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TDG: ‘skinny bundle’ TV online customers happy with value

TDGSubscribers to virtual pay TV services “overwhelmingly consider service value to be very solid,” according to new US research by The Diffusion Group.

The research firm found that 86% of subscribers to online ‘skinny bundle’ pay TV services rated service value positively – with 49% rating it ‘very good’ and 37% ‘good’.

Only 11% of those polled who use a live streaming pay TV service like Sling TV or DirecTV Now were neutral about their value, while just 3% ranked the services as having poor value.

“Given that virtual pay TV services are for the most part a value play, one premised on ‘skinny’ channel bundles at lower-than-cable prices, user value perception is a critical metric,” said TDG president and principal analyst, Michael Greeson.

“Early evidence suggests virtual MVPD providers are doing well in this regard. Users seem okay without the ‘full Monty’ of legacy pay TV channels, and to be fairly tolerant of the shortcomings that haunt live streaming video, such as buffering, pixilation, and screen freezing.”

TDG said that early virtual MVPD users offer “unique prism” through which to view the future of TV and video and said it plans to launch research focused exclusively on these users to assess “who they are, what drives their decisions and preferences, and how their behaviour may impact the future of TV”.