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Pay TV facing slow attrition in US

Digitalsmiths q315Pay TV use is decreasing slowly but surely in the US, according to Digitalsmiths’ latest quarterly analysis of TV consumer habits.

According to the company’s Q3 2015 Video Trends report, of those US and Canadian TV viewers that did not have a cable or satellite pay TV service in the last 12 months, 19.3% had cut the cord in that period, while 42.1% had cut it previously and 38.6% had never had a pay TV service. Use of over-the-air TV also seems to be growing in this group, with 45.1% of non-pay TV users accessing TV via antennas, up 11.8% year-on-year.

Of those who do have a pay TV service, some 46.5% or almost half are planning to drop the service or change providers, or are considering such a move over the next 12 months. While only 438% are planning to drop pay TV, some 7.2% have definite plans to change provider and a smaller number, 2.7% are planning to switch to an online or rental service. About a third- 31.8% – are considering changing their pay TV arrangements.

On the bright side, Digitalsmiths found that just under half of the 46.5% considering a change would stay with their existing provider if it released new functionality that make it easier to find something to watch.

Digitalsmiths found that three in five pay TV respondents spent over US$100 a month on pay TV in Q3, up 3.3% over two years, with 23.9% spending over US$151 a month. Of those who reduced their spend, a considerable proportion dropped premium services.

About 24% of pay TV customers said they were unsatisfied with their service, up 2.5% over two years.

Some 76.7% said they would like the ability to pay for only those channels they watch on an à la carte basis, slightly down on the previous quarter.

Some 56.3% if respondents used OTT services in Q3, mostly Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu.

Tags: Digitalsmiths, US