86% of Skinny Bundle Subscribers See Value in Their Services
While skinny bundles—also known as vMVPDs or virtual multichannel video programming distributors—are a fairly new offering, consumers are positive about them. Data released today the TDG Research shows that 49 percent of subscribers to services such as Sling TV or DirecTV Now rate them as a very good value, and another 37 rate them as good, showing 86 percent have positive feelings about their service. Of the rest, 11 percent are neutral, 1 percent rate them as poor, and 2 percent say very poor.
Skinny bundle adoption is still low. When TDG conducted its Q2 research by surveying 2,000 adult broadband customers in the United States, under 5 percent subscribed to one of the services.
"Given that virtual pay TV services are for the most part a value play, one premised on skinny channel bundles at lower-than-cable prices, user value perception is a critical metric," says Michael Greeson, president and principal analyst for TDG. "Early evidence suggests vMVPD providers are doing well in this regard. Users seem okay without the full Monty of legacy pay TV channels, and to be fairly tolerant of the shortcomings that haunt live streaming video, such as buffering, pixilation, and screen freezing."
TDG announced it will devote continued research to understanding the purchase decisions and preferences of skinny bundle customers.
Consumers are comparing high-priced pay TV services with lower-priced streaming plans, and for many streaming wins out.
Viewing habits are shifting as more households get live linear feeds from skinny bundles. The number of subscribers is low, but they're enthusiastic streamers.
Even after choosing four or more streaming services, many viewers are unsatisfied. Aggregation may be the answer, but only if viewers can customize their plans.
While it offers no network or sports channels, the $16 per month price is attractive, and comes with an on-demand library and cloud DVR.
In pay TV packages, there's a small group of A-list channels and a much larger group of B-list channels. But in the skinny bundle world, no one has time for B-list.
If consumers were forced to choose between their SVOD and pay TV subscriptions, more Hulu fans would opt to leave pay TV behind.
While Sling has more customers, DirecTV Now subscribers stream more hours per month. ComScore sheds light on skinny bundle viewing.
There may be peace in our time between Amazon and Apple. While that's good news for home streamers, it suggests Apple is no longer interested in creating a skinny bundle.