Millennials Want Better On Demand, Not OTT

Millennials may not like all the new premium digital TV toys.

A recent Bernstein Research focus group -- one held in San Francisco -- showed  millennials aren’t all that interested in OTT services, the ones that offer live, linear TV networks. They would rather have more “on-demand” stuff.

To be fair, Bernstein notes this is just one market. (More focus groups are coming in New York, Chicago and Boston). But it may speak to a certain group of people -- perhaps millennials in an urban, digital-savvy market. Bernstein’s San Francisco focus group were all under 40.

One major factor might consider a deeper look at consumers “live programming” needs -- perhaps coming from sports or news. For example, specific packages of Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu,YouTube TV that include sports programming -- ESPN and/or Fox Sports brands -- as well as non-sports packages. 

Many forward-thinking traditional TV executives believe “skinny” TV OTT bundles -- with the big issue of price -- are the main reason for the change in traditional pay TV industry. Is that the right path?

More importantly, Bernstein says cord-nevers and cord-cutters “had absolutely no interest in these products.” Many believe subscription video on demand services offer the same or delayed, content as skinny OTT services.

Another result: There is lots of praise for Netflix coming from this demographic.

And what about price? Bernstein asked the question about Netflix raising its prices -- or dropping the ability to share accounts. Would everyone keep paying more? They raised their hand yes — without hesitation.

In part, there is some overall perspective: We see OTT numbers growing: Dish’s Sling TV now with around 1 million subscribers; CBS All Access, 1.2 million, Showtime, 1.0 million, DirecTV Now, 200,000. But in comparison to the big pool of U.S. TV homes -- 118.4 million -- all this doesn’t say much yet.

Bernstein Research said the overall score for OTT: 2.2 on a scale of five, with 1 being "definitely will not purchase" and 5 being "definitely will purchase." “There was no clear winner,” says the authors.

What does all this mean?  Is it still an open field for traditional TV players when it comes to new digital premium TV platforms?

1 comment about "Millennials Want Better On Demand, Not OTT".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 31, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

    Wayne, now we are using tiny sample focus group "findings" to decide what those wonderful, all knowing, super affluent, society leaders--the millennials---- want from OTT, SVOD, etc.? That's really scrapping the bottom of the research barrel ----in my most humble opinion.

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