Consumers Showing Interest in Aereo

Over-the-air streaming video service Aereo is still fighting its way through the courts, but should those legal battles be cleared, its prospects for success are pretty strong. 

According to new research from Centris, 40% of pay-TV households said they would be likely to cancel their TV service and replace it with the new technology if it were available in their market. An additional 13% were undecided, suggesting even more potential conversion as consumers learn more about the service. 

Aereo is currently being challenged in the U.S. legal system by TV broadcasters who say the service, which allows people to watch over-the-air programming on their smartphones and other devices (and also record that programming for later viewing) infringes on current copyrights and is subject to retransmission fees. Aereo, meanwhile, says its technology, which relies on antennas to capture programs and stream them to users, is already covered under “core principles” of already established law. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the case on April 22. 

“[Aereo’s] value proposition is appealing to consumers,” Steve Ennen, president of Centris, tells Marketing Daily. “I think it’s best to say they’d be a viable alternative to Americans looking for it.”

Aereo’s threat is even higher among households that currently subscribe to an online video streaming service.

Among them, 45% were likely to switch, and an additional 17% were undecided. The technology even has potential among the dwindling number of consumers that don’t have pay-TV services. According to the Centris survey, more than half of those households (55%) said they would be likely to adopt Aereo if it were available in their area. “Our research is showing that the competition is intensifying and the segmentation is having an effect,” Ennen says. “Anyone who is in the market should be aware of the changes that are underfoot.”

Centris’ survey is based on its “Evolution of Video Community,” including responses from 325 households surveyed between March 27 and 31.

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