As hard as it may be to create content in today’s fragmented and diverse media environment, it’s becoming even harder to ensure consumers can see the programming from beginning to end.
In a new survey of more than 5,000 pay-TV and over-the-top TV subscribers around the world, TiVo finds that consumers are becoming increasingly transient as access to content becomes more difficult or expensive. According to the study, 37% of consumers in the U.S., Europe and Asia stopped watching a show they had previously enjoyed because it was too difficult to access the content. Most shows that had been “dumped” either required a premium pay-TV package, were only available through paid OTT services or are unavailable on OTT platforms that aggregate content.
“There's this ‘content chaos’ where [programming] is moving across other sources, and it’s fragmenting down into different availabilities in different places,” Paul Stathacopoulos, vice president of strategy and strategic research at TiVo, tells Marketing Daily. “Access has gotten in the way of viewership.”
This has led to frustration on the part of consumers when it comes to finding and finishing the programming they want to see. More than 47% of global respondents agreed with the idea that for the amount they pay for video services, it should be easier to find the content they are looking for. Meanwhile, 40% of viewers turn off their device when they can’t find something to watch. On average, global consumers spend four hours a day watching streamed content and another 19 minutes a day searching for something to watch.
“[Providers] need to make sure everything is in place to help the user find what they’re looking for quickly,” Stathacopoulos says. “If a viewer has to go into another app to find programming, they’re just going to give up.”
More than half of consumers (58%) said they subscribe to more than one subscription streaming service. Netflix is the most popular streaming service in the U.S., subscribed to by 81% of the respondents, followed by Amazon Prime Video (50%).
Meanwhile, consumers are looking at all of their options and leaning toward ideas such as “cord shaving,” (cutting down on servicess) rather than outright cord-cutting, Stathacopoulos says. On average, 11% of global respondents said they are extremely likely to downgrade their pay-TV services, compared with 8% who said they were extremely likely to cancel their service in the next six months. (For the U.S., those numbers were much higher, with 21% considering downgrading service and 13% who would cancel outright.)
“That may impact the middle part of the value chain,” Stathacopoulos says. “Shows survive and die on the size of their audience and their ability to monetize that across the length of an entire series.”