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HBO tops pay list as US subscribers become more selective

Tivo reportHBO is the channel consumers in the US and Canada are willing to pay the most for, and 80% of consumers only want to pay for the channels they actually watch, according to TV technology outfit TiVo’s Q2 2017 Video Trends Report.

According to the report, HBO tops the ranking of prices that consumers are willing to pay most for, with the average consumer willing to pay US$2.58 (€2.19) for the channel. The Tennis Channel comes second at US$2.45, with Fusion taking the number three slot at an average willingness to pay US$2.38. Spanish-language channel Telemundo takes the number four slot, followed by Showtime. The remainder of the top 10 are NFL Network, Esquire Network, MLB Network, Sprout and BET.

Among premium subscribers, some 27.5% of respondents paid for HBO, up 3.8% over two years, while 17.3% paid for Showtime and 16.6% paid for The Movie Channel. Some 13.5% paid for sports packages. Starz was paid for by 13.4% of subscribers, while Cinemax attracted 12.1%. Some 57.9% did not pay for premium channels, down slightly over two years.

The report found that US consumers were willing to pay on average US$29.97 for the top 20 channels, up 6% on the previous quarter, while Canadian consumers were willing to pay US$26.34, up 3%.

Overall, the report found that 83.9% of survey respondents had a cable or satellite pay TV service in Q2. Of those that did not, some 22.8% had cut their service in the last 12 months, a 4.8 percentage point rise year-on-year. Some 45.7% of respondents without a satellite service watched over-the-air TV, up 12.4% over two years.

Price was the main reason cited for cutting pay TV, cited by 85.3% of those who cut the cord. Some 45.7% said that they cut because they used an internet streaming service, while 21.8% said they used an antenna to get basic channels. Some 15.8% said that they cut because they liked to binge-watch seasons of series.

Of those with pay TV, some 47.5% paid between US$51-US$100 a month, while 36.2% paid over US$101. Some 52.9% said they were satisfied with the value of their pay TV service, and 31.2% said they were very satisfied. The very satisfied number was up 10.3% year-on-year, while those unsatisfied dropped by 6.9%.

However, a large proportion of users – 49.5% – are either considering or planning to cut or switch pay TV services in the next six months. Some 6.3% are planning to cut their pay TV service, while 8.1% plan to change to another provider and 4.5% plan to switch to an online service. The remainder – 30.6% ­­– are considering cutting their service.

Pay video-on-demand purchases continue to grow meanwhile, up 7.5% year-on-year, with growth among those paying for two to four titles a month particularly marked.

The report also found that 89.3% of respondents watch live TV on a daily basis, with 67.5% watching previously recorded shows daily and 63.4% watching streaming shows daily.

TiVo’s report is based on a survey of 3,050 consumers in the US and Canada.