Hub Entertainment Research’s ‘Let’s Get Ready to Bundle’ report found that 53% of US respondents preferred a “pure a la carte approach”, while only 38% said they like today’s common approach of subscribing to tiers or groupings of networks that include those they don’t watch.
When asked to select from a list of 77 TV content brands – which included broadcast, basic cable, premium networks and the SVOD services Netflix, Hulu and Amazon – the average viewer chose 19 brands for their own bespoke TV bundle. Some 68% chose at least one SVOD service, while the most often-chosen TV network was ABC.
When respondents were asked to choose again with an approximate monthly price attached to each network – ranging from US$4-US$7 for broadcast and basic cable networks, US$8-US$10 for premium networks, US$10-US$15 for each SVOD service, and US$20-US$25 for sports networks – the average number of channels picked decreased to nine.
In this instance, the average viewer built a bundle worth US$66 per month, 48% chose at least one SVOD service and Netflix was the most selected brand.
“The current bundled-network approach to TV service gives consumers access to a fairly large number of networks they never watch, networks they assume they’re paying for,” said report co-author and Hub Research principal, Peter Fondulas.
“In their mind, paying for something they don’t use is an instant sign of poor value. They instinctively see à la carte as an ideal solution, although in an exercise like this, they see that per-network prices can add up quickly—and severely limit their viewing choices.”
Report co-author, Jon Giegengack, added: “This research underscores what we’ve seen in other studies: it’s not the price of pay TV consumers object to, so much as how much of that price is going to content that they don’t use.”
The report is based on a survey of 1,500 US consumers with broadband who also watch at least five hours of TV per week. The data was collected in January 2017.