Survey Sez: Consumers Still Like Cable

May 14, 2014
In the eyes of consumers, cable operators offer value compared to OTT providers, according to a study by IE Market Research. Released at ...
In the eyes of consumers, cable operators offer value compared to OTT providers, according to a study by IE Market Research. Released at the Cable Show, the results indicated that 89% of respondents in the United States and Canada felt MSOs offered better content, while 83% felt video quality is better, and 92% gave cable the nod for customer service.

"Pay TV has an overwhelming advantage in these three areas," said Nizar Assanie, VP, IE Market Research.

This knowledge could bring revenue as respondents also said they are willing to pay 5 to 10% more for outstanding experience. Specifically, 62% said they would pay more for content, 44% for multiscreen video, 30% for user interface, and 25% for better customer service.

"The customer service piece of it - there is a lot of interest coming from operators for solutions that enable proactive care and social care. There are innovated areas operators are moving towards," said Darrin McKinney, Amdocs' (NASDAQ:DOX) director of regional marketing for cable and satellite, which commissioned the study.

For example, customers may complain about a service provider via social media. The operator has the ability to identify these comments and react to them. "The solution (would be) a high-level of filtering what is going on with social media and mapping back to the person putting the shout out there," McKinney said.

The report also indicated that 66% of North American consumers prefer to utilize one service for all content - cable, YouTube, Netflix - and 40% of those would be willing to pay for more than they currently pay for such a service. "People are finding it inconvenient to switch between multiple OTT service providers," Assanie said. "They want a single source for search, discovery and viewing of content."

As for content, 50% of respondents said they would prefer to pay only for channels they watch. The other 50% would like a package, but of that half, only 31% wanted a set fee package. The other 19% preferred a very basic package with the capability to add channels they want.

Finally, when asked what an ideal pay TV service would look like, 23% of respondents said they would like video gaming, 21% wanted social media, 18% answered music, and 17% would like user-generated content.

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