Tag Archives: cord cutting

Cutting the Cord? That’s So Five Years Ago, Google Says

Young adults these days don’t make a conscious decision about cutting the cord, asserted Serge Kassardjian, global head of media apps business development for Google Play. That was a discussion five years ago. Now, people decide what content they want and decide the best way to get it.

Kassardjian spoke on a New York Advertising Week panel today called “Streaming Is the New Black,” which examined how the business of streaming video is changing. While discussions remains stuck in the “cut the cord” days, he said millennials are all about getting what they want to see in an efficient way.

That’s not the only way the industry is stuck in older ways of thinking. “There’s a new OTT service that comes out every week,” Kassardjian said, and “there’s a new OTT service that closes down the next week.” Throughout it all there’s a certain sameness about these services: They offer similar content and bill in similar ways. Kassardjian would like to see a lot more diversity and experimentation. Why does each service bill by the month? How about daily subscriptions for sports or special events? And why are subscription fees the same for each user? Perhaps services could charge less for subscribers that already have a related service. Rather than finding it confusing, he says subscribers react well to differentiated pricing.

“That’s where the opportunity is and that’s where you can differential from the bundle,” Kassardjian says.

For the OTT services on the market, search and discoverability have become major issues. Just getting noticed is a hurdle when the field is so crowded. “There’s a lot of noise,” Kassardjian said.

One growth area is in live video. While many think of live as best suited for news and sports, live has emerged as a strong area for dramas, as well. Series like Game of Thrones spawn an industry in post-shows and other discussions, so anyone who doesn’t watch the show live isn’t getting the same experience.

“People are being trained about how to react to live,” Kassardjian noted.

Also on the panel was Albert Lai, CTO of Brightcove, who spoke about changing OTT monetization strategies. Many services are trying to work out the ideal business model, he said. Going with subscriptions seems like a straightforward option, but then they do the math and realize they’ll need ad support, as well. But serving ads requires an ad sales teams and a collection of paying advertisers, all things that take time to build up.

“Advertising is still a healthy option to a subset of those OTT offerings,” Lai said.

However, OTT services need to be careful how they implement ads. Today’s viewers—especially young viewers—won’t stand for an experience that’s worse than broadcast. To illustrate that, Lai told how his own three-year-old daughter was put off by a brief buffer delay while watching a program on a tablet. After waiting a few seconds for an ad to load, she was too annoyed to continue and handed the tablet back to Lai. “Broken,” she said.

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http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/ReadArticle.aspx?ArticleID=120803&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+StreamingMediaMagazine-FeaturedArticles+%28StreamingMedia.com%3A+Featured+Articles%29

Just how bad will cord-cutting get?

Could be pretty bad, judging by the most recent figures gleaned from the pay-TV industry. In its latest “Cord-Cutting Monitor” report released last week, MoffettNathanson LLC calculated that traditional US pay-TV providers lost a whopping 941,000 subscribers in the second quarter, by far their worst quarterly showing ever. That’s up from the industry’s previous record loss of 809,000 subs in the first quarter and 709,000 in the same period a year ago.

As a result, the US cable, satellite and telecom industries have now lost more than a combined 1.7 million traditional pay-TV customers in just the first half of this year. Plus, the annual rate of subscriber losses for the industry accelerated to 2.7% in the spring quarter, up from 2.5% in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the rival OTT skinny bundle providers, or virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPDs), fared well, gaining an estimated 469,000 paying customers, or about 50% of the cord-cutters fleeing the legacy pay-TV bundles.

“Did things get worse in Q2?” asked Craig Moffett, principal analyst for MoffettNathanson, in his note to investors last week. “Yes, at least for the traditional distributors.”

With more OTT skinny bundle services hitting the video market in the US every season, the cord-cutting craze only promises to get worse, at least in the short term. Indeed, Moffett predicts that the annual cord-cutting rate will soon climb to around 3%, or over 2.7 million subscribers a year. And, as Moffett freely admits, that rate could well climb to 4%, 5% or even 6% per year in the future because the market is still so unsettled and unpredictable. “There is, unfortunately, no roadmap,” he notes.

And yet, even with all the unknowns in the market out there, there’s still hope that cord-cutting could abate at some point. For one thing, as bad as the second quarter numbers were, the quarterly rate of acceleration actually declined from the previous quarter. So, as Moffett puts it, things “got worse less slowly” in the spring despite some “worst-case scenario” market expectations that the cord-cutting rate might take off even more than it did.

Further, with such major TV programmers as Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) planning to flood the market with even more OTT networks and more skinny bundle services spreading their wings, the video market could easily end up glutted with too many viewing alternatives. That could lead to the weaker streaming services closing their doors, as we already started to see last week with NBC Universal shuttering its two-year-old comedy OTT network, Seeso. (See Disney Joins OTT Bandwagon and CBS Streaming Service to Expand Globally.)

Plus, with no vMVPD or single-network OTT service likely to be able to duplicate the variety and diversity of offerings that traditional pay-TV bundles deliver, there could easily be a backlash against these rival services as consumers realize they’re not getting everything they want. In turn, that could lead to a slow, gradual trickle of subscribers back to the much-derided “heavy” bundles that are shedding customers in bulk today.

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http://www.lightreading.com/video/ott/are-cord-cuttings-days-numbered/a/d-id/735406?

Pay TV Lost Subscribers in 2016 as Cord-Cutting Accelerates

Cable, satellite, and telco multichannel providers combined lost 1.8 million U.S. subscribers in 2016, notes Kagan, formerly SNL Kagan and now part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. According to Kagan’s U.S. multichannel subscriber report for Q4 2016, cord-cutting accelerated in that period with a decline of 460,000 subscribers. That left cable, satellite, and telcos with 94.7 million subscribers at the end of the year.

Looking at cable alone, the report says its decline is slowing. Cable lost 472,000 subscribers in 2016, which is 28.5 percent less than its 2015 decline. It was also the best loss cable has had since 2007. It says something about the pace of cord-cutting that a loss of nearly half a million subscribers is a positive.

Cable lost 103,000 subscribers in Q4 2016, while satellite lost 18,000 in that period. Telcos did especially poorly, with a Q4 loss of 338,000 subscribers. That’s driven by the planned retirement of AT&T U-verse, Kagan notes.

Overall, 77.5 percent of U.S. household have a pay TV subscription, down from 81.3 percent in Q1 2015.

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http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/News/Online-Video-News/Pay-TV-Lost-1.8M-Subscribers-in-2016-as-Cord-Cutting-Accelerates-116888.aspx

60% of Dutch viewers will consider cord-cutting

60% of Dutch viewers will consider cutting the cord if the three main public NPO channels are available OTT, according to research from Telecompaper.

57% of people will consider such as move if the RTL channels are available OTT, and slightly less if SBS offers its channels over the top.

The research is good news for NLZiet, the Dutch on-demand platform with programmes from all three major broadcasting groups (NPO, RTL and SBS). Last November, the platform said it will introduce live OTT streams of the main channels.

Dutch viewers can also access live OTT streaming on the KPN Play platform and Knippr from T-Mobile.

Other research by Telecompaper shows that two-thirds (66%) of Dutch households now have TVs with internet access. This increases the likelihood of cord=cutting.

The figure rises to 73% for homes with children, while 62% of households without kids have a connected TV. The penetration of smart TVs has risen substantially in recent years, from just 30%, the annual surveys by Telecompaper’s Consumer Panel found. Growth slowed somewhat in the past year, to 5% from 12% in 2015.

Nevertheless, not all are using their smart TV to watch internet content. In Q4 2016, 36% of households said they watched internet content on the TV, up from 30% a year earlier. Around 14% connect a laptop to the TV to watch online content, up slightly from 12% in Q4 2015.

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http://www.broadbandtvnews.com/2017/02/03/66-of-dutch-homes-have-internet-access-on-tv/