Why Multichannel TV Subscribers Won't Go OTT-Only - eMarketer

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Why Multichannel TV Subscribers Won't Go OTT-Only

Multichannel subscribers enjoy access to wide variety of content and networks

February 19, 2015

New premium channel standalone streaming services aren’t killing pay TV, and neither are veteran over-the-top (OTT) subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services such as Netflix and Hulu. In fact, a December 2014 study by Horowitz Research found that having a multichannel cable subscription had plenty of benefits over relying solely on an OTT service.

TV and Video Service Subscription Share Among US Multiplatform TV Viewers, by Type, Dec 2014 (% of respondents)

The study looked at multiplatform viewers—those who watch at least 1 hour of TV and video content a day and spend at least 20% of their viewing time streaming TV and video content to their TV, computer or mobile device. Despite being the “core market” for OTT SVOD services, responses indicated that the group was still largely open to multichannel services as well, with half subscribing to both. In all, more than six in 10 were multichannel subscribers.

Leading Advantages of Multichannel* TV Service According to US Multiplatform TV Viewers, Dec 2014 (% of respondents)

Multiplatform TV viewers with multichannel services cited several advantages to not relying solely on OTT video, with access to a wide variety of content and cable networks the top reasons. Being able to watch programs easily on TV and avoid internet connection issues were also key advantages, as were access to broadcast networks, the ability to sit back and surf TV channels and the option to watch TV drama live.

Given a chance to voice their issues with their current service status, nonmultichannel subscribers also saw plenty of disadvantages with being OTT-only. Not having access to cable entertainment networks was the primary disadvantage of not having multichannel service, cited by 41%, and broadcast networks were also missed (38%). The inability to watch live sports (37%) or TV dramas (36%), limited access to a wide variety of content (37%), and internet connection issues were also disadvantages (35%).

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