More than two-thirds of smartphone and tablet users haven’t downloaded their pay-TV provider’s app, and nearly three-quarters never buy movies to watch from the VOD service. Those are among the findings in a just-released report from video discovery service Digitalsmiths that surveyed more than 1,850 pay-TV customers in the second quarter. While many service providers have been concerned about the prospect of cord-cutting, Digitalsmiths said consumers are increasingly “cord-cheating” by turning to other over-the-top services such as Netflix, Redbox and Hulu rather than the ones provided by their pay-TV company. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it is a danger signal for the long-term viability of TV Everywhere.
To set the scene, Digitalsmiths reported that 4.3% of survey respondents plan to “cut” their cable/satellite service in the next six months. About 27.5% of respondents said they were on the fence about cutting their service. The primary reason for complaints? Fees, poor service and limited channel selection. However, many pay-TV customers are relying on over-the-top services increasingly.
When asked why they turned to services such as Netflix and Hulu, about 53% of respondents cited convenience, while 48% said the lower cost. Some also noted the selection on OTT services is better and they’re easier to use. These findings should serve as warning signs to pay-TV providers to make their TV Everywhere services more user-friendly and accessible. Of the respondents who are potentially future cord-cutters, 41.8% said they’d consider keeping their pay-TV provider if they had an easier time finding shows to watch.
Right now, consumers aren’t using TV Everywhere services to a great degree. Digitalsmiths said 68% of smartphone and tablet owners have not downloaded the TV app from their providers. What’s more, more than half didn’t even know their pay TV provider had an app. About 35% of pay-TV users, however, have a subscription to an over-the-top service.
Couple these results with recent findings on the reach of TV Everywhere. Earlier this summer, The Diffusion Group said that while TV Everywhere services now reach about 45% of TV homes, or about 43 million households, the rollout is taking longer than expected.