Many American viewers love online subscription video services but are not ready to lose traditional multichannel television. A study by Horowitz Research finds that the demand for easy access to live television and premium channels remains strong but there is some support for new standalone services, previously bundled as part of multichannel subscription. It concludes that there are growth opportunities for all players.
The research company says that three out of ten households in the United States can be considered as multiplatform viewers, which it defines as those watching at least an hour of television programming a day and spending more than 20% of their viewing time streaming.
“Current SVOD providers, including Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime, have transformed the landscape by providing the kind of on-demand user experience that traditional distributors have not yet fully delivered,” said Howard Horowitz, president of Horowitz Research.
The survey of over 2,000 multiplatform viewers found that 20% of those who have multichannel services said they were likely to cut their traditional pay-television services, while 25% of multiplatform viewers who do not have or have never had a multichannel service said they were likely to start subscribing to one.
However, the overwhelming majority of those with both an online subscription video service and multichannel television are not ready to give up easy access to television channels, even when presented with the option of adding standalone services like HBO, Showtime or CBS.
Three quarters of those with multichannel television rated access to broadcast networks as the main advantage and two thirds said that broadcast primetime dramas or comedies are essential.
Among those without multichannel television, over a third rated lack of access to broadcast networks as the main disadvantage and half regarded broadcast primetime dramas or comedies as essential.
The study found some support for new standalone online subscription video services such as CBS All Access or the planned HBO or Showtime standalone offerings.
Of the 39% of television subscribers who said they would consider a package without multichannel services, 41% said they would add at least one of these three options.
Among those who do not currently subscribe to a multichannel service, 12% said they would add at least one of these three new services.
“The demand for easy and total access to ‘live’ broadcast and premium cable content remains strong for the overwhelming majority of multichannel subscribers, including those who are currently enjoying the major OTT and SVOD services. That said, there is strong potential for stand-alone HBO, Showtime, CBS and other services among those who choose to cut the cord,” concludes Horowitz.