Pay-TV Subcribers Add On Streaming Services

If media habits in the United States are anything like those across the pond, then pay-TV providers don’t have much to worry about from cord-cutting.

A new report from Deloitte indicates that multichannel video subscribers have a voracious appetite for content from a range of sources. This data may be useful for U.S. media strategists as they plan.

Pay-TV customers in the United Kingdom are 50% more likely to add a streaming service to their menu of options for watching video programming than broadcast-only homes are. That’s a promising finding for cable operators here who are busily expanding their TV Everywhere offerings, since indicates that those customers aren’t planning on jumping ship for over-the-top offerings.

However, cablers need to understand why consumers are keeping their service. In many cases, inertia is at play. Deloitte said that half of subscribers to the U.K.’s most popular paid-TV service kept it because they’d always subscribed to it. Being part of a bundle is the next most cited reason. “The habitual purchase of pay TV is a sure sign the industry has a great deal of resilience,” Deloitte said.

Yes, habit is good. And habit can carry a business far. So while cord-cutting isn’t a cause for concern now, perhaps the most important takeaway from this report is that while cablers are safe at the moment, they should plan for ways to make sure their service is purchased for reasons beyond habit.

Because, eventually, habits change.

As a case in point, about 80% of Netflix subscribers also subscribe to a pay-TV service and that’s down from 85% in 2012 and 88% in 2010, according to Leichtman Research Group. That finding suggests that users of Netflix, the dominant over-the-top service, are growing accustomed to Netflix as a primary source of video and ditching pay TV.

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