Research reveals huge lack of consistency in global pay-TV pricing

One size does not fit all in the global pay-TV industry, with research from Teligen, covering 115 providers in 31 OECD countries, showing significant price differences between countries and providers.

The Strategy Analytics division’s new report, Pay TV Prices in OECD Countries, November 2016, not only revealed significant differences in package prices between providers in the same country but also showed great variation in the structures and underlying technologies of the pay-TV offers, even when benchmarking the most basic offers from each provider.

Fundamentally pay-TV has remained stable in most countries over a period of time, despite the introduction of skinny bundles driving the minimum price down in select countries such as Canada and Denmark. This was also the case the last time Strategy Analytics investigated the phenomenon.

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Connected TV growth slows in the US

Growth in connected TV sales is slowing in the US, as penetration reaches into most households, according to research from The Diffusion Group (TDG).

The study shows that penetration of Internet-connected TVs among US broadband households has increased nearly 50% since 2013, from 50% to 74% at year-end 2016. And that means that sales are slowing.

Growth between 2015 and last year was only 4%, compared to 22% between 2013 and 2014, and another 15% between 2014 and 2015.

Besides saturation, broadband penetration has a hand in this. As TDG first noted in 2004, the diffusion of connected TVs would closely follow broadband uptake, and as broadband growth begins to slow, so too does the number of new connected-TV users.

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Neglect customer experience at your peril, research warns Pay-TV providers

Pay-TV operators can no longer simply rely on the strength of their content offering to maintain subscriber loyalty, but must raise their customer relationship management game to gain ground in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

This is the top-line find of a survey of more than 6,200 consumers in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States from subscription, billing and CRM specialist Paywizard. The Facing the Perils of Failed Customer Experience survey carried the warning for operators that more than four-fifths of consumers would cancel a pay-TV subscription due to poor customer experience, such as if service and support were lacking and the company seemed out of touch with their needs. Indeed, the data showed that a quarter have actually done so in the past year.

By contrast, the survey also found that almost half (46%) of consumers have retained a digital pay-TV subscription they might otherwise have cancelled because of positive customer experience. The findings show, said Paywizard, that younger consumers place greater value on customer experience when it comes to sticking with a provider. Just under three-fifths of those under age 35 say this has been a factor in keeping a service over the past year.

Nearly three-quarters of consumers who have added a digital pay-TV subscription over the past year end up increasing their overall spend on television and entertainment. On the other hand, more than a quarter still reduced total TV spend by downgrading their general pay-TV package or cutting other subscriptions – making clear that there are losers among operators that fail to build strong bonds with their customers.

To be on the winning end of consumers’ decisions regarding their TV and entertainment budgets, Paywizard advises pay-TV operators to overcome a ‘dip-in, dip-out’ attitude on the part of subscribers. The survey revealed that most consumers intend to drop some pay-TV services – for instance, cutting part of a cable or satellite package – if they take another, such as an on-demand video subscription. Almost two-thirds of those who have not taken a new subscription in the past would cut back on other digital subscriptions or downgrade a general package to bring down the cost if they were to sign up to a new or additional pay-over-the-top (OTT) service.

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Millenials make up half of US cordless users

Research from GfK MRI has revealed that those aged 18-34 account for 43% of the so-called cordless generation who have yet to subscribe to cable, satellite or fibre optic TV service, as well as those who have cut the cord.

This means, suggests GfK MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer, which sampled around 25,000 people, that almost a third of US millennials are cordless, compared with 16% of the baby boomers demographic. In addition, such millennials are turning to streaming for TV and video, spending almost two-thirds (65%) of their viewing time streaming via a TV set or other device. That again is almost double the proportion for cordless boomers (36%), who instead spend the majority (56%) of their viewing time watching live TV on a TV set over the airwaves.

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The Video Monetization’s Holy Grail – Yuval Fisher

As we all know by now, television has been evolving toward a more personalized experience. Recently, the ability to view high-quality content on devices attached to a broadband Internet connection has obliterated place and device limitations and further hastened the multicast-to-unicast transformation of video consumption.

As these alternatives to the traditional video-consumption model increase in availability, quality and ease of use, so does the advertising inventory and monetization potential for video service providers and broadcasters who manage them. As a result, the media broadcast industry has been on a quest for the “holy grail” of video monetization: Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI), or the ability to deliver fresh, relevant and targeted ads to smartphones, PCs, tablets, connected TVs and virtually any device that receives live or on-demand video programming. The good news is that the industry has come some way in this journey and demand for DAI for linear and on demand content is growing.

Rather than broadly broadcasting loosely targeted ads whose value is diluted by crudely matching regional demographics with audience demographics, video service providers can now deliver targeted, relevant and current advertisements on an individual and/or device level. This means more powerful, resonating ads than ones placed en masse on a channel, driving higher Cost Per Thousand (CPM) revenue for service providers while benefiting consumers and marketers alike.

Today, these refreshed ads in linear and on demand content are taken for granted, because the ad decision is made right at the time that the content is watched. But the onslaught of next generation services, such as cloud digital video recorders (cDVRs), which enable users to record linear content and play it back on any device at any time – whether the content aired a second ago, a month ago or years ago – presents new monetization opportunities and technological challenges. For one, ads in time-shifted content go stale in a matter of days, resulting in no payment from advertisers and rendering them unprofitable. They may also have little or no relevance to the audience.

In order to replace a stale national ad with a refreshed, targeted one, you have to first know where in the stream the ad played. This requires sophisticated ad discovery technology that recognizes and finds all ads in the video stream for subsequent replacement. Rather than letting consumers watch stale, irrelevant or unprofitable ads, ad discovery enables service providers to dynamically deliver a relevant ad. Not only does this open new content monetization opportunities, it enables marketers to reach consumers with more relevant information, reducing chances for consumer frustration.

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How to Make Money With OTT

How do you drive online and OTT video content consumers “down the monetization funnel” that will make your content profitable? Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Ben Miller takes viewers step by step through that process, including how to leverage “casual viewer” channels like YouTube and Facebook to convert casual, occasional consumers of your content to dedicated subscribers that will make your brand successful.

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How To See Inauguration With Or Without TV

Television channels carrying the inauguration live include ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS, C-SPAN and Fox News, as well as Telemundo in Spanish. Without a TV, you can check their websites, apps or YouTube channels to watch the events and commentary. Here’s a rundown of all the options.

HBO outguns Netflix in SVOD customer satisfaction

It may have just released robust results for 2016, cementing its leadership in subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) but Netflix is not at the vanguard when it comes to customer satisfaction says Strategy Analytics.

In its Digital Media Strategy Analytics Strategies service report, the analyst ranks HBO Now as highest for customer satisfaction in 11 of the 14 categories of SVOD services examined. The report measured customer satisfaction is select categories across three key areas: the number and availability of TV shows/films, how easy it is to find them, and the overall value of the service.

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ABI Research Sees Service Providers Switching from Channel to Linear OTT Video over Traditional TV

Service providers are decreasing marketing on their cable, satellite, and IPTV products that offer managed quality of service in favor of new products that use over the top (OTT) technologies to compete with Amazon and Netflix. With OTT competition significantly increasing in mature pay-TV markets, ABI Research forecasts that live linear OTT video services will grow to approximately $7 billion dollars of worldwide revenue by 2021, from a little more than $1 billion in 2016. Continue reading at: