 18.7% "unsatisfied." Of those who are unsatisfied, 74% say the biggest problem is rising monthly cable/satellite rates.
Breaking down current cable/satellite monthly rates: 20.3% pay between $101 and $125 a month; 19.9% pay between $76 and $100; 17.9% pay $150 or more. When asked if they would change their cable/satellite provider in the next six months, 61% say they would not change their cable/satellite service provider; 27% say "maybe."
When it comes to lowering monthly bills, consumers would look to cut premium TV channels like HBO, says the survey, which benefits over-the-top (OTT) services including Redbox, Netflix, Vudu, Amazon, Blockbuster, or iTunes.
One area that the Digitalsmiths study concludes has been suffering -- and one that could still could be an area of opportunity -- is video-on-demand services. When surveying consumers on monthly VOD activity, 78% of respondents said they made "zero" purchases; 10.5% said they made two or more purchases. The survey says that 49% of consumers have trouble searching for VOD offerings.
According to the survey, roughly half of consumers surveyed used Redbox, Netflix, Vudu, Amazon, Blockbuster, iTunes or another similar service, watching and/or purchasing one to three movies per month.
The study concludes: "Every month, therefore, pay-TV providers miss out on roughly $3 to $15 per subscriber across half of their subscriber base, representing millions in lost revenue."