Research shows over 40% of US households are now ‘pay-TV polygamists’, offsetting cord-cutting trend

  • New Paywizard survey reveals that the sole pay-TV package for one in five US households is an OTT TV service such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu
  • But twice as many respondents are identified as ‘pay-TV polygamists’ – households taking OTT subscriptions on top of their traditional cable, satellite or IPTV packages

London, 5 April 2018US audiences may be moving away from traditional cable, satellite and IPTV packages but the trend is being tempered by the emergence of ‘pay-TV polygamists’ – households taking more than one subscription as they add over-the-top (OTT) TV services – research from subscription, billing and customer relationship management (CRM) specialist Paywizard shows.

The survey of 1,000 consumers across the United States reveals 21% of households now only subscribe to OTT services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu as their sole pay-TV package – indicating cord-cutting and new younger users are starting out with OTT subscriptions. What is more striking, however, is that twice as many41% – now take both OTT and traditional pay-TV services.

Bhavesh Vaghela, Paywizard’s Chief Executive, comments: “Cord cutting continues to be a major concern for the US cable and satellite TV industry and our latest research shows that it is definitely having an impact on these services. But the survey also reveals that those subscribers we’ve dubbed ‘pay-TV polygamists’ are emerging as a major force that runs counter to the OTT-only trend.”

The research, published in a report entitled ‘Show the Love with Customer Experience, also reveals that 31% of US households boosted their overall TV and entertainment spend when they added a pay-OTT subscription in the previous 12 months, while just 17% decreased spend as a result of adding a new online TV service.  According to the findings, 43% of US households plan to add a new pay-TV subscription – whether cable, satellite, IPTV or OTT – in the next six months.

Vaghela notes: “The US is the most advanced TV market in the world with high pay-TV adoption and the research signals that there is a real opportunity for operators to prevent cord-cutting and win over new subscribers, as the figures also show consumers are willing to spend more overall on pay-TV if the customer relationships are managed effectively.”

The study also reveals:

  • 92% of US households have some form of pay-TV subscription
  • 71% have a traditional cable, satellite or IPTV subscription
  • 62% subscribe to an OTT service
  • 25% of respondents have cancelled a pay-OTT service in the previous 12 months due to poor customer experience

The research demonstrates that failing to provide a consistently positive customer experience has real and serious ramifications: 30% of US households with a pay-TV service experienced a negative interaction or issue with at least one of their TV service providers within the previous 12 months – with 42% of those people cancelling their service.

Just 24% of US respondents feel matters were handled effectively and were happy with the outcome when they had a negative interaction or issue. The remaining 76% feel the interaction damaged their view of the brand – whether an OTT or traditional operator.

“The survey makes it absolutely clear that failing to proactively deliver a consistently positive customer experience will cost US TV operators brand reputation and subscribers,” Vaghela says. “It also establishes that, as the base of multi-subscription customers grows, operators need to differentiate themselves to win and retain them. The key is improved interactions guided by data-led insight at every stage of the customer journey – so that marketing is more precisely targeted, processes streamlined, recommendations better informed and each engagement more personalised.”

To download the full report, Show the Love with Customer Experience, click here.  For anyone who would like to discuss the research, Paywizard will be at NAB Show 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Centre April 7-12. Visit the company at booth SU10306CM or contact Paywizard by clicking this link.