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‘Cord-cheaters’ are turning to OTT, says new research

A growing number of consumers are getting on-demand content from third-party OTT services instead of their pay-TV provider, according to new research. 

The Q2 Video Discovery Trends Report, by video search, recommendations and discovery firm Digitalsmiths, claims there is an “emerging problem” of ‘cord-cheating’ as viewers turn to services like Netflix, Redbox Kiosk and Hulu.

“Despite the investments in on-demand infrastructure, pay-TV providers are being cheated out of additional revenue possibly due to the quality of the user experience provided by these third-party services,” said Digitalsmiths.

The report found that 35% of respondents had a subscription to an OTT service, with 22.1% regularly using a third-party pay-per-rental service

However, 73.8% said they never purchase from their pay-TV provider’s VOD catalogue, while 68% of smartphone and tablet owners had not downloaded their pay-TV provider’s app.

Of potential future cord-cutters, 41.8% said they would consider keeping their existing service if their provider released new functionality making it easier to find something to watch.

“Similar to recent industry reports regarding the top pay-TV providers, 4.3% of survey respondents plan to ‘cut’ their cable/satellite service in the next six months. Even worse, there are 27.5% who are on the fence, answering “maybe” to cutting their cable/satellite service in the next six months. Of the survey respondents who are unsatisfied with their service, the top reasons span from increasing fees to poor cable/satellite services and poor channel selection,” said Digitalsmiths.